A shakeup is taking place in the C-suite. It happens every time a game-changing disruption occurs in the marketplace.

Companies are introducing several new C-level positions: the chief customer officer, chief experience officer, chief design officer, chief innovation officer, chief insight officer, chief analytics officer, and chief digital officer.

The threads running through all those new positions are a piercing focus on customers, the imperative for companies to distinguish themselves on basis of their customer experience, and a desire to better understand current, emerging, and future demands to fuel innovation.

Those new C-level positions also reflect senior managers' conviction that those tasks require organizational capabilities beyond that of today's marketing departments.

Chief Customer Officer (CCO)

For example, the CCO (or the chief experience officer or chief customer experience officer) is charged with understanding and enhancing the customer experience across the entire customer journey. That begins with a potential customer's awareness of a need or desire; continues with his or her discovery of various companies' solutions; includes lead generation, nurturing, and potential purchase; incorporates customer service, ongoing engagement, and loyalty programs; and often includes collaboration efforts—co-creation, co-servicing, and advocacy—with customers.

Senior managers with extensive experience that span operations, quality control, marketing, and information systems are filling those roles. Their rich and varied backgrounds provide them with the credibility and networks to lead the effort across functions, business units, and broader partner ecosystem. The majority report directly to CEOs.

Chief Design Officer (CDO)

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image of Lisa Leslie Henderson

Lisa Leslie Henderson is an author, a teacher, and an advisor. She is also co-author of The Digital Marketer: Ten New Skills You Must Learn to Stay Relevant and Customer-Centric.

LinkedIn: Lisa Leslie Henderson

Twitter: @ljlhendo

image of Larry Weber

Larry Weber is chairman and CEO of Racepoint Global, an advanced marketing services agency. He is co-author of The Digital Marketer: Ten New Skills You Must Learn to Stay Relevant and Customer-Centric.

LinkedIn: The Larry Weber

Twitter: @TheLarryWeber