Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been on a listening tour. I’ve been meeting people all across the marketing and advertising community to understand what’s on their minds, and where the industry is headed.
The conversations have been a good reminder that we’re in a service industry whose goal is to create strong brands. Time and time again, I heard about three strategic opportunities where CMOs aren’t getting enough support. They’ve been described to me as follows:
- Customer Influence. Customers are telling my company more information than ever about themselves. How do I make sense of it? How do I use it responsibly? How do I let customers know they’ve been heard? In other words, how do I open my organization up to customer influence?
- Product Innovation. How does customer involvement change what my brand delivers? How does it affect our product offering? Should we be providing additional features and services? Should our brand bring together physical and digital touchpoints? In other words, how do we make it easier for customers to engage us? What’s the right course for product innovation?
- Brand Experience. How does innovation change our promise to new customers, and our relationships with current customers? How does it change company culture, and employee interactions? Clearly innovation will alter how we communicate and behave. If so, what is the new brand experience that changes how customers feel about us?
These are fertile opportunities for an advisor, a strategist, or a consultancy to have an impact on a brand, to help a CMO transform his organization into marketing leaders.
They’re also a reminder that although there may be a lot of hype in the new media landscape, native advertising and programmatic buying are not really what keeps a CMO up at night. I’ve heard a lot about them recently, and while they’re interesting, they’re only going to command CMO attention if they related to one of these three opportunities.