CMO.com Highlights — A Look at the Expansion of Skills and Strategies for Today’s CMO
Last week’s exclusive content on CMO.com 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 CMO.com 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 CMO.com and learn from some of the top industry leaders and innovators. Please let us know what you think.