ORLANDO—Given the huge increase in customer-retailer interaction sparked in large part by technology, it’s not enough to be Chief Marketing Officer at Sam’s Club. “Marketing’s just a piece of it,” says the company’s Chief Member Officer, Tony Rogers. “The nature of the relationship between consumers and retailers has changed so dramatically over the years.”
Whereas shoppers’ in-store experiences might once have involved interacting with a cashier or other employee, now they’re researching and buying products online, engaging in customer service follow-up and making a lot more returns, Rogers explains in this interview with Beet.TV at the recent Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing conference.
“All of that has really changed the nature of the relationship with the customer and now what we have historically defined as marketing or the communication piece is really a small piece of the overall pie now,” says Rogers, who had been Chief Marketing Officer at Walmart. “Structurally, what we’ve done is we’ve made the job of the chief marketer bigger. And so now it’s chief member officer instead of chief marketing officer. Every customer touchpoint digitally and physically along the way now resides within the marketing team, and that’s a big change.”
Rogers is one of many marketers who are involved with the ANA’s CMO Council along with the Cannes advertising festival. He likes the opportunities to brainstorm, think and ideate with other marketers who are experiencing similar challenges.
“The challenge is when you’re in your own organization, everybody kind of already expects you to know all this stuff. So it’s cool to have a safe place where you can go and network and think and be around a bunch of smart people to cultivate ideas that you can then bring back to your company. This group has a high ROI in terms of the things that I’m able to take from it and bring back to my company.” Rogers adds.
When the CMO Council convenes again at Cannes in June of 2019, Rogers hopes to see guidelines or recommendations “about what companies can do in terms of their org structure, to position themselves to really go and address customer experience broadly.” He thinks it’s a “good idea for this group to provide guidance to corporate America on how to do that.”
This segment is from CMO Growth Council presented by the ANA and Cannes Lions. Beet.TV coverage is sponsored by the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video. Please find more videos from the series here.