The customer experience is driving digital transformation for marketing. Customers are no longer passive in the purchasing process. They aren’t beholden to the sales department and embark more and more on self-guided buyer journeys. Marketing is building relationships more than anything else.

The marketing platforms are changing, and companies need to be constantly upgrading to keep pace. Websites, social media, customer databases, mobile applications, analytics and automation tools are all in play. Keeping up with the Jones’s won’t cut it anymore. Companies need to be in the lead. The new customer is driving the platforms to evolve.

The customer journey generates data for marketers to know and learn from. Personalization is critical as companies improve their marketing capabilities. Marketers don’t make as many gut calls anymore. Data has replaced intuition and has become real time. Automation is also making its way into marketing. Artificial intelligence is changing the messaging. Customer behavior gets an automated response to better fill the customer’s needs and wants. AI delivers sophistication on a level human can’t. It can respond in real time to a customer’s whims and deliver results on a scale never imagined.

As with other marketing functions, the CEO needs to guide marketing’s digital transformation. The CEO has the 10,000 foot view of the process and can integrate departments and guide the flow of technology from top to bottom. Every company is being affected by digital transformation. The CEO who guides the transformation for marketing will be greatly rewarded with significantly more customer relationships.