CMO Highlights: Key Evolutions in Marketing

Last week’s exclu­sive con­tent on focused on some key changes that organ­i­sa­tions must make to reach more cus­tomers with their mar­ket­ing. No dis­cus­sion of the devel­op­ment of mar­ket­ing would be com­plete with­out men­tion of the vital role of dig­i­tal. Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion can be a dif­fi­cult tran­si­tion, but with­out it, many busi­ness­es are in dan­ger of becom­ing irrel­e­vant. Dig­i­tal is no longer a nice addi­tion to an organisation’s strat­e­gy; it is, as one of our con­trib­u­tors men­tioned this past week, the water in which all organ­i­sa­tions are swim­ming. Oth­er key dis­cus­sions this past week focused on the evo­lu­tion of con­sumer taste in brand con­tent, the space that brand­ed con­tent inhab­its, and the role of data in an organisation’s pur­suit of customer-centricity.

Paul Ran­dle, Dig­i­tal Capa­bil­i­ty Direc­tor at Brand Learn­ing, touch­es on an insight­ful metaphor for the way brands relate to dig­i­tal. Because so much of the world lives in the dig­i­tal econ­o­my, a brand’s immer­sion in the dig­i­tal world is vital to its mar­ket­ing suc­cess. Ran­dle describes dig­i­tal as the sea in which all brands swim. The prob­lem is that many brands are mere­ly dip­ping their toes in the water by hir­ing a few experts. True immer­sion will require a brand to root its dig­i­tal iden­ti­ty in every area of the organisation.

Last week’s inter­view with Julia Porter, Direc­tor of Con­sumer Rev­enues at Guardian News and Media (GNM), high­lights The Guardian’s suc­cess with mar­ket­ing in the dig­i­tal space with a 20% sub­scrip­tion increase in just two years. Porter dis­cuss­es the dif­fer­ences between ana­logue and dig­i­tal as well as the chal­lenges that come with mov­ing to dig­i­tal. The Guardian strives to devel­op a cul­ture that is data dri­ven and com­fort­able with man­ag­ing a large amount of data avail­able to them. Porter has also pushed her organ­i­sa­tion to focus on details and devel­op the sin­gle cus­tomer view, which she says is all about “mod­el­ling and pro­fil­ing cus­tomer behaviour”.

The video high­light last week fea­tured an inter­view with the charis­mat­ic Andreas Gall, Chief Tech­nol­o­gy Offi­cer at Red Bull Media House. Gall believes that the days of brand­ed con­tent being restrict­ed to adver­tis­ing slots are over. He sees brand­ed con­tent being more inte­grat­ed into prime-time pro­gram­ming and gives the exam­ple of his own organ­i­sa­tion, which cre­ates a lot of pro­duc­tions that “give wings to the ideas from peo­ple inside the mas­ter-brand”. He men­tions the incred­i­ble leap from the edge of space made by Felix Baum­gart­ner as a piv­otal moment in the way media com­pa­nies per­ceive brand­ed con­tent. It’s an evo­lu­tion of brand­ed con­tent to being eye-lev­el with media companies.

Tom Oller­ton, Mar­ket­ing and Inno­va­tion Direc­tor at We Are Social, demon­strates the ways in which con­sumers have evolved when it comes to the use of sex in mar­ket­ing. While it can still be said that sex sells, con­sumers have become a bit more sophis­ti­cat­ed. Today’s con­sumers require mar­keters to exer­cise a bit more thought. Oller­ton uses the exam­ple of Aber­crom­bie and Fitch to show that a brand’s use of high­ly sex­u­alised imagery may increase sales in the short term, but may hurt the brand in the long run. Aber­crom­bie and Fitch, after all, has had to change its approach to mar­ket­ing to get peo­ple more focused on the prod­uct. Many con­sumers expect brands to pro­duce good in the world, so sex in mar­ket­ing must be used with a bit more care and calculation.

Shub­hen Chit­nis, Head of Dig­i­tal Con­sult­ing at Tata Con­sul­tan­cy Ser­vices, end­ed the week by dis­cussing the vital evo­lu­tion organ­i­sa­tions must embrace to be more cus­tomer-cen­tric. Tra­di­tion­al­ly, CMOs and CIOs have kept to their own space with­in an organ­i­sa­tion. But in today’s dig­i­tal econ­o­my, cus­tomer-cen­tric­i­ty requires mar­ket­ing and IT pro­fes­sion­als to join togeth­er. In the past, data plus ana­lyt­ics was a nice lux­u­ry to have, but no more. Chit­nis calls for an align­ment of the vision and strate­gies of CMOs and CIOs, and he uses the exam­ple of cus­tomer-cen­tric busi­ness­es such as Ama­zon and Lego. He also gives some help­ful tips on how to make the part­ner­ship work with­in an organisation.

We invite you to take some time this week to read and engage with our exclu­sive dis­cus­sions on with some of the industry’s top mar­keters. Please let us know what you think.