It’s no surprise that today’s Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are facing new marketing challenges in an increasingly data-driven world. The days of simply overseeing branding projects, market research, and sales initiatives have now evolved to include managing video and mobile technologies, analytics, customer relationship management (CRM), and social media. Regardless of the industry, these additional tasks have expanded the responsibilities of the CMO beyond its traditional role.
A recent article from CIO outlined attributes of a successful CMO in the Digital Age and based on our agency’s experience, we’re weighing in on the topic. We’ve identified which of the top attributes we believe will better your role as a CMO and help enhance the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns moving forward.
- CMOs must be tech savvy
We couldn’t agree more—many of the best CMOs of companies are now acting more like chief marketing technologists, embracing the latest marketing software, social media and mobile platforms, and website design tactics. Don’t shy away from marketing automation, ecommerce, or digital marketing. If you’re unfamiliar with the territory, find an agency partner that can help to lead the way. We’ve helped our clients manage Marketo systems, websites, social media channels, and digital ads that rely heavily on customer and performance analytics. We often tell clients that data and analytics need to become your friends, fast.
- CMOs must maintain a customer-centric focus
According to Forrester, we’ve entered the age of the customer. Today’s most successful companies focus closely on the customer experience throughout the customer life cycle, rather than just the top-of-the-funnel interactions. Competition is often steep, and—in some industries—driven by pricing and/or innovations. To deepen customer loyalty, we recommend that brands engage customers through various touch points on an ongoing basis. Stay fresh. Stay relevant. Stay visible.
- CMOs must be analytical
Our marketing campaigns always rely on strategic planning and analytics. Marketing metrics can directly impact a company’s growth and revenue goals, so sticking tight to a marketing concept without analyzing the results won’t likely win in the long run. If a tactic isn’t working, pivot your strategy based on real-time data. Be sure to utilize research on customer trends and develop that strong business insight before implementing a campaign—and remember, don’t be afraid to change campaign direction if performance calls for it.
- CMOs must be open to new ideas and channels
Long gone are the days when print and TV advertising were the only ways to market your product or service. While it’s important to experiment with new marketing channels, don’t take on the world. The “everything but the kitchen sink” approach can often be worse than being narrow-minded about your tactics. Test out a few channels, gauge performance, and allocate spending to whatever tactic works best for your brand.
- CMOs must work closely with sales and IT teams
We always encourage CMOs to collaborate with other departments and stakeholders. It’s important to talk with sales teams to determine the appropriate content needed for the customer lifecycle (for example, which materials are not effective and which ones customers are dying to receive) and check in with finance and operations to see what additional insights they have to share about your customer prospects. It also never hurts to talk with IT and web departments about incorporating more advanced technologies into your customer experience and marketing campaigns.
Great CMOs need to bring a strong business mindset to everything they do—but they can’t be afraid to ask for help. Extending your team to include an agency partnership means that you have more feet on the ground to help you create the most innovative marketing strategies for your brand. Contact Martino Flynn today to get started.
Football season is in full swing—and after eight weeks of placing bets and chalking up wins and losses in their office fantasy leagues and prediction pools, marketers are ramping up for a more serious gambling challenge—next year’s budget allocations and revenue projections.
Fantasy leagues and office “pick ’em” pools are straightforward. We know the teams, and we have a solid understanding of the field they’re playing on; the stakes are low and the expected payoff lies largely in the banter at the water cooler.
In the boardroom, however, the season takes on a much different tone, as executives wrangle with decisions about the underperforming players on their rosters, and argue about where to place their bets on new talent and programs.
It’s easy to see why many companies are still waiting to place their bets on data science. New marketing tactics and technologies emerge at such a mind-boggling rate, Gartner has developed a dedicated “Hype Cycle” to estimate when the bubble of inflated expectations surrounding each innovation will “pop,” and how long it will take most companies to get ROI that’s commensurate to the buzz. And without question, data science is still in the early phase of the hype cycle—which is somewhat surprising because it’s not exactly a new field.
Part of the hesitation probably lies in the cloud of confusion surrounding data science as a whole—and for good reason, as the dust hasn’t even settled on basic definitions of the reach and nature of data science, or how to classify its practitioners. So season after season, Martech tools with slick dashboards (and the alluring sense of control that accompanies them) attract more talent scouts and command higher percentages of the budget.
In the meantime, members of a cautious business community wait to see if, and where, data science will “land” in the marketing landscape—leaving it to early adopters to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and hoping that when best practices emerge, they won’t be left too far behind their competition.
So where are you placing your bets for 2017? Will you wait, or will you innovate?
If your hesitation is rooted in uncertainty about where data science is headed, or whether it’s here to stay, or how it will be used, you might find the answers you’re looking for by tuning into the definitional debate that’s been underway for years. Two dominating perspectives have emerged, and comparing them offers great insight into where the real value of data science lies. Comparing these perspectives has informed Martino Flynn’s own “bets” on where to best capture ROI in this space, and could hold value for your company as well.
Here’s a synopsis of the debate:
Few people dispute the roster and special teams that contribute to data science—the fields of math and statistics, data engineering, programming and “hacking,” forecasting and predictive modeling, visualization and machine learning and artificial intelligence. (It’s quite a list—and if reading it pushed your blood pressure up by 10 points, take heart; you’re not alone.)
The source of debate isn’t the roster; it’s the coaching staff and the playbook that are hotly contested.
One of the two most dominant perspectives suggests that data science is more of an umbrella term, and that data science can be practiced through the coaching of anyone with deep expertise in one of the special teams that make up the roster, using the playbook from their specific body of knowledge.
For now, this perspective seems to hold the most popularity, which isn’t surprising; after all, it allows a much larger group to lay claim to what Harvard Business Review calls “the sexiest job of the 21st century.” Data science practiced from this perspective aligns closely to the practice of the physical sciences, and to the tactical specificity of Martech, applying a sharp focus on a narrow set of variables within a controlled context and testing for statistical significance.
Alternatively, another perspective on data science that has emerged requires the data science coach to have expertise across the special teams. According to HBR.org: “Think of him or her as a hybrid of data hacker, analyst, communicator, and trusted adviser.” Through this lens, the available data science coaching staff narrows to a much smaller group, but the playbook expands to a play library. This approach also uses controlled experimentation—when experimentation is the right tool for the job—but those experiments are informed by a broader body of knowledge, and are more adaptive to variability: mixed data, dirty data, and buried-in-the-forgotten-server data, among other issues.
Here at Martino Flynn, we’re placing our bets on the latter, hybrid perspective. Enriching and optimizing the art and science of marketing requires a multifaceted approach, and to us, data science meets this need in ways that other analytical platforms and programs just can’t. It carves out a new space for people with a rare combination of skills, and puts them to work on complex, high-stakes problems. We think this mix of skills is itself the innovation offered by data science, an innovation that will endure the test of time.
Maybe it’s not the right time for your company to place a big strategic bet on data science; an in-house team and the technology investments that come with it might be too big of a risk for your organization to take in 2017. But if you’re not content to sit on the bench either, there are low-stakes ways to get in the game and start learning. Get a coach, find out how you might make a few key plays, and schedule some practice time. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to step onto the field—and have the crowd cheering for more.
For more information on improving your marketing program effectiveness through Martino Flynn’s expertise in data science, research, strategy, and planning, contact Sarah Weaver at email@example.com.
Assuring that no woman—or man—needs to face a breast cancer diagnosis alone is the intent. Helping the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester raise the funds to fulfill that promise? Well, that’s been a Martino Flynn passion for the past 10 years.
As a Gold Sponsor of the ARTrageous Affair, Martino Flynn is proud to create the promotional materials for this major fundraiser each year. For this, the 15th anniversary of the event, we raised the bar a little higher.
It began by asking a local artist to create an original painting that embodied the strength yet vulnerability of the breast cancer warrior. It ended with a sold-out event and record funds raised.
In between, we used “Bella Forza”—created by Cordell Cordaro and Rachel Cordaro to represent “beautiful strength”—as the centerpiece to a compelling invitation and poster. Deployed PR tactics that garnered media attention. Created social media posts that promoted event registrations as well as interest in items to be auctioned. Developed a fundraising poster that sold out in less than a minute. And produced a video that spurred a bidding war for “Bella Forza” during the event’s live auction.
All in all, a success—made all the more sweet because we love doing this work. The only disappointment is that we need to keep doing it, because the ugly truth is that there still is no cure. So we take solace in a line from the event materials: “In the journey, we find hope. And that’s a beautiful thing.”
To hear more about our ongoing relationship with the Coalition, watch our MFTV Spotlight, “Artistry And Inspiration For A Great Cause.” You can also watch the “Bella Forza” video for the artists’ perspective on this effort.