Highlights — A Look at the Expansion of Skills and Strategies for Today’s CMO

Last week’s exclu­sive con­tent on touched on the skills and strate­gies today’s CMO embraces to stay com­pet­i­tive in today’s mar­ket and take advan­tage of oppor­tu­ni­ties when they come along. Today’s CMO isn’t just con­cerned with the mar­ket­ing side of an organ­i­sa­tion any­more but takes a vest­ed inter­est in the com­pa­ny as a whole. This, com­bined with the diver­si­ty of skills CMOs must now bring to the table, posi­tions CMOs to seize the advan­tage of unprece­dent­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties for advance­ment. In addi­tion to the pro­fes­sion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties afford­ed to the most inno­v­a­tive CMOs, brands have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to adopt strate­gies, such as one touched on last week called atom­i­sa­tion, that posi­tions the brand to reach more cus­tomers than ever before. Of course, with a broad range of skills and a host of con­sid­er­a­tions, it’s always impor­tant for mar­keters to focus on con­sis­ten­cy in the cus­tomer experience.

The week began with a look at the evo­lu­tion of the CMO role to be one that broad­ens its focus from the mar­ket­ing aspects of a busi­ness to include invest­ment in the over­all busi­ness strat­e­gy of the com­pa­ny. Accord­ing to Jeff Dodds, CEO of Tele2 and for­mer CMO of Vir­gin Media, the rea­son for this broad­ened focus is that mar­ket­ing is chang­ing and requir­ing more atten­tion by CMOs on cus­tomer insight. As CMOs devel­op more skills that span across dif­fer­ent areas of an orga­ni­za­tion, the jump from CMO to CEO is becom­ing a more viable oppor­tu­ni­ty. Accord­ing to Ian Cran­na, vice pres­i­dent mar­ket­ing and cat­e­go­ry EMEA, Star­bucks, CMOs are encour­aged to learn from lead­ers in var­i­ous fields and devel­op the skills required to run a business.

The inter­view from last week with Andy Hard­ing, the Chief Cus­tomer Offi­cer of U.K. retail­er House of Fras­er, focused on his company’s organ­i­sa­tion­al restruc­ture called “Project Gold.” The objec­tive of Project Gold was to posi­tion the com­pa­ny to meet the chang­ing expec­ta­tions of mul­ti­chan­nel cus­tomers. Hard­ing men­tioned the sur­pris­ing speed at which knowl­edge trans­fer occurred between on- and off-line teams dur­ing the process. The tran­si­tion involved com­bin­ing many roles and intro­duc­ing new ones, which can be a chal­lenge. The key to House of Fraser’s suc­cess, accord­ing to Hard­ing, was to include every­one in the process.

Mark Cur­tis, Chief Client Offi­cer at Fjord, shared some insights on what he calls atom­i­sa­tion. Atom­i­sa­tion is the blend­ing of ser­vices to reach more cus­tomers across dif­fer­ent ser­vices. Cur­tis uses the exam­ple of Spo­ti­fy, cer­tain­ly not the first music stream­ing ser­vice, but one that realis­es the cus­tomer desire to uti­lize a ser­vice across a num­ber of dif­fer­ent plat­forms and dig­i­tal touch points. This is the same inte­gra­tion used by Google Maps and Pay­pal. Although there’s a cer­tain loss of con­trol over the brand expe­ri­ence, atom­i­sa­tion is vital for brands to stay com­pet­i­tive with today’s chang­ing cus­tomer expectations.

A recap of Adobe’s Ams­ter­dam Sym­po­sium shed some light on impor­tant mar­ket­ing con­cerns such as cus­tomer-cen­tric­i­ty, con­tent, and cre­ativ­i­ty. Specif­i­cal­ly, the pre­sen­ters at the sym­po­sium encour­aged mar­keters to avoid think­ing about these con­cerns in iso­la­tion. Adobe’s EMEA Pres­i­dent, Mark Zablan, shared the inter­sec­tion of these three top­ics, stress­ing the need to be cre­ative in design­ing the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence, which requires great con­tent. Denise Kuschews­ki, head of dig­i­tal con­tent at TNT, also high­light­ed the role of data in reveal­ing what cus­tomers want in their con­tent. A num­ber of oth­er speak­ers echoed the need for inter­nal con­sis­ten­cy between all ele­ments to give cus­tomers a reli­able brand experience.

Dan Brotzel, Con­tent Direc­tor at Sticky Con­tent, end­ed the week by ask­ing whether cus­tomers will ever tire of the nudge tech­niques often used by mar­keters. While nudge the­o­ry orig­i­nat­ed in fields out­side of mar­ket­ing and often uti­lizes tech­niques that could be seen as manip­u­la­tion to con­sumers, the best dig­i­tal mar­keters under­stand nudge the­o­ry as some­thing much more pos­i­tive. Nudge the­o­ry is about get­ting peo­ple to do what is right for them with­out try­ing to force them to do so. Mar­keters would do well to cre­ate nudgers that pro­mote bet­ter choic­es for con­sumers to choose from.

We invite you to engage with our exclu­sive con­tent on and learn from some of the top indus­try lead­ers and inno­va­tors. Please let us know what you think.