The last quarter of 2012 is a black hole for me. I spent most of what free time I had finalizing the research for and writing my second book, submitting the manuscript to my publisher last month. The second book was a bigger endeavor than the first, weighing in at some 42,000 words (versus the 30,000 words in my first tome), and it was a humungous task to distill and prioritize the really insightful information I obtained in my interviews with 26 thought-provoking CMOs. The best I could do was find some intriguing commonalities, discover some superb new ideas, and collect several fabulous quotes, and from that, suggest some common themes and useful actions for the CMOs of today....and tomorrow.
The biggest challenge now is settling on a title. I've moved from one working title to the next with my publisher as the nature of my book changed from "the first 90 days and beyond" for these newly-appointed CMOs, to a more fundamental and broader angle around CMOs leading change, especially since the senior marketers I interviewed were in either newly-created positions or up-levelled positions in their organizations where they are expected to drive significant change across the enterprise.
To that end, I'm taking a vote among some of my CMO friends and business associates who work most closely with CMOs, but you can vote too - here's the link: VOTE NOW
And stay tuned for the book to be launched in the summer of 2013!
Last week’s CMO Club Summit
presented an array of content eagerly consumed by CMOs attending the two-day conference. And while not all of the subjects included a digital element in the title of the session, digital, search and social certainly was woven throughout most of the presentations, not surprisingly.
So, when the question arose over why everything was about digital during our final lunch, I wondered how someone could even ask such a thing. Isn't digital pervasive in every aspect of marketing; indeed in every aspect of business. I'm guessing this CMO was just concerned that so many topics focused on digital and social media almost to the detriment of leaving out other traditional topics – rather than how digital is woven through all we do as marketers. This CMO went on to clarify her point by suggesting additional content around more traditional marketing topics like advertising, promotions, creativity, etc. Perhaps CMOs are getting weary of the digital emphasis.
And yet, just yesterday Advertising Age published a story
about more growth in digital. “Last year, US agencies generated 30.3% of revenue, or $10.1 billion, from digital, compared with 28% in 2010,” according to the article. “Digital revenue at agencies surged 16.4% in 2011, with growth across agency disciplines.”
Clearly digital is here to stay, thrive and expand with new technologies, platforms and devices. So, the subject matter at the CMO Club Summit around digital transformation, innovation in search, delivering with digital, ranking high on Google, innovation in mobile and bridging the digital divide were most clearly relevant for today’s CMOs. But perhaps we should also be thinking more cleverly around topics that are either languishing or relatively unexplored such as interactive television, diversity marketing, sponsorship and the like.
As a strong advocate for digital, I’ll happily gobble-up content around the subject and I’m always eager to hear about new developments. Equally though, I worry that we just grasp at the bright new shiny toys and forget our grounding in old-fashioned creativity, story-telling and coming up with the big idea which can be integrated across new – as well as more traditional – channels and platforms.
I’m becoming obsessed with how newly-appointed CMOs are setting out their mandate – whether filling the shoes of a vacant position or stepping into a newly-created position.
What do they do first? Of course so much depends on what went before. Do they need to start from scratch? Or is there an existing framework that doesn’t need fixing?
From my own point of view, the key steps to CMO success depending on being able to:
- Assess marketing capabilities across the organization
- Structure the marketing functions to be more holistic and inclusive of new disciplines (one of the areas I explored in my book)
- Unlock the business potential associated with engagement and participation to drive brand advocacy
- Harness the power of creating internal marketing champions
Of course, this is in an ideal world where money is no object and there’s plenty of time to assess and plan. But we all know that the CMO is faced with a growing list of rapidly-changing variables, against which they need to deliver short-term success. And, the CMO is invariably reliant upon resources beyond their direct control, and consequently, more than any other senior executive, they must influence peers in order to achieve their own goals. Balancing the requisite short-term wins with the longer-term aims becomes more of a challenge than ever before.
Over the next couple of months, I’ll be interviewing CMOs who have come into newly-created roles, as well as new CMOs taking on existing roles. I’ll be talking with both B2C and B2B brand CMOs as well. I have a very cool short list of interviewees, but if you have any suggestions for further candidates, please let me know.
And stay tuned for the results.
I was fortunate enough to moderate a panel of CMOs at the recent The CMO Club Leadership Summit to touch on some of the key themes in my new book, The Changing MO of the CMO – How the Convergence of Brand and Reputation is Affecting Marketers. Joining me were two of my book interviewees – Danette Leighton of The Pac-12 and Harry Pforzheimer who had just left Intuit. Also on our panel was Doug Biehn from Blue Shield of California, so we had a healthy mix of sports, healthcare and technology.
Social media seemed to take center stage with this panel as it had with many. Talking about how they continue to evolve with social media in the rapidly changing environment, Danette spoke to the unique assets that the Pac-12 has as a sports entity, so it’s about creating an emotional connections and dialogue with the organization and the individual institutions. One of their biggest objectives is trying to identify what’s coming and what’s next, and connect with the fans – some of whom are powerful alumni – and the institutions.
For healthcare, Doug explained that it’s a highly considered purchase where people have, for decades, asked their family and friends for recommendations. So social media provides a platform in a different way to engage, and the lines between marketing, customer service and PR are blurring.
Harry called out a particularly successful experiment for Intuit’s Turbo Tax product. Intuit were getting hundreds of thousands of questions, so the company started allowing customers to answer questions. Last year, customers answered 45 percent of the questions (correctly) from 22 million users.
CMOs seem to agree that there’s a certain amount of “magic” around social media in terms of engaging with their target audiences. But what about measurement? ROI? According to Doug, no one has cracked the code because one of the issues is that social media isn’t “just media”. It’s a way to engage with consumers in a two-way dialogue, and add value that’s going to make their lives better.
Harry was able to give a direct revenue-building example however. Two years ago, the Turbo Tax team undertook a two-week experiment tweeting about an issue, and redirecting consumers to its blog. It generated $180K additional revenue. So last year, Intuit ran the same program for four weeks, which generated $1 million revenue. Next year, it will run for six weeks against a revenue goal of $2.5 million, for an investment of just $60,000.
Social media clearly is driving the most change, but how do these CMOs ensure that the power of three – paid, owned and earned media (POEM) – work together for maximum impact? Danette dived into this question because, with a very small marketing budget and team, she doesn’t buy any advertising but rather relies on PR and experiential activity. “People want to talk about us because we’re sexy, and PR has become my lifeblood,” she said. She and her team have transformed the brand, and 90 percent of the efforts have been through PR.
According to Doug, “For us, reputation is really the central galvanizing thing we focus on, so our brand and reputation are critical. But we are moving away from ‘broadcasting’. We still use TV, but we’re moving away from one-way broadcasting-style communication to creating dialogue, and publishing content that will provide value to as many people as possible. We just won a Press Club Award for developing content in conjunction with The Today Show.”
Social media also is driving proliferation and fragmentation in audiences. Most CMOs are needing to expand their reach to new audiences, and this is no different for Doug. Given the Healthcare Reform Bill, the healthcare insurance industry will go through a complete transformation, moving more towards retail. “It represents a huge paradigm shift,” according to Doug, “as we move from essentially a B2B company to more B2C oriented.” And there’s a huge need, with 40 million uninsured Americans. 8 million of whom are Californians (representing 25% of population).
According to Harry, “At Intuit, it’s evolving and includes employees, customers and shareholders with the first two being most and of equal importance. If you get that right, the shareholders are taken care of.”
The conversation turned to analytics, and everyone seemed to agree that the days of pre- and post-testing were over. Now, everything is “real time”, rapid experimentation and all-encompassing.
One year ago today I interviewed my first non-US-based CMO for my book while visiting London: Laurence Bresh of VisitBritain. It was important to me to include senior marketers from outside the US. We all know that global brands are becoming more important. As Marc de Swaan Arons
says in his book The Global Brand CEO
, almost every marketer work for or competes against a global brand.
Regardless of their home base, CMOs will need to market where they see the most opportunity for growth and expansion. And aspects of an organization's social "graph" that is, how it engages with its audiences or its brand reputation will continue to transcend borders, making the global CMO role even more complex and challenging.
The results of EffectiveBrands' 2009 Leading Global Brands Study, which includes responses from some 21,500 global marketers who work on over 250+ brands across all industries, indicated that getting the right balance between local versus global is a top challenge. Nearly 65 percent of respondents confirmed that global brands have become more important over the last five years. But only 15 percent fully agreed that their global brands were effectively leveraging scale. Even few marketers believed that their organizations excelled at quickly rolling out successful global brand initiatives.
Bresh himself acknowledged the complexity in his own business. In his interview, he claimed that the business has turned 180 degrees because "instead of having lots of different fragmented campaigns in 35 markets around the world, our budget just won't allow us to do that. So we're taking a much more global approach in a sense that we have now stripped down to five central campaign themes that are promoted consistently around the world. There's a much more proactive lead from the central marketing team based in London." And he and his team have leveraged the consolidation of traditional marketing, public relations and digital into a much more effective and hard-working formula which has won several awards and which, hopefully, reaches would-be visitors much earlier in the marketing cycle.
A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog marking the anniversary of my first interview of a CMO for my book – Harry Pforzheimer of Intuit. If you’d like to download this chapter, I’m making it available here
as a sampler.
One year ago today, I interviewed Amy Curtis-McIntyre
who, until very recently, was CMO of Old Navy. I only just discovered that Amy has left The Gap brands in a management re-shuffle, but I would expect that given her marketing pedigree, she will land in an amazing new position somewhere exciting.
In a “Blue Paper” published by Spencer Stuart entitled “CMO tenure: slowing down the revolving doors”
, the average tenure for CMOs at the top 100 branded companies is just 22.9 months. Based on their data, only 14% of CMOs for the world’s top brands have been with their companies for more than three years, and nearly half are new to the job over the last 12 months.
One of the reasons given for such short tenures, compared to the CEO average of 53.8 months, is that a disconnect exists between the skills required of today’s CMO and those of the past. Just because a marketer was successful in the 1980s, where big image and even bigger advertising ruled, it does not mean he or she will be a good fit today, when successful marketing requires a much more complete, integrated and multi-audience approach.
From the research I did for my book, the sorts of attributes which will be come increasingly important to marketers will be:
- Strong leadership - CEOs or leaders will be major sources of encouragement, championing the marketing discipline.
- Boldness in planning - experimentation will be promoted and transparency across the marketing team will be key.
- Multi-stakeholder approach - the aim of marketing will be far broader than customers and employees.
- Blended thinking - media and channel agnostic approaches will need to breed engagement and participation.
- Shared KPIs - augmented metrics and analytics will be shared with other functions such as IT and Finance.
- Talent cultivation - championing training, advancement and mobility to engage and develop star talent will become critical.
If someone had told me a year ago that I could write a book in just over four months - while still doing my all-encompassing day job, I would have thought they were crazy. But it's amazing what a publisher's deadline will do. One year ago today, I did my first interview with a CMO for the book - Harry Pforzheimer of Intuit
- and I turned my completed manuscript in two days before Christmas. Of course I had done a bit of prep before that first interview - figured out my questions, done some research, started the book intro, but it wasn't until I had that first interview that the genesis of the book started taking shape.
At that point in time, there was a lot of talk about the demise of the purchase funnel, the "4 Ps" and other conventional marketing approaches. In fact, there had already been a lot written about the changing funnel. One interesting piece I found went as far back as late 2006 when ResourceInteractive
, a leading digital agency, published a paper entitled "Decoding the Digital Millennials"
in which the "old purchase funnel" is revised to more of a "purchase fish" shape, with the largest part of the new funnel, the fish's body, representing "engagement".
And the debate and discussion continues. Just today, Marketing Profs posted an article entitled "The Funnel is Dead, Long Live the Measurable Customer Narrative"
which focuses primarily on the effect that social media has had on the traditional funnel. But enough about funnels.
What made it easier to write the book was the consensus I found amongst my interviewees. There were some fairly unanimous views about how everything is converging in the marketer's world - brand, reputation, the power and importance of all audiences (not just consumers), and increasing globality. Every organization was very different - I included B2C and B2B and organizations that did both. I spoke with CMOs of very large organizations, like GE and IBM, and with some smaller organizations such as the Pac-12 and Old Navy. And I included some CMOs from outside the US such as the British Olympic Association and Nissan. While the CMOs I spoke with had very different org charts, they had a remarkable amount in common in terms of their points-of-view and approaches, and that, in turn, made my job a lot easier in terms of setting out perspectives and drawing some conclusions.
I still can't believe that was just only one year ago today. Thank you to all my interviewees!
One of my New Year's resolutions was to re-learn Spanish (I was fluent when I graduated from university). I've made very little progress, but this week I'm having an initial meeting with a Spanish tutor in an effort to kick-start my education!
The current (July/August) issue of Fast Company
features a Fast Talk feature entitled Latin Lovers
which Hispanic marketing experts and their some of their successes. It's fascinating and covers brands such as Southwest Airlines, JC Penney, Podsport, Telemundo and L'Oreal.
Earlier this year, I attended a NBC Universal Series entitled "The Changing Face of the America Consumer", which left me thinking that my New Year's resolution was even more timely than most. For those of us who follow the trends in diversity, the rising figures come as little surprise. And yet, with Raul Cisneros
of the US Census Bureau presented the latest census results, it make me want to learn more - and anyone can by going to the Census website.
The "redistricting data"
is particularly interesting as it shows what's changing state-by-state. Texas data was released at the time of the NBCU event which showed a nearly 42% increase in Hispanic or Latino population in the last 10 years. The Census newsroom
also is a great source for stats and data points - apparently some 250 billion pieces of information!
Cisneros reported overall that in 2010, the American population comprised 50 million Hispanics of which 12 million were between 20-34 years old. By 2050, the figures will rise to 133 million and 30 million respectively. In 2009, one in five Americans born were Hispanic.
Perhaps more interesting though is how today's American Hispanic consumes media. Jackie Hernandez
, COO of Telemundo Communications Group, followed Cisneros with an impressive presentation on GYLA (Generation Young Latino Americans) based on research undertaken by NBCU. Statistically, 62% of Hispanics are now born in the US, and one-half of Hispanics in the US are under 25 years old. By 2020, 66% of American teens will be Hispanic.
More importantly though is how they consumer their media. Language is fluid - 70% use "Spanglish"; 74% speak both Spanish and English with very few speaking only one language - 15% only English and 11% only Spanish. GYLAs are a blended generation and consume their media accordingly, with the largest share going to Spanish broadcast (35%) and English cable (31% - with a high density in sports content).
So while I'll be just find sticking to English, I can definitely see the merit in getting back into Spanish from a marketing perspective!
In addition to the marketing community being so well represented at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this year, up 20 percent from last year, there were a number of "firsts" and other impressive stats to once again bring Cannes to the fore of marketing conversations. For starters, it was the first time for the Festival was called the International Festival of Creativity in its 58-year history. Previously, it was the International Festival of Advertising.
Clearly the new name and economic upswing attracted the audience. Overall attendance was up to more than 9,000 delegates including many hopefuls from the 90 countries represented by the 29,000 competition entries, an entry level up 19 percent on 2010.
There were two new categories as well. The festival launched the Creative Effectiveness Lions to reward creativity that showed a measurable and proven impact on a client’s business – creativity that affected consumer behavior, brand equity, sales and, where identifiable, profit. The first Grand Prix winner was Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO London’s Sandwich campaign for PepsiCo’s Walkers Crisps
. It was the epitome of what my book, "The Changing MO of the CMO", is all about!
And the Festival also introduced the Holding Company Of The Year award honoring the holding company obtaining the highest scores for success across the Lions. WPP won.
Country firsts were Grand Prix winners from China
– very exciting for those teams, and indeed entire country delegations.
Festival organizers also launched a Cannes Creative Academy For Young Marketers
, a week-long program aiming to nurture the next generation of marketing industry leaders. Jim Stengel, former global marketing officer for P&G – and now president and CEO of think-tank and consultancy The Jim Stengel Company, was appointed the academy’s dean.
I’m already looking forward to the next Festival which will be two weeks earlier next year – June 3-9, 2012.
With clients now accounting for 20 percent of Cannes delegates, the Festival was a good place to launch my new book. In fact, overall attendance at Cannes
this year was up to a new record level attracting something like an additional 2,000 to around 11,000 delegates.
As well as engaging in the Festival, many of the senior marketers took the stage. Unilever CEO Paul Polman
and CMO Keith Weed were interviewed about the challenges facing their business by WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell. Polman introduced three drivers of change in marketing which is creating “the new normal”:
1. The shift of economic power to the east and the south
2. Digital and technology
Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke was interviewed by Publicis CEO Maurice Lévy, and other CMOs took the stage to present their brands, discuss challenges and talk about new directions. Andy Fennell, CMO of Diageo, said that flair, agility, consumer insight and execution are the four fundamentals of Diageo’s marketing and creative process. Jim Farley of Ford talked about the client’s role as creative coach in a new people-powered reality which is totally in line with some of the points made in my book.
Some brands brought some star power to the stage. Dana Anderson, SVP of marketing strategy and communications at Kraft Foods introduced Malcolm Gladwell
, and Yahoo’s Ross Levinsohn, EVP of the America’s region, interviewed Robert Redford
. Dana also ran a Master Class
with Rob Reilly of Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
Some CMOs were fortunate enough to pick up some impressive awards. Noel Wijsmans, global retail manager and vice president of IKEA Group, picked up the Cannes Lions Advertiser of the Year. Given that the Festival has been renamed to honor Creativity rather than the traditional moniker of Advertising, perhaps the title of that award should be changed as well?
Mark Pritchard, chief marketing and brand building officer of P&G, took the stage three times on the final awards night to pick up an Integrated Gold Lion AND a Creative Effectiveness Lion for Wieden & Kennedy’s Old Spice campaign
, and a Creative Effectiveness Lion for BBDO India’s Gillette campaign entitled “Women Against Lazy Stubble.”
And P&G CEO Bob McDonald also was at Cannes taking an interest and getting quoted.