Highlights: Being Heard and Navigating Change

Last week’s focus on 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 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 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.

Please read and engage with our exclu­sive con­tent on and let us know what you think.