For many organizations — customer experience — as a strategic initiative is still pretty new. There are still a lot of unknowns. There is ambiguity regarding “ownership” of this initiative within the enterprise, and “best practices” for capturing and using customer data to activate a customer experience strategy have not yet been fully defined. With no clear path in sight most marketing executives stall out before they even get started.

In many cases, this happens because of the fear and complexity that surrounds data and insights required to formalize a customer experience strategy. Fear and complexity that leads marketing executives down the “What About…” path. You know the path I’m talking about. It’s when you and your entire team find yourselves constantly asking “But, what about this?” Or, “What about that?”

Marketing executives get consumed with all the possible answers they might need — all the things they don’t know. They become overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Then what happens? Complexity becomes the barrier to progress and they never get started.

Steve Jobs built his entire career doing the opposite. He eliminated complexity and focused on the power of simplicity. He didn’t try to overcomplicate things. Instead he focused on those things that mattered most to the customer and eliminated everything else.

In fact, he once said … “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

CMO’s have the power to move mountains when it comes to elevating and differentiating the customer experience. They just have to simplify. They just have to focus on what absolutely matters: insights that will, in fact, improve the customer experience. Then they must act.

Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Leading CMOs are taking Mr. Twain’s message to heart. They are simplifying and demystifying the customer journey. They are capturing customer insights that inform their strategy and drive action — action that improves customer acquisition, retention, loyalty, advocacy, and ultimately the customer’s overall experience with their companies.