Are you a marketing exec looking to stay on top of trends? If so, it may be hard to keep track of the various reports, statistics and surveys that emerge each day. This roundup combines all of the top new insights for CMOs and other industry professional — all in one place.

Below are six of the most recent findings indicating the latest trends in CX and other marketing areas. 

1. CMO Responsibility for CX Increases

Forrester predicts that 35% of CMOs in B2C companies will be responsible for CX, a figure that’s grown from 28% last year, 26% in 2020 and 24% in 2019.

2. EX Becomes More Important

Employee experience will also become more important to brand planning, according to Forrester, which predicts that employee experience budgets will grow this year, in large part due to a push from CMOs, half of whom plan to make EX essential to brand planning.

“Brand planning is no longer just about the consumer,” according to Mike Proulx, Forrester Vice President and Research Director. “Employees, like consumers, are affected by marketing. They need to be acquired and retained. Employees are on the front line of the brand experience.”

Forrester recommended that CMOs partner with human resources in determining EX strategies.

Related Article: A Strategic Framework for Digital Employee Experience

3. More Work Moving In-House

More than 44% of US B2C marketers will move agency work to in-house teams this year, with CMOs leaning on these teams to take on more high-profile work, Forrester predicted.

Gartner also sees employees playing a critical role in marketing success, particularly in the B2B market. It predicts that by 2023, 90% of social media marketing strategies will include employee advocacy programs. In involving employees more, companies will build on recent success, with 64% crediting employee advocacy for new business wins.

4. Influencers Increase in Marketing Prominence

Most people trust the opinion of their social circle when making purchasing decisions. Data from the Statista Global Consumer Survey (registration required for survey) also shows that consumers trust the friendly people who openly share their lives on social media with us: influencers.

Influencers currently yield the biggest power over people’s purchasing decisions in Brazil, China and India, according to the survey, which is representative of the countries’ online populations. While influencer power fluctuated in some countries, the trend to follow their lead when deciding on a purchase mostly gained traction. Influencers’ influence grew most in Russia, Brazil, India and Germany. On the flip side, very few people in France — only 12% — pay influencers any mind.

Virtual influencers will play a bigger role in CMO marketing plans, according to Gartner (registration required for ebook), with nearly one-third of influence and celebrity budgets spent on virtual influencers. While offering more control for companies, virtual influencers may not be right for a brand’s particular audience, Gartner cautioned.

5. The Increasing Significance of AI/MI

AI/MI technologies have become increasingly essential for ecommerce, virtual events and to keep up with customer channel preferences and other personalization efforts, according to The Martech Report 2021/22 (registration required for report) from The Martech Alliance and Moore Kingston Smith.

Learning Opportunities

Sixty percent of marketers surveyed said their companies or clients (for those working as consultants) are using these technologies to drive their marketing strategy, and nearly 40% said they expect their organizations to start using the technologies in the next year.

“It’s no surprise that AI and ML are key technologies driving marketing strategy, with their potential benefits being well understood,” said Thomas Hayden, Moore Kingston Smith Research and Development Director.

“Despite this, the AI talent pool is still fairly small, and businesses looking to invest in this area will have to fight for the available talent. The good news is that this is recognized at a policy level, with recent funding being made available by the government to train more AI experts through the creation of 2,000 AI scholarships. However, martech businesses may find that their strategies are held back until this talent has had the time to develop and come onto the market."

Related Article: 4 Ways AI Should Be Playing a Role in Your DX Strategy

6. Digital Marketing Tops 2022 Investment Plans

Digital tools top the list of marketing technology investments planned for the next year, according to The Martech Report 2021/22, with digital commerce (43%), digital experience platforms (34%), marketing analytics and attribution platforms (30%) and customer data platforms (28%) dominating the list. Customer data platforms were also cited by 69% of those surveyed in a separate Martech Alliance 2021 CX Trends report (registration required for report) as the lynchpin to delivering improved CX.

Some of this technology will help marketers better measure the return on their technology investments, which has historically been a common problem for organizations.

“It is an exciting time for the growth of innovative technology in the martech sector,” Hayden said. “As we emerge from the pandemic, labor shortages and increased competition have spurred a technological space race within martech for further automation, better customer insight and predictability.”

Final Thoughts

With digital marketing at the forefront of most companies' goals, 2022 is sure to bring some exciting innovations. The data above can help CMOs understand new and emerging trends and adapt their strategies to remain fresh, relevant and inventive.

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