Marketing used to be about who could reach the most people with the right message at the right time, and the end result of that would be leads, or in the case of self-serve solutions, sales.
Those things still matter but what's changed is the criteria people use to decide what products they want to buy and use. I spoke about this last year in my talk at the Fluxible conference, where I said that Marketing was the next UX frontier.
This article in AdAge speaks to the themes I spoke about in my talk, although in a slightly different context. What both this article and my talk have in common is the belief that a brand is no longer about what a company says it is - instead, it's about the sum of all experiences a person has with the brand's touchpoints, as well as touchpoints the brand does not control (e.g. customers sharing their reviews of a product as a Facebook status update).
Smart companies are investing in user experience as a way to differentiate themselves in the eyes of the consumer. What remains to be seen is whether user experience will end up being the domain of CMOs, or whether their counterparts in design or CX will take the mantle.
I'd love to know what people are seeing in the companies they work in - are companies thinking about user experience and if not, why not? If yes, who is the steward of the customer? Marketing? Design? Product? Customer Service?