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!
My UK business partner, Sociagility, published its report on the London 2012 'Socialympics'
last week, which makes for some great reading - not least because it was based on 43,500 data points!
What's interesting to note is the ebb and flow, the ups and downs, of the 25 Olympic sponsor brands that were tracked for 145 days across four social networks and five dimensions of social media performance.
Some brands like P&G, BMW, Cadbury and Cisco, benefitted from an early start, while others like adidas, British Airways, Coke, EDF and Visa, concentrated their efforts later on when Olympics fever was at a peak. By contrast, a significant number of brands did not appear to engage with social media at all, or only sporadically - which is, in this day and age, pretty unbelievable to me!
Interestingly, some social media activation was undertaken in isolation or seemingly as an afterthought, or merely as an amplifier for advertising campaigns. I've long been a proponent of integration so I found it surprising that some campaigns didn't have social fully integrated.
Promising smaller brands outperformed larger ones in the rankings by adopting what appeared to be a more proactive policy of engaging in real social dialogue, thus underlining the need for two-way communication. The brands that led the Sociagility PRINT™
rankings were those that used social media to focus on engagement - not just brand awareness.
A quick visualization of the change in rankings is below, but you can download the full report here
When tonight's Opening Ceremony kicks off for the 2012 London Olympic Games, all eyes will be on what has been hailed in the lead-up as “the digital Olympics” or “the world’s first social Games”. And while so much will be captured during the Games themselves, the social revolution around the Games began weeks if not months ago for both athletes and sponsors.
The 25 main global and local sponsors have paid dearly for their official rights. Estimates of up to $1.6 billion have been reported. But of course sponsorship rights are just part of the cost. Much more is spent on marketing activity to maximize sponsors’ involvement and support. Advertising Age
recently reported on some of the more significant campaigns, and some of these sponsors also highlighted their Olympic programs when their CMOs spoke at last month’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Coca-Cola’s Joe Tripodi showcased the brand’s “Move to the Beat” effort aimed at teens globally. Visa’s Antonio Lucio spoke about his brand featuring triumphant moments in Olympic history – and Olympic Gold Medal Winner Nadia Comaneci joined his seminar on the main stage. And P&G’s Marc Pritchard presented his brand’s “Proud Sponsor of Mom” campaign, complete with “mommymetries” aka short documentaries about mom, or mum in some parts of the world.
Other brands championing major Olympic programs include McDonald’s with its “Champions of Play” campaign, GE with its Healthy Share app on Facebook, and Samsung with its US Olympic Genome Project.
All of these campaigns kicked in long before tonight's Opening Ceremony. UK social media consultancy Sociagility
started tracking Olympic sponsors' social media profiles 100 days ago
. At first, P&G led by a long shot, followed by BMW and Cadbury in the silver and bronze positions respectively. But last week's scorecard
shows Coca-Cola winning gold, followed by British Airways and adidas. P&G had dropped down to 8th position followed by BMW as a top performer.
With such a dynamic shift on the social Olympic leader board, it will be interesting to see further movement during the Games. It may be that brands like Coke and adidas have more affinity with the Olympics versus newer sponsors like P&G, Cadbury and BMW.
Only time will tell. There certainly is no shortage of activity in the main social channels, and much of the conversation is likely to be around the Olympics during the Games. In his article “Why Social Media Will Reshape the 2012 Olympics,”
Mashable’s Sam Laird recently documented social’s growth since the last Olympics, from 6 million registered Twitter users to 500 million since 2008; and from 100 million Facebook users to more than 900 million in the same time frame. Worth checking out the Infographic he also posted on “How Mobile, Social Will Win the 2012 Olympics”
sourced from Nielsen, eMarketer and Forrester.
Given an increasingly large marketing delegation, an undercurrent of dissatisfaction from the creative community at large seemed to bubble under the surface of this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity
. But creative folks should beware – it’s the marketers who are looking for solutions, and who are responsible mainly for marshaling the creative power around and in support of their brands.
2012 certainly seemed to be “the year of the CMO” at the Festival. The sharp rise in registered delegates - from 9,000 last year to 11,000 this year - was primarily due to the number of clients attending, including delegates from 92 big-name brands and 550 marketing organizations in total
. They had starring roles in seminars, forums and workshops, as well as made appearances in “fringe” events such as the McCannes Rendezvous “Cocktails & Conversations” session, and The CMO Club Roundtable.
Of course many of the usual culprits were there such as P&G, Unilever and Coke, but there were several new brands on the scene too, and of course many brands doing double duty – not just there to speak or see what’s new, but also there to market to the creative community (Google, Adobe, Getty Images, Facebook and Yahoo! to name a few).
In terms of seminars, many CMOs had starring roles: Visa, Coke, P&G, Unilever and Nike. The Coke seminar with CMO Joe Tripodi (interview)
was “blow away” good in every sense – content, creativity and delivery. Same with the Unilever seminar starring CMO Keith Weed and SVP of Marketing Marc Mathieu. In both cases, major announcements were made. Coke announced the latest iteration of its program “The Beat of London 2012” for the Olympics.
And Unilever launched its global Waterworks™
initiative with Facebook and PSI (Population Services International) as the world’s first open social graph, “using technology to create lasting change”.
There were forums and workshops geared for and starring senior marketers as well. Dana Anderson of Kraft led a particularly good forum on “5 Sneaky Ways to Get Great Work” which was highly entertaining, and which featured work from a range of brands, including the “Angry Pilgrims” creative for Stove Top Stuffing
The workshop led by Brand Learning’s co-founders Mhairi McEwan and Andy Bird was also tailored to the marketing community and for agency folk wanting to better understand the marketing community. Entitled “The Growth Drivers: Challenging the Way Marketers & Agencies Work Together”, it featured Kerris Bright, CMO of Ideal Standard International, Barry Herstein, recent CMO for Snapfish, and Amanda Mackenzie, CMO for Aviva.
from left: M Sachs, M Klein, M Banikarim, J Travis, W Clark
Of the “fringe” events, my panel entitled “Cocktails & Conversations at Cannes”, which was part of the McCann Rendezvous, was especially enlightening in terms of the creative process as seen through the eyes of senior marketers. Joining me were Wendy Clark of Coca-Cola, John Travis of Adobe, Maryam Banikarim of Gannett, and Michelle Klein for Smirnoff at Diageo. And we got into a whole host of issues including ownership of creativity, getting the right balance between data and creativity, experimentation and learning, and internal politics. Arun Sudhaman wrote an excellent re-cap on the session for The Holmes Report
Another “fringe” event, The CMO Club’s CMO Roundtable, was kicked off by CMO Club CEO Pete Krainik and included senior marketers from Yahoo!, Sovereign/Santander Bank, Carlsberg, Ferrero, General Mills, Heineken, Google, Beiersdorf (Nivea), Philips and Unilever. Hosted by EffectiveBrands and MOFILM, the conversation focused how to best leverage global brands, using frameworks, best practice sharing, story-telling and engaging in the conversation.
And marketing delegates were not confined to the upper echelon. 2012 was the second year for the Cannes Creative Academy for Young Marketers
(under 30) for young marketers who want to learn about creativity, with Dean of the Academy, former global marketing officer for P&G Jim Stengel, who also earlier this year launched his book Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's Greatest Companies.
So while creatives may not be overly enthusiastic about an increasing number of marketers flocking to the Cannes Lions, they should at least be appreciative that marketers are taking an increasing interest in creativity and how to encourage best-in-class creativity, and that they respect the Cannes Lions enough to support the Festival with truly amazing content, major announcements and thought-provoking conversations.
As Claire Beale, editor of the UK's Campaign magazine, said, "This is a serious, full-on business event that's a thoroughly justifiable way of spending a week out of the office and even a fairly justifiable way of spending several thousands of expense-account pounds [dollars]. It's perhaps not as much fun as it used to be, but then, what is?"
Wendy Clark, Coke
One week from today (Wed 20 June), I'll be moderating a panel of senior marketers called "Cocktails and Conversations" at the Cannes Lions Festival. The panel will include Wendy Clark
, SVP of Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities at Coca-Cola; John Travis, VP of Brand Marketing at Adobe; and Maryam Banikarim
, SVP & CMO of Gannett.
"Cocktails & Conversations" will be part of the "McCann Rendezvous"
series to be hosted at La Cote Terrace at the Carlton Hotel, facing La Croisette. The event will begin around 6.45pm, with our panel running from 7.30-8pm plus Q&A.
Maryam Banikarim, Gannett
We'll be discussing the name of the game in Cannes - creativity - but we'll be putting our own spin on the subject in terms of working practices in marketing versus creativity in the marketing product itself.
I've been thinking about appropriate questions to field around the creative process, creativity in experimentation, origination of creativity (agency partners versus client side), creativity in the innovation process, and more. But I'd be happy to entertain any questions my readers might have - just please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Following our panel, it would be only fitting to have some creative entertainment. Neon Trees
, an American alternative rock band from Provo, Utah, will be performing for the audience.
This year's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity
kicks off in less than two weeks and is set to feature more content than ever before, including two new content streams - 1) The Forum
- hour-long sessions from experts in a particular field, and 2) the TechTalk
series, a new showcase that puts delegates into direct contact with people creating the tools and solutions the industry will be using in the near future.
I've got my dance card nearly full already of what I consider top picks for the marketers attending the festival, and I'm highlighting three sessions in each of three categories below. Big brand Olympic fever
First of all, caught up in pre-Olympic fever, there are three big brand/Olympic sponsor seminars which are musts:
Want to be entertained?
- On Monday at 2.30pm, Visa's Antonio Lucio, global chief marketing, strategy & corporate development officer, will be presenting with former Gold Medalist Nadia Comaneci, Patrick O'Neill of TBWA\CHIAT\DAY and Timo Lumme of IOC Television and Marketing Services. The panel, entitled "Visa & TBWA - The Making of a Global Olympics Marketing Campaign - Right Approach, Right Message, Right Time" will be moderated by AdAge agency editor Rupal Parekh.
- On Tuesday at 9.30am, Coca-Cola's Joe Tripodi, EVP, chief marketing & commercial officer, will be speaking about "The Coca-Cola Company: New Rules of Marketing and Consumer Engagement".
- And on Thursday at 3.30pm, P&G's Marc Pritchard, global marketing & brand building officer, will take the stage to talk about "What's the Big Idea at P&G?"
A couple of seminars are designed to do just that!
The client-agency relationship - how to get the best?
- On Wednesday at 9.30am, actor/director Forest Whitaker will take the main stage to present "The Democratization of Content" with David Alberts, chief creative officer of crowdsourcing agency MOFILM, Brian Message, co-manager of Radiohead & chairman of the Music Manager Forum, and Ben Spencer, head of brand management for Everything Everywhere.
- Meanwhile, this year will be Grey's sixth annual "Legends of Music Seminar" featuring a talk with Deborah Harry of Blondie, one of popular music's most enduring and creative icons. Grey CEO Jim Heekin will introduce the seminar at 1.45pm on Friday, and Tim Mellors, chief creative officer and vice-chairman, will interview Debbie.
- And finally, a must for sports enthusiasts - on Friday at 12.30pm, The (annual) Cannes Debate will feature World Cup winning footballer Ronaldo (also member of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2014 World Cup), and Lord Sebastian Coe, chair of the London 2012 Olympic Organizing Committee, moderated by Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP.
There are a number of opportunities for this, but my picks for the week include a Forum session on Monday, a workshop that will be run and repeated on Thursday, and a seminar on Friday.
- The Forum - entitled "Five Sneaky Ways to Get Great Work" - is on Monday at 3.30pm and is sure to be a lively discussion between Dana Anderson, SVP of marketing strategy and communications at Kraft Foods, Paul Lavoie, co-founder & chairman of TAXI, Nicolas Pimentel, founder & innovation director at +Castro, Chris Palengat, EVP/worldwide account director at Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Group, and Maria Mujica, director for Gum & Candy, Kraft LatAm.
- The workshop that will be run twice on Thursday is at 9.30am and 2pm entitled "How Marketers and Their Agencies Can Work Better Together", featuring Mhairi McEwan, co-founder/CEO and Andy Bird, co-founder/executive director of Brand Learning.
- Finally, on Friday at 4.45pm, Marc de Swaan Arons, chairman of EffectiveBrands, will be joined on the main stage with Lennard Hoornik, president of South Asia Pacific for HTC, Nigel Gilbert, CMO of Virgin Media, and Chris Burggraeve, recent CMO of Anheuser-Busch InBev for a session entitled "Building Effective Global Brands".
Of course there are endless other seminars, workshops and forums to tap into. I particularly enjoy Saatchi & Saatchi's New Directors' Showcase for sheer the sheer creativity which is always on the Thursday at 11am, and there are countless other "big names" on board to speak including former President Clinton, Smokey Robinson and writer/philosopher Alain de Botton and creative guru Sir John Hegarty, to name a few.
The recent CMO Club Summit demonstrated to me more than ever how many variations of a CMO job spec there are. Of course there are the traditional delineations - B2C, B2B or both; industry sector; size of business; size of budget; responsibilities held - the list is pretty much infinite. Company culture, CEO mindset and C-suite support also factor in to the make-up of a CMO. Personalities and interests of the CMO, as well, impact how the CMO approaches the task at hand.
To make the position even more challenging, the role of the CMO is probably one of the least understood by both the outside world and internal audiences. Marketing is often seen as a "black box" confused with sales, and which is sometimes viewed as a financial drain on an organization, funding expensive advertising campaigns, sponsorships and other untold extravagant items.
While marketing accountability is increasing and marketers are working more closely than ever before with their CEOs, CFOs and HR heads, the marketing discipline is still often shrouded in mystery. It is probably the least understood management function at the boardroom level – if it is at the boardroom level, often getting short shrift in terms of attention except when there is an issue. And yet it can be such a powerful driver of growth, innovation and reputation. In fact, according to Wikipedia
, the CMO is ultimately responsible for facilitating growth, sales and marketing strategy. He or she must work towards objectives such as revenue generation, cost reduction or risk mitigation.
The good news is that according to Spencer Stuart, the average tenure for a CMO was up from just under 35 months in 2009 to 42 months in 2010, but how much of that was driven by the economic conditions versus improved performance? And the average masks significant differences in tenure across industry sectors. For example, the life expectancy of CMOs in the highly competitive communications and media sector is just 22 months, and in the restaurant business just 25 months.
I’ve seen a few job specs for CMOs over the last several months as research for my book, and I never cease to be surprised by the diversity of responsibilities. You do not see that with CEO or CFO job specs! On a basic level, CMOs are supposed to have significant influence over all “4 Ps of marketing” – promotion, product, place and price. However in reality, a study conducted across over 1,700 CMOs by IBM
last year indicated that while CMOs exert a strong influence over promotional activities such as advertising, external communications and social media initiatives, in general they play a smaller role in shaping the other 3 Ps. And that’s a problem given that they don’t have power over the combined effect.
So what we have here is a sort of “50 shades” effect, but what we need are some industry standards in terms of CMO role and responsibilities which can be used to inform and educate the business community at large.
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.
Welcome to my new website which ushers in my new consulting business, Changing MO LLC, based on the tenets of the book I launched last year as well as ongoing dialogue and facilitation with CMOs over the course of the last few months. In short, Changing MO consultancy offers change navigation and management for senior marketers, specializing in the key developments driving the rapid shifts in the marketing environment through social media, integration, harnessing influence and leveraging best practice across silos and geographical boundaries.
The website still houses information about my book, which I launched at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, but now there is a lot more information surrounding the services on offer, our terrific business partners, and our fantastically-clever board of advisors. I must admit that it has been difficult to box in the specific services on offer, but the content provides a good snapshot, and I have partners and individual consultants on which to call to deliver the goods when it’s appropriate.
Taking a page from the book, the imagery of the website has taken a natural progression from “disruption” to the more general “change” and “rebirth” associated with nature. It seemed appropriate to given the nature and theme of our services.
And the website links to my increasing social media presence – including an updated Twitter home page and new Pinterest account which includes what is probably my favorite pinboard on “fave infographics”.
Stay tuned over the coming months as new projects are posted, new events are announced, and new liaisons are agreed and launched. In the meantime, I would welcome your feedback and ideas.
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.