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Consumer and retail industry CEOs concerned about customer loyalty

Staff writer |
According to KPMG’s 2015 Global CEO Outlook, 42% of consumer and retail CEOs are somewhat more confident, and 14% are significantly more confident, about their company’s growth prospects than they were last year for the next three years.

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This does not mean that consumer and retail industry CEOs are unaware of the challenges they face.

Fifty percent are somewhat concerned and 31 percent are extremely concerned about customer loyalty, 53 percent are somewhat concerned and 24 percent extremely concerned about keeping current with new technologies, and furthermore, 53 percent are somewhat concerned about new entrants disrupting their business model and 21 percent are extremely concerned.

These numbers are not easily ignored, so it is not surprising that having a “stronger client focus” was the area CEOs most often identified as a top strategic priority for the next three years.

In the consumer and retail industry, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) role is also gaining importance. Fifty-five percent of CEOs said they expect the CMO to play an increasingly important role at their company, which likely indicates greater investments in marketing innovation than in the past.

With such a strong customer focus, it is surprising that consumer and retail CEOs are not more focused on the issue of cyber-security and data protection.

In fact, despite recent high profile data breaches reported in the media, only 16 percent of CEOs say that information security is one of their top three risks.

This lack of concern appears to be driven by CEO confidence, rather than ignorance. Forty-one percent of consumer and retail CEOs say they are fully prepared for a cyber-event, while 52 percent believe they are somewhat prepared.

Could this confidence be overrated? It may be, given the number of CEOs who identified pre-emptive actions they plan to implement in the next three years: 58 percent expect to change their external processes, 56 percent plan to convene multiple meetings with their board about cyber-security, and 50 percent plan to hire a cyber-security consultant.

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