CMO.com Highlights: Being Heard and Navigating Change
Last week’s focus on CMO.com was the challenge of the CMO being heard, both in and outside of an organisation. Specifically, our exclusive contributors shared about the challenges involved in key marketing changes in an organisation and the role of marketing professionals in the process of change. This includes the process of digital transformation in an organisation as well as the overhaul of an organisation’s brand identity. Last week’s engagements highlighted the need for marketing professionals to be armed with the right skills and mindset to enable them to navigate change effectively and be heard in their organisations.
Luke Pigott, CEO of Celerity, began the week by sharing some helpful tips for CMOs to get the attention of the board of directors of their organisations. He argues that many CFOs and CIOs fail to see the vital contribution marketing makes to an organisation’s bottom line. CMOs, however, are uniquely qualified to lead their organisations through the process of digital transformation because of their deep understanding of an organisation’s target audience and the digital technologies available to reach them. Pigott encourages CMOs to utilize the resources they have available to them to become trusted advisors in the boardroom, framing marketing goals to align with overall business goals and coming armed with the data to convince board members to embrace digital marketing.
Sherilyn Shackell shared with the CMO.com team about her organisation The Marketing Academy, which she founded in 2010 to develop emerging leaders in the marketing industry. The organisation just celebrated its fifth birthday, and Shackell reflects on the work the organisation has done to provide CMOs with the necessary skills to do their jobs well. One of the key objectives of The Marketing Academy is to elevate the role of the marketer at the board level, echoing what Pigott said earlier in the week. Shackell shared that over 92% of The Marketing Academy’s alumni have been promoted and over 18 of them have reached the board level in their organisations.
Sometimes, a CMO is faced with the challenge of completely overhauling an organisation’s brand voice. Dan Brotzel, Content Director for Sticky Content, shared some of the mistakes CMOs need to avoid for this transition to run smoothly. This is a challenge in being heard both within an organisation and at the customer level. Brotzel suggests that a change of brand voice needs to be handled at every point of customer interaction. Rather than giving a talk about the new brand voice and hoping that people undestood it, Brotzel recommends looking for and highlighting good examples, outlining some clear and practical guidelines, and providing ample training for people in the organisation in practicing the new brand voice.
Theirry Derungs, Chief Digital Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management, spoke to the CMO.com team in our featured video last week. Speaking about digital transformation, Derungs highlighted the need for organisations to get all of its employees on the same page. The technology itself isn’t the challenge because if all employees would buy in to an organisation’s new marketing direction, the technology won’t present a problem. Derungs specifically challenges Chief Digital Officers to remain ever curious and see every meeting as an opportunity to learn something new. This curiosity will help teams who are all on the same page to continue to come up with new ideas and implement them within their organisation.
Thomas Barta, Managing Director of actvance | Global Leadership Advisers, closed out the week by highlighting the significant challenge faced by marketers to gain influence in an organisation where marketing influence has been steadily shrinking. Company leaders aren’t seeing the vital contributions their marketers are making to the organisation’s effectiveness. Barta shares some of the steps marketers can take to be noticed by their company’s leaders. He suggests that marketers would do well to be clear in identifying the highest areas of growth in a company, getting involved in the most profitable sectors of the organisation, and being a key participant in the organisation’s decision-making process. Gaining influence will require a marketer to find and work hard on what matters most to the organisation.
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