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2021 will see CMOs reinvent themselves and their teams, says Forrester


By John Glenday, Reporter

October 16, 2020 | 3 min read

2021 will be the year that digital experiences, operations, products and ecosystems come of age, according to a new report. According to Forrester’s 2021 Predictions, the success of European companies will depend on how they utilise technology to enable their workforce and build differentiation. Chief marketing officers will also need to drive customer engagement, as well as guiding ad buying and promotions.


Forrester predicts CMOs will be forced to get their hands dirty in 2021.

The changing role of CMOs

  • Successful chief marketing officers in 2021 will be those who reinvent themselves, their teams and marketing itself, according to Forrester.

  • The market research firm anticipates CMOs will be forced to devise new commercial and delivery models to cope with new market circumstances, getting their hands dirty with their teams.

  • CMOs will assume full control of the customer journey with consumers becoming central to all leadership, strategy and operational decisions.

  • As a consequence, Forrester predicts that spend on loyalty and retention marketing will jump by 30% over 2021.

  • As part of this change, CMOs who haven’t yet integrated marketing and customer experiences will do so over the coming months, ending the segregation of acquisition and post-purchase contacts.

  • 49% of European managers anticipate the post-pandemic landscape will mean more employees work remotely, across borders – bringing new challenges.

The CIO role will grow in importance for brands

  • The coming year will see 30% of businesses continue to increase spending on cloud, security and risk, networks, and remote working to secure a competitive advantage.

  • Forrester further expects chief information officers (CIOs) will serve on the frontline of cloud-first and platform strategies to ensure maximum speed and adaptivity.

  • Grilling individual CIOs, Forrester found a greater willingness to collaborate across organisations, objectives, budgets and extending IT-business partnerships.

  • Highlighting the changes being wrought by the pandemic Laura Koetzle, vice-president and group director at Forrester commented: “The shift to remote work, standing up e-commerce platforms to sell online, and organising events virtually to stay connected are just some examples of pivots that European organisations had to make quickly.“

  • Looking ahead Koetzle warns: “In 2021, firms will need to be adaptive, creative, and resilient, with our Predictions indicating a trend toward technology acceleration.”

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