2008. nov. 24.

Future tense: The global CMO

by Economist Intelligence Unit

The chief marketing officer (CMO), a title that barely existed 15 years ago, is under growing pressure to keep pace with rapidly changing digital media and globalisation. The rise of the Internet has changed the face of marketing from one to two-way communications with customers. The increasing adoption by business of interactive technologies, for example, wikis, blogs, mashups and other tools, has enabled consumers to interact with firms as never before, creating unprecedented opportunities for marketers at global companies. A new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Future tense: The global CMO, sponsored by Google, examines these issues and suggests that CMOs at global companies must recast marketing operations to meet these 21st-century objectives. Leading marketing executives must move beyond traditional advertising, marketing and brand awareness to a more transformative role, driving innovation across the entire business.

The CMO’s traditional dilemma of demonstrating effectiveness, return on marketing investment and relevance to the business persists. However, the democratisation of how information is consumed, produced and disseminated is forcing the global CMO to adopt a broader role in engaging all corporate stakeholders, from their traditional audience of customers and prospects to investors, employees, government regulators and others. This often entails remaking operations into integrated marketing and communications organisations that work collaboratively across the enterprise to gather, develop and use customer intelligence while blending talent with a nuanced understanding of their business. Successful CMOs must not only evolve the marketing function into an integrated, strategic component of the business—rather than simply a cost centre—but are also draw on long-practised but previously separate disciplines of PR and corporate communications to build integrated marketing and communications operations that encourage ongoing dialogue with customers and focus on long-term relationships.

Key best practices illuminated by this study include the following:

  • Balancing global brand awareness with local market relevance. Centralising global marketing functions such as advertising development and production can create economies of scale and save money, but they must be guided by the needs of the local market and customer insights. At the same time, budgets must be freed up so that regional directors can make appropriate decisions based on market demands.

  • Integrating marketing with other forms of corporate communications. Both the interactive nature of Web 2.0 technologies and the transparency of corporate messages among different constituencies—such as customers, investors, media, regulatory bodies and employees (past, present and future)—demand the integration of various forms of marketing and communications. Businesses can no longer segment audiences and messages as if audiences don’t talk to each other.

  • Adopting new media. In particular, there should be a specific budget for experimentation with the newest Web 2.0 technologies. To remain competitive, companies must engage customers and fully exploit the interactive nature of digital media to create a stronger affinity with their brands among consumers and other stakeholders. The CMO should have the foresight to anticipate how different constituencies will respond to different events, messages and channels, and should be able to deal with the proliferation of new-media tools and expanded audiences.

  • Developing new skills, capabilities—and partnerships. CMOs must not only position their companies, but help define them. To do so, they need to understand the fundamental business model, brand, culture, policies and values of the organisation. Equally important in terms of adapting to the evolution of new media are partnerships with vendors whose expertise can be used to get new initiatives to market faster—and more effectively—than a company would on its own.

  • Championing innovation. The need for greater accountability for marketing expenditure is pushing global companies towards digital marketing campaigns with higher returns than traditional media. The interactive nature of the latest digital-media vehicles provides the opportunity to develop deeper insights into customer dynamics and allows the CMO to become the corporate champion of customer insight.

Download the briefing paper
Future tense: The global CMO

1 megjegyzés:

  1. Beers set the tone for the conference with this comment during her opening keynote. A simple message, but one that CMOs often forget.