Bloomberg X: The CMO Year Ahead event shares expert outlook for 2021

On December 9th, Bloomberg Media convened members of Bloomberg X, our invitation-only community for senior marketing leaders, to explore the most significant ideas, trends and behaviors emerging from the tumult of 2020. The virtual discussion focused on providing expert perspective on the forces that will shape how companies build relationships with customers, employees and other stakeholders in the year to come. Watch the highlights above.

The virtual conversation included a fireside chat with Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer of Procter & Gamble, followed by a panel that included Pedro Mota, VP, Marketing of Porsche Cars North America, Michelle Peluso, SVP Digital Sales & CMO of IBM and Alicia Tillman, Chief Marketing Officer of SAP.

Bloomberg Television and Radio anchor Carol Massar moderated, and Bloomberg Media Chief Commercial Officer Stephen Colvin gave opening and closing remarks.

Key takeaways include:

Companies need to take a stand. “Consumers are really expecting companies to step up. There are high expectations,” said P&G’s Marc Pritchard. “An inflection to action is really what 2020 is about. And I hope we turn the page in 2021 and have massive actions that make a huge sustained, systemic difference.”

Data drives empathy. “Empathy is so critical right now,” said IBM’s Michelle Peulso. “Our people, our clients, our broader stakeholders, our role in the world, society — fine-tuning all the ways we can understand and listen through data has been critical. Data technology is fundamentally transforming how we think about marketing, and the tools we use to both understand what customers want and to connect with them.”

Empathy drives engagement. “While I’m in the B2B space, my customers are human beings at the end of the day,” said SAP’s Alicia Tillman. “So it’s not just understanding the various places that our customers are, it’s also then making sure that you have the customized content that feels very relevant and authentic on each of these channels as well.”

Everything will be streamed. Porsche’s Pedro Mota sees hybrid media consumption as the new normal for optimal brand engagement. “You might have an auto show with less people, more intimate; but you’ll also have a streaming component,” he said. “So you’ll have a blend of physical and digital that engages more people in the digital space. You’ll see a lot of things that 2020 brought in that will continue into 2021.”