Three Views On The Future Of The CMO

The world of marketing is undergoing a massive evolution, consider these three ideas shaping the future of the CMO.

1. Technology Transcendence

For kids today, technology is omnipresent. It’s just there, in everything they do. They are born digital natives. Technology is just a part of life (kinda like sliced bread is for us).

If you hold the highest marketing position in your company, it’s time you become a digital native too. Replace any fear of technology with the acceptance of it. It is no longer a separate “thing” to think about. It must be a part of your subconscious. You need to look through the technology lens and find all the ways it can help you.

2. The Collaborative Strategist

Did we really need the marketing automation software industry to be born to realize how important it is for marketing to be in lock step alignment with sales? One wouldn’t think so, yet it seems that it is the catalyst sparking more and more alignment conversations.

The CMO’s role is to open the door to collaboration and work together with your sales counterpart to determine the next best moves to optimize revenue growth.

3. An Open Point Of View

Working to control your marketing messages today is futile. It is no longer a battle that can be won. It’s time for the brand police to retire.

Changes to the way marketing messages are perceived and consumed have forced the need for a deeper understanding of consumption habits and an open approach to interacting and communicating with your customers. Consider the ease at which your message can be hijacked by consumers (think: BP Oilspill or Nestle), and you quickly realize why CMOs must relinquish control and be open.

How are you changing your view?

Jeremy Victor

“Google’s Groupon Bid Rejected” BIG mistake?

Groupon is getting way ahead of themselves and I think their rejection of Google’s bid is a Big mistake. My 2011 prediction… Google buys Twitter!

Richard Bashara says: Ted I’m going to agree with a “but,” look at Facebook. Zuck’s had how many chances to sell FB? You can’t deny that Groupon has set a trend. Perhaps trying to stay on top of the wave could pay off.

And if Google doesn’t buy Twitter, I’d be quite surprised. Who knows, maybe Twitter will try to stay independent though. As a publishing tool, it’s clearly becoming more active than Digg or Reddit.

Ted Rubin replies: Twitter is incredibly concerned, as they should be, about how to sustain and monetize what they have. Google is incredibly worried about Facebook and how to penetrate and participate in Social Media/Marketing. Solves a critical problem for both.

As far as comparing Groupon to Facebook, I think the projectory of their growth is where it ends. Facebook competitors have many more barriers to entry than competitors to Groupon, and they control the hearts and minds of their members. Groupon exists only as long as they can provide such unsustainable discounts. With Google… the value of their local search and local relationships/workforce came in to play and made them much more valuable than as a stand-alone. IMHO

Ted Rubin

Thinking Consumerism has Been Keeping Me Up

Recently, the topic of consumerism has been keeping me up…  When we think about consumerism, we think of all the bad connotations. We think about the over-indulgences which led to the recent economic crises; and some of us may even think about how those driven by greed convert their indulgences into situations like the BP oil spill. 

Last month I attended Rogers TabLife TO – a conference focused on the advent of tablets (iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Dell Streak, PlayBook). What struck me wasn’t the technology – in fact, it’s expected that the technology should overshadow anything we are currently used to – i.e. the laptop. No, what struck me was WHY these devices are gaining in popularity.

 The speaker line up was brilliant, and the majority spoke about how tablets were changing: media, newspapers, philanthropy and retail (among other things). In the end, what stuck with me was the notion that these devices are tools for a new kind of consumerism.

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What is Experiential Marketing and is it Social?

What does experiential marketing entail? It entails allowing a customer/prospect to engage & interact with a brand, product, and service in sensory ways that provides an additional intimate level of experience and information.

Personal experiences help people connect to a brand & make intelligent & informed purchasing decisions. “Experiential Marketing” refers to actual customer experiences with the brand/product/service that drive sales and increase brand image and awareness.It is the difference between telling people about features of a product or service and letting them experience the benefits for themselves.

Many think of this as a totally separate form of marketing from social, but to me it is the ultimate in social marketing. It is all about experiencing a product or brand… and what could be more social. In addition the power of social is not the initial reach, but the engagement and more importantly the sharing that follows and enables a brand to reach into each individual’s social graph. How better to do that than to give a consumer an “experiential” experience to share.

Ted Rubin

You Can’t Put a Price on Shared Passion

A colleague recently shared this Simon Sinek video, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, with me and it’s worth sharing with you. It’s not new, but is a thought provoking piece about how truly inspired, innovative companies like Apple are driven not by what they do, or even how they do it, but by their vision of WHY they do it. (It’s long, but you can watch about the first 3-4 minutes and get the gist.)

This, I suspect, is one reason why an increasing number of folks are starting their own thing. Because not just outstanding companies but also outstanding individuals are driven by “Why”.

I highly recommend that any leader that manages people also read this recent article by Gini Dietrich, Money is Not a Motivator. The money quote (pun intended): “We want to see our work rewarded in ways more than just pay…what keeps us motivated, day after day to get up and go to work, is the feeling that we’re part of something.” A-men. I’ve talked to people who have trouble understanding this, but I believe for many of the best and brightest it is truly NOT about the money. Money is great, but not what drives us.

If you’re feeling discontented with your job, it may be because your “Why” is not the same as that of your organization or the people with whom you work. Meaning, you’re just not in it for the same reasons. Their passion, perhaps, doesn’t match yours, in direction, magnitude, or both.

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How to Overcome Blogging’s Fear Factor

Mark Schaefer is indeed one of our shining lights here @TheSocialCMO when it comes to blogging! Not only does he write individual posts that resonate and put the “social” into social media (see Spirituality) he also produces pieces with very practical guidance to help others follow along the path that he’s blazing! See his latest post below which will I think inspire many more to face and overcome blogging’s fear factor!

I talk to a lot of bloggers. In fact I speak to some blogger somewhere almost every day … supporting, encouraging, listening, and helping where I can.

And I think I’ve determined the biggest hurdle that keeps people from ever beginning a blog.

It’s not a lack of ideas.

It’s not time.

It’s not writing ability.


Fear of failure and criticism seems to be the most overwhelming reason why people don’t blog. Having some trepidation about blogging is reasonable. After all, it’s kind of like public speaking in a way, isn’t it? I think it is a pretty rare person who can put themselves out there in a public way and not have at least a little insecurity.

So what do we do about it? Here are a few ideas that seem to be working …

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How to add Twitter to your PR mix in 9 easy steps

On December 6, 2010, I was privileged to be a guest on #MMChat (Marketer Monday Chat), hosted and created by @JeffAshcroft of @TheSocialCMO fame. My esteemed PR colleague, Amy Howell, owner of @HowellMarketing Strategies, was featured with me and our topic was The Impact and Value of Social Media in PR. You can find the transcript here and glean some amazing insight from practitioners around the world. Not only was it a fun and exhilarating online experience, it also prompted this post on Twitter and its PR potential.

The digital channels can be consuming, and it’s important for those of us in business—whose first goal is to run a profitable company to sustain our employees and our clients—to stay abreast of communication trends. To make sure that we achieve optimum PR health for ourselves and our clients, here’s a quick Twitter primer. No more excuses for PR colleagues who say “I don’t get Twitter.” If the government is using social media for PR, and the business community is not, there’s a disconnect.

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When Futures Thinking Meets Design Thinking

image by erica glasier

The business world has been quick to try and implement design thinking in hopes of stimulating sweeping organizational change and innovation, only to abandon it and return to old practices when it doesn’t “work.” Is design thinking nothing more than a poorly defined gimmick, or are people just missing the big picture?

Perhaps a part of the problem is that design thinking is more than just a set of tactics to be carried out, but rather a new ecology of mind. While grounded in business-minded rationality and operating within a defined set of constraints, it also contains an emotional/intuitive component that is often lost upon the more traditional thinkers. What this aspect requires is a capacity for switching between multiple perspectives and the ability to understand the world and our relationship to it, and within it, in a different way. Though there are many methods than can help develop this skill, I’d like to discuss an approach that may be unfamiliar to some: Futures Thinking.

What is Futures Thinking?

Futures thinking, or foresight, is a set of principles and practices that can be applied to solve complex problems. It combines data and trend analysis, pattern recognition, intuition, and imagination to envision desirable and sustainable paths of action. Just as Tim Brown distilled the design thinking process to : inspiration, ideation, and implementation, futurist Jamais Cascio described the futures thinking process as: Asking the Question, Scanning the World, Mapping the Possibilities, and Asking the Next Question. It’s an iterative process which helps you consider a range of possible, probably, and preferable outcomes. It’s not predicting the future, but rather taking a structured approach to understanding the potential impacts of today’s decisions and actions.

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The Impact and Value of Social Media in PR

Tonight I was truly the thorn between two roses as we arranged for a real double trouble barrelled shotgun pair of guests to ROCK #MMchat19 and they were none other than Amy @HowellMarketing and @AnneDGallaher two of our @TheSocialCMO originals!

The best of the north and the the best of the south PR belles were on hand for our topic the Impact and Value of Social Media in PR and boy were those PR tweets flying! So you can imagine what happened when these two firecrackers teamed up to educate and entertain our #MMchat tweeps!

Nearly a thousand tweets later it was clear that this one was a classic that generated a transcript full of prominent and pithy tweets. This #MMchat transcript should be reviewed both by those just learning the PR ropes and is also a must read for those in PR just taking or getting ready to take the plunge into Social Media.

Thanks again ladies, it was a pleasure as always!




We’ll Always Have Blogging

Image credit: Express Monorail (Flickr)
“Round up the usual suspects.” With all of the Facebook and Twitter commentary, out there, you’d think there’s nothing else of significance worth doing on the Web any more. But of course, you know that’s just crazy talk.

Corporate blogging has been with us for quite some time, with some major companies having forayed into the space in the early to mid 2000s. Yet there’s surprisingly little attention paid to it today. Why is that? Is it that the shiny object / GMOOT (“get me one of those!”) syndrome has worn off? Or is it that there’s a purpose that isn’t served by blogs?

“I was misinformed.”

If you look at the recent statistics shared by eMarketer (“Corporate Blogging Goes Mainstream“), you’ll see that only about a third of companies use blogs. But if you look at the growth over the last three years, the use of blogs has actually doubled (!).

The focus on Twitter and Facebook is understandable: they’re nearly universal, they’re easily accessible via mobile devices, and there’s the ability to instantly connect users’ thoughts, actions, and comings and goings via those platforms. But blogging is more than that – or at least has the ability to be more than that.

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