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Press Release -- May 29th, 2014
Source: Verizon

The New Chief Marketing Officer: Focus – Part 2 of 3

In the first part of this series, we outlined changes in the role of the CMO and the challenges encountered in alignment across the c-suite. Now we’ll focus on the ways CMOs can work with technology experts to efficiently combine efforts into a powerful transformational force.

The first step is finding common ground to focus on. CMOs need to harness the power of digital channels and data to deliver a seamless end-to-end experience to customers and expand into new arenas.

By 2015, the average Internet user is expected to have five connected devices and their purchase experiences are expanding well beyond retail stores.I Consumer and business buyers now control when and where they want to receive information central to their purchase process. In fact, purchase decisions are often made before consumers even leave their house.

Companies need to deliver a well-integrated and consistent experience for customers. To accomplish this, they need a unified view of their customers and the key levers of their business. Reliance on technology means CMOs need to acknowledge CIOs as primary strategic partners in delivering an overall customer experience. Collaborating closely to define and map out the path towards successfully achieving business objectives nurtures a progressive relationship between CIOs and CMOs.

As the need to engage with customers across multiple devices, online and digital mediums allows companies greater reach, CMOs need to be even more aware of potential threats to their brand. Data breaches are common place. According to Verizon’s 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report, in some cases it took months for a breach to be detected.II

A security breach can significantly damage a company’s reputation with potential repercussions on consumer confidence. Facebook had six million user e-mail addresses and telephone numbers exposed III. Evernote had to reset 50 million user passwords after systems detected attacker intrusion IV. Living Social had 50 million names, e-mail addresses and user dates of birth exposed V, and the passwords for 6.5 million LinkedIn accounts were stolen and published online.VI

Just recently, hackers stealing credentials from a refrigeration contractor infiltrated Target, resulting in the compromise of 40 million credit and debit card accounts and the personal data of up to 70 million people. Target was hit by $61 million in total expenses tied to the breach and has been unable to come up with an estimate for future costs related to the attack. VII Verizon is investigating two more breaches at retailers that appear to have been hacked at the same time as the massive holiday data breach at Target.VIII

Over the past few years, we have started to see countries across Asia Pacific introduce tougher privacy and personal data protection laws. Australia, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and India have all set privacy standards by establishing personal data protection laws. Some countries have also adopted strict data breach reporting requirements with tough financial penalties for non-compliance. For example, in Australia, corporations found in breach of privacy laws or data breach notification requirements can face civil penalties of up to $1.7 million AUD. Non-corporate entities can face monetary penalties of up to $340,000 AUD.IX

CMOs need to expand their thinking to comply with local privacy and personal data protection laws. They also need to work closely with CIOs to ensure increased vigilance and responsiveness to security issues right to the point of engagement with customers. Cybersecurity and data protection should be a core consideration when architecting an end-to-end customer experience.

So what does this mean for the CMO of the future? Learn about the next phase for CMOs and why change agility is a key for success in this role in the final installment of this series. Subscribe to our News Center now to ensure you receive part three in this series. To subscribe, enter your e-mail address in the box at the top of the right hand column.

I “Cybersecurity”, The Economist,
II 2013 Verizon Data Breach Incident Report,
III “Facebook admits year-long data breach exposed 6 million users,” Reuters, June 21, 2013,
IV “Evernote hit in hacking attack, users must reset their passwords”,, March 2, 2013,

V “LivingSocial Hacked: Information of 50 Million Users Exposed”,, April 26, 2013,
VI “More than 6 million LinkedIn passwords stolen”, CNN Money, June 7, 2012,
VII “Data Breach Cuts Into Target's 4Q Profit”,, February 26, 2014
VIII “Verizon Investigating Two More Retail Breaches”, Wall Street Journal Online, February 26, 2014
IX “Privacy Amendment (Privacy Alerts) Bill 2014”, Australian Government ComLaw,

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