by jbeck | April 26, 2013 | Submit a Comment
The conversation about CIOs and CMOs as partners is focused primarily on why these two executives can’t get along. But if you fundamentally believe IT and marketing need to work effectively together in more creative and collaborative ways, then continuing to harp on their differences just isn’t helpful.
There will be a spectrum of collaborative models for these two functions across different organizations that will hinge primarily on how aggressively digital the business wants to be, whether these two executives have lived in each other’s disciplines previously, and how well they know each other and share like views of the business.
So a better starting point to improve their working relationship is searching out the common ground. Interviews with both CIOs and CMOs have uncovered five aspects of their thinking and their areas of responsibility that actually suggest they may be more similar than you think.
Love Their Tech Toys
This may seem really obvious, but they both LOVE their tech toys. And they feel this urgent need to show them to everyone. If you want to quickly facilitate an easy chat between these two executives, ask them any question about the latest technology or the 700,000 apps on an iPhone or their favorite website, and you’ll have plenty of time to get another cocktail before that conversation hits an uncomfortable lull.
Dependent on Good Technology Decisions
They both rely on making significant and really smart decisions about technology to create value for the business. But it doesn’t stop there. They then become very dependent on a stable of providers to deliver on their promises. And that adds up to some serious exposure if things go wrong, but rarely deserved celebrations when things go right.
Target of Budget Cuts
They both suffer from indiscriminate budget cut-backs when the business goes soft. Even though these two executives together own decision rights for both keeping the lights on and growing the business – they are viewed as “discretionary expenses”. Crazy? Yes. But they’ve both sat around the big mahogany table during an operations review or waited for the memo to be handed down from the CFO about how their budgets will take a hit in the next belt-tightening.
Victims of Experts
They both have huge virtual suggestion boxes hanging off their office doors. Everyone is a self-appointed expert in their fields. That’s never been truer than today. Everyone is a marketing expert because we’re all marketed to – and who doesn’t fancy themselves with sage advice on how IT should do things? We’re all either victims or beneficiaries of the services they provide.
Produce Magical Results
And finally, they are often equals at the leadership table and report to the CEO or one level down. However, CEOs expect they can produce magical results within their current constraints because they continue to do so. But neither can afford to let things break so things get fixed. Their charters are too critical to the minute to minute realities of running the business. They get creative. They figure it out. They try to do more with less even though that’s impossible. Yes, they compete for resources. Imagine if they combined resources and jointly funded projects of mutual value.
Have Sexy Jobs
In the 30 years I’ve been advising and observing leadership teams, I’ve also often thought there is something a bit more Machiavellian going on here. It’s jealously. In my opinion, the CEO, CIO, and CMO are the triumvirate that is best positioned to think big and bold. These are the members of the leadership team who represent the leader part. Everyone else is part of the team that has to operationalize and support their ideas.
So I think it’s not true to say CMOs have the sexy job and CIOs – not so much. CIOs are sexy too. And everyone else is just jealous of both of you because today, technology and marketing rule.
Category: digital marketing Tags: #cio-cmo, #gartnerdigitalmarketing
by jbeck | April 23, 2013 | Submit a Comment
One stand out conclusion from Gartner’s Social Marketing 2013 study is this idea that the real struggle for social marketers is finding the balance between the company’s goals and those of the customer. Executives are demanding social ROI before they’ll even fund the efforts. No one is interested in “social experiments”. CIOs are threatening security lock downs. Legal is rewriting the rules about blogging. And product managers are thinking they don’t need to wait for all the drama to play out – they’ll just go off the reservation and do some stuff on their own.
The customer needs almost seem straight forward in contrast to those organizational challenges. But social marketers continue to be obsessed with sniffing out the BIG Hairy Data problems, evaluating new technologies, and wondering how they can take advantage of Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. They dig through piles of data, get confused by conflicting free advice and consume a daily diet of data with their non-fat lattes. Surprisingly, what too many are not doing is laying the solid foundations for basic survival.
In an upcoming webinar scheduled for April 25th, Gartner will present some surprising findings from the Social Marketing Study 2013. After reading through the results, I started thinking they could be summarized in The Three Basic Rules of Survival.
Rule #1 Have Plenty of Good Food
Think of your content as the life-sustaining nutrients of your social programs. As in any healthy diet, you need the basic food groups covered. Social content has to be viewed as your contribution to the conversation, not another blatant promotional shout out. So if you go spicy hot make sure that community can handle it. Future case studies will show the winners who created authentic brands really got the content game figured out in advance and were managing an innovation pipeline of ideas. All the brilliant social platform choices and perfect campaign choreography won’t matter a bit if you don’t have something interesting and worthwhile to say.
Rule #2 Reproduce
Preservation of the species requires successful courtship rituals, mating and viable births in healthy numbers. At the end of the day, commercial enterprises are about making money. So “what’s the ROI on social?” isn’t so much the question but rather does the creation of continuous, connected, and productive conversations result in leads and convert to sales? And according to the study, less than half of social marketers are exploring the links between social and commerce. The potential there is not just a lower cost of sale; it’s become, for many brands, a matter of convenience and preference for their buyers and for the company – a powerful reinforcement in multichannel and transmedia strategies.
Rule #3 Secure the Habitat
You need a hospitable place where your social strategy can thrive. Think how you’ll manage the operation – from infrastructure, business processes and policies to skills, training and social R&D. And as the rules of nature continue to teach us, sustainable ecosystems need everything in balance. Your social marketing exists side by side with mobile, the website, multichannel campaigns, display, search, etc. It works with other techniques and channels like customer support to achieve a business outcome. A purpose-built social platform will stand the tests of time and give you that terra-firma essential for the long term success of the business.
And don’t fall too far behind the herd. You could get eaten.
Category: digital marketing Tags: #gartnerdigitalmarketing, #socialmarketing
by jbeck | April 2, 2013 | Submit a Comment
Knock, knock. Who’s there? It could be a salesman with vinyl siding samples, a fireman raising funds for the families of fallen comrades, my neighbor returning my iron frying pan, a friend I haven’t seen since high school, a lost traveler seeking directions, or someone I actually invited over for drinks and was expecting. They all have equal access to my front door. But am I happy see them all and treat them equally? Maybe they only make it as far as the foyer. Maybe I step outside and deal with them there. Or perhaps I’ve left a note on the door. Maybe I hide in the upstairs bedroom until they go away.
It’s no mistake we call the first page of our websites – the Home Page. Just like my front entrance, it wants to be welcoming and make a good first impression. It also wants to make a distinction between friend and foe, opportunity or risk. The Reader’s Digest ran a great article years ago on the disappearance of the front porch and the rise of the back deck. The article lamented the fact that those nodes on the neighborhood network were all but gone and you had to hunt for the front entrance in new contemporary houses. You were often greeted by locked, looming garage doors. That front porch linked the entire town to stories of triumph and defeat. They were the original viral mechanisms keeping people connected and in the know. That’s a time when people knew their neighbors and felt part of a community.
We invite people to the front door of our businesses – through that website – the obligatory marketplace billboard for our organizations. We use the right terminology; communities, networks, visitors, and hope to craft continuous, connected conversations. We invest in technology that tracks and chats, and pings and bumps. We talk navigation, experience, and personalization. But nearly all the websites I’ve reviewed are static content, with little true interaction beyond a chat and a movie. And we dare to call it a customer experience. Those sites bark the latest deals, spin the carousel of offers and assume we know what our visitors need. We design for call avoidance, and serve up a menu of options WE want them to take. Yet we never ask the fundamental question, “What would you like to do?”
But these are places to window shop, comparison shop and nurture a relationship. Your website creates first impressions about your brand and is the design center of your campaigns. It can take a prospect from cold to conversion in minutes or it can frustrate and disappoint them so they never return. Few websites today are crafted for the visitor’s experience first, the brand’s need to communicate second. Even fewer make meaningful distinctions between current customers and new guests beyond the sign-in. But they all do a great job of screaming at you without making a sound.
Forget the sophisticated usability and UX testing. It’s clearly not enlightening you. Have someone who knows nothing about your company knock on your front door. Watch over their shoulder as they look for it, find it, open the door and step into the foyer. Have you offered them a drink and a place to get comfy? Have you accommodated their needs and fanned their interests? Have you given them paths to follow and catered to their preferences? If they get lost, do they find their way again? Are you engaging them at every turn or did you just leave a note on the front door and you’re hiding under the bed?
Category: digital marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by jbeck | February 6, 2013 | 1 Comment
It’s Day 3 of the post game evaluations of over 50 big bucks ads that ran during the Super Bowl. I watched them all, some several times. And I have a slightly different spin here. The success and pay off of those investments will play out over time as consumers vote with their spending. But the real winners, IMHO, were the social media sites and digital marketing agencies and the advertisers who all took full advantage of consumer engagement and helped create the big brand buzz. Twitter won the day, with a reported increase of over 300%¹ in hash tag use from 2012. But it wasn’t all pretty. If you create the buzz, better be able to capitalize on it. Keynote, a provider of mobile and internet cloud testing and monitoring, reported some disappointing results on website readiness for some of this year’s advertisers. The fact that some of these very sophisticated brands failed on the basics perhaps points to a surprising level of immaturity still in applying process and technology innovations to this art of digital marketing. Or maybe they just underestimated the power of those empowered consumers.
What fascinated me is the concept-to-flawless-execution of some of these $4 million works of art and their trans-media experiences. Here are some of the attributes we look for when taking brands digital – and my top picks for who got it right.
Attribute: Emotional Appeal
At the end of our digital day, we ultimately make an emotional decision about a product. Sure, we’ve done due diligence. We’ve gone from window shopping to kicking tires. We’ve watched the video or done the taste test. We’ve read the ratings and reviews, and then tracked down the best price. But eventually our consumer brains can do no more analysis and we make the gut decision. It just felt right. Don’t tell me you didn’t cry during both of these:
Budweiser Clydesdales: Brotherhood – This one has two things going for it – one, animals are still one of those images that has stopping power. And even if you’re not a horse person, most people can identify with the raising of young, letting go and lifelong connections that remain, even when they’re all grown up and have a job. So this ad hit home. And two – the colt needs a name. Talk about extending the life of a 60 second spot with a crowd-sourcing contest and all the virtual ink that will generate. Nice.
Dodge Ram Trucks: Farmer – The overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God and this one hit the heartland in its heart. The political message was not lost either. It’s brave to turn brand building into a movement with a moral message. The choice of visuals was simply brilliant – stark stills – no gimmicky animation or high production values here. We’re talking down home facts – truths to be held self-evident. It preached without being preachy. It played on national pride without polarizing. Image building at its best.
Attribute: Psychographic Profiling
Even sophisticated demographics are failing a lot of advertisers so they’ve added new dimensions to their profiles to drive personalization and relevance. Even short of neuromarketing mechanisms that claim to predict the success of products based on wiring up the brains of test consumers, it’s easy to see why these picks had target audience appeal.
Taco Bell’s Viva Young – Pretty obvious what demographic this was attracting. But what really held appeal were the generational cross-overs. From those innocent days of harmless pranks and stolen moments to the hip tattoo craze and rave dancing. It breaks through the age barrier using the common denominator of fun. The young viewers can imagine their grandparents in those scenarios and the grandparents equate a new lease on life with – yes, a Taco.
Best Buy’s Asking Amy – Did anyone else see the Cougar Town connections? The thematic innuendo is glaringly obvious. Amy is hitting on the sales guy at every turn. But she’s very current; smart TV, touch screens and noise cancelling head gear are front runner products that appeal to the football watching demographic. The celebrity personality as mascot is high risk if they fall from favor, but when you have a winner like Amy Poehler, who pulled top numbers in net sentiment analysis², you run with them as long as you can. Best Buy’s corporate messages about no commissions and full on customer services, pop against the backdrop of common consumer questions.
Attribute: Basic Instincts
You can get all outraged, but sex sells. It always has and it always will. Agencies will tell you there are a few images with major stopping appeal – basically they make you look. Those are animals, children and faces. Well people, faces may make you look; the whole body shot holds your undivided attention. But the artsy technique this year is the “slow mo” effect. Oiled and wet bodies take a back seat, to the slow turns, stretches and pan shots.
Calvin Klein’s Matthew Terry – CK’s answer to Victoria Secret’s angels? You only need one Matthew Terry to match what a runway full of Victoria Secret’s models project. But what’s with the demographic match up here? 100% all beef ball game viewers gawking over the rippled perfection of Terry in black, hip-hugging briefs? Get real. I suspect this didn’t swing anyone in the net sentiment scores even though it dripped sexy and garnered plenty of postings. Note the subtle choreography that subliminally makes the connection to the audience. Those were football warm up moves at their best.
Mercedes Benz, Kate Upton’s Sexy Car Wash – compared to the Southwest Patti Melt, (one that was too hot to air) – this is rated PG. You can hate her shoes, her legs or her hair, but there’s no denying the built-in tease. Reminiscent of Cameron Diaz’s car wash scene in Bad Teacher, this wasn’t as hot cause she didn’t follow through. With the long tail run ups to this year’s ad parade, the promise of a slow motion car wash by a supermodel is all it takes to draw you in. Our kudos to the copywriter for the best one-liner ad this season. “You missed a spot.”
Attribute: Lifestyle Appeal
If you can’t differentiate on product features – go for the lifestyle image. From carbonated water to autos, just make buyers believe they can attain, compete, be beautiful, be cool, brave, smart or strong and you’ve dialed in to some very basic human experience stuff with powerful mojo. What remains to be seen is how well these advertisers extend the seconds of connections they made in traditional media into multichannel campaigns that incorporate second screens, mobile, social and live events that cater to the life style persona.
Audi’s “Prom” – This one has it all. It’s well-written, precisely timed, the characters are actually believable for ad actors and it races over the finish line with a simple punch line – (pun intended). It invokes images of a brave, sensual, winner, and propels the underdog dude persona into James Bond stardom. The message is simple. You drive an Audi, you go from loser to hot hero in 60 seconds or less.
Mercedes: Soul – This ad is a great example of the marketing mantra go brave, bold and big or go home. Pretty brave move to hang Mercedes image on a pact with the Devil even if you do have one of the all time great rock and roll songs of our times as the sound track. Really bold to talk price, and a low price at that, for a luxury auto when the traditional buyers have lived by the credo, “If you have to ask what it costs, you can’t afford it.” And then enter the rather average looking young kid with big dreams of fame who decides he doesn’t have to sell his soul to own a Mercedes. We’re left with the idea that maybe the car is enough.
I’ll confess, like most of us today, I avoid all TV commercials by various means. But I watched an hour of them on CBS’s special. Funny how very few of us are actually talking about the game. According to Networked Insights’ analysis Beyonce’s half time show was more the buzz than the 49ers or the Ravens. Maybe the NFL should add more digital marketing techniques to the playoff series as the run-up to the big day. But be ready to catch the darn ball.
Note¹ Networked Insights
Note² net sentiment analysis is the process of measuring the nature of responses, positive and negative, across social media channels.
Category: digital marketing Uncategorized Tags: #ads, #gartnerdigitalmarketing, #superbowl, branding, digital marketing
by jbeck | January 31, 2013 | Submit a Comment
We have this obsession with where we rank, rate and score in our world. It’s one of the reasons Cosmopolitan Magazine flies off the newsstands. It’s not just the alluring, over-the-top fashion model on the cover. It’s those addicting quizzes, like “Are you a good lover?” Who can’t take 5 minutes to check that one out?
So in the marketing world, we see everything from the Cosmo Quiz approach and free self-assessments, to the more sophisticated maturity models that peg where you are today and offer advice on how to get to the next level. But why measure marketing maturity? What’s the point of knowing if you’re clueless or mature? What aspects of marketing should you even consider? Here’s some current thinking.
First, if you want to get to a desired future state of marketing, it helps to know the nature of the current state so you can plot a course forward. And maturity in marketing means simply that the more advanced the function the more impact it can have on the business.
Take buyer affinity for example. There’s a big difference between being opportunistic or even a fast follower and having the predictive analytic chops to actually anticipate future requirements. Heck you can create new market categories and even create new customers with the right set of tools, intelligence and innovation.
What about the way marketing’s measured today? I just had a conversation with a client asking how to show an ROI on their marketing. I laughed and asked how they were proving an ROI on HR, legal and finance functions. Perhaps a little snarky, but the point is marketing should be measured on the overall business objectives. It takes a lot of coordinated mojo from many contributors to get to that final result. ROI on isolated marketing activities is madness. Who cares how many hits you have on websites or the traffic in social channels, if it’s not helping you make money?
Let’s look at creativity. Most marketing organizations can claim they have the occasional brilliant idea, but most externally source that to their agencies. The mature organization is managing an innovation pipeline of ideas, new storylines, product concepts, etc. And they’re open to creative juices from anywhere from informed conclusions based on their own intelligence to crowd-sourcing.
And then we have the digital deal. You’ve got the less mature still watching their screens for the bounce back on SEO and e-mail campaigns to those sipping a dirty martini as they create trans-media buyer experiences that not just sell product, but industrialize the power of word-of-mouth.
Richard Fouts, my “clued-in” Gartner colleague and I sat around his dining room table in his flat in San Francisco and pondered this concept of marketing maturity. He took notes on his tablet. I had to draw it out with printer paper and crayons. The result is a new Marketing Maturity Model* that attempts to hit all the relevant dimensions of the function. After disciplining ourselves not to do the funny, irreverent version first because it was so compelling to label phase 1 as “clueless”, we landed on 17 dimensions of this marvelous thing called marketing in the digital age.
For those who will take the self-assessment, it will be like a mash-up of Myers-Briggs meets Moody Me.
*Subscription required for access to Gartner content
Category: Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by jbeck | January 25, 2013 | 5 Comments
Many CMOs are stepping out on their CIOs. Hybrid service providers in the cloud are batting their eyes at these CMOs, the new money trail and motivated buying center for their technology and digital marketing platforms. And those CMOs, feeling ignored and under served by their IT organizations, are taking the bait.
Why not? Very few CIOs are aggressively targeting their CMO as the key stakeholder to partner with even though those CIOs want to be viewed as more business relevant. So with the absence of a good internal partner, marketing is doing what they’ve always done and outsourcing. Digital marketers already use agencies and other providers’ automation technologies and tools for lead generation, tracking, analytics, content management, campaign development, public relations, advertising, creative services, etc. Technology is just another line item to source. And the choices are abundant and the perceived risks low.
But is it just the lure of high priced agency lunches that are causing these CMOs to ignore their CIOs? Is it a mid-life crisis? Are they afraid of death? Is something missing in those executive relationships? Actually, it’s all of the above.
Digital marketing has finally come of age. It feels like social media and multichannel approaches just got here, but they’ve been around for over a decade. Upwards of 40% of marketing spend is now dedicated to digital techniques. So many CMOs are feeling the pressures of a maturing market and are putting the family van of standard business intelligence tools up on blocks and sliding into a Big Data Ferrari with an integrated cockpit.
And yes, they are very afraid of dying on slide one at the next operations review if they haven’t tied all that spending and exposure to quantified business results. While CIOs ponder the wisdom of BYOD initiatives, CMOs have put in a fast lane pumping content, conversations, and capital into smart phones, and social networks with the promise that those differentiated customer experiences will materialize and breathe life back into brands.
And yes, something’s missing. No matter how much time you spent agonizing over your Myers-Briggs personality profile, those years of living on separate planets, have done real damage to CIO/CMO relationships. Mars and Venus, meet Pluto and Uranus. One got demoted as a planet and the other is the butt of jokes. Both parties are to blame for the current state of affairs.
With CIOs and CMOs looking in opposite directions on the balance sheet, it’s no wonder they are behaving more like competitors than partners. CIOs are primarily focused on cost, because their CEOs actually think they can do more with less. CMOs are all about profit and top line revenue growth; because their CEOs think they can perform magic.
It’s time for couple’s therapy. Start with finding some common ground because pounding on the past and harping on differences just isn’t helpful. Six things to consider…
1) Both CIOs and CMOs know how to get things done.
2) They both rely on making good technology decisions to help them make an impact on the business. And they become dependent on that stable of providers.
3) They both love the next new tech toy or gadget and like showing them off.
4) They both have huge suggestion boxes nailed to their virtual doors because everyone is a self-appointed expert in their field.
5) The leadership team thinks they can produce magical results within their current constraints – because they often pull it off.
6) And they both don’t sleep through the night. Their jobs are never actually done. They could always be doing something more.
This collaborative partnership isn’t a new topic. But so far the most helpful advice has been to go have lunch together. From what I’ve seen, I’d recommend a bar with copious amounts of alcohol. Maybe start there.
Category: digital marketing Tags: digital marketing
by jbeck | October 5, 2012 | 3 Comments
OK, I’m over 60 but…. I also represent the mainstream purchasing power on the planet, so pay attention. And keep in touch, cause if I ever retire, I’m going to exponentially matter as a target by freeing up a whole bunch of extra shopping time to spend my fun tickets. There are a few things I want you to know about me when you, as a digital marketer, ponder the concept of e-commerce everywhere.
#1- I care now, and will always care where I am, and try to live in the moment. I will not tolerate my 30 something neighbor, who played with an Apple computer in her crib, whipping out her iPhone to Google a band she never heard of, because I’m humming a catchy tune from the ‘70s. I want to inhale the scent of wet leaves and pine. I want to listen for deer and the recently spotted bobcat family. And I want her full attention when I share the story about my life as a bi-coastal personality with some crunchy granola existence in Santa Cruz by night, and an East Coast career woman by day. That was years ago. But ah, the memories.
Hints: Memories, sharing stories
#2 – I know good service when I see it, and it stands on three principles; know me, have a good attitude and slightly exceed my expectations. So I went into my local Radio Shack and asked for a headset for my phone. I told them I was doing a little research project to see how the experience unfolded and whether it pleased me in these three ways. Maybe that was my first mistake, actually telling them what I wanted. Did I mention the store was entirely empty? And there were two employees ready to serve me? It’s a long, sad story that began with them trying to sell me a new service plan and ended 98 minutes later with them handing me three rebate coupons I knew would never actually produce the promised rebates. I hate coupons, point and reward programs, discount days, specials that are never very special and anemic, silicon-enhanced sales people trying to spray me with perfume samples on the rare occasion I enter a real store. I just don’t have time to track and count or even redeem this stuff. I want it served up with a smile and immediate gratification isn’t soon enough.
Hint: Time-value of gratification
#3 – I like to create my own experiences, and given my age and wisdom, I’m better at it than anyone who has to rely entirely on predictive analytics and sentiment analysis. Enter the villain in this story – highly defined processes that leave organizations deaf to the weak signals that foreshadow big changes. It happened like this. I sat next to this gentleman on a recent United flight who was on his way to Carnegie Hall for his first and last debut with his barbershop quartet. It was their dream and their retirement party. He was pretty excited. We talked and he showed me old black and white photos of himself with celebrities throughout the years. These guys were pretty accomplished. So I asked the flight attendant if he could hand over the intercom so we could have a little entertainment. My new friend was more than anxious to hum a few bars from the opening number. On Southwest, we would have been caught up in a sing-a-long. On United it ended with me being classified as a security risk even after I explained what a memorable experience and much needed enhancement to United’s brand this would be – at no extra charge. He was heading for Carnegie Hall! He was not going to bomb.
Hint: user created experiences
#4 – A word on mobile. Like millions of people, I like my iPhone. I do not love it, however. I do not sleep with it next to the bed. I do not take it hiking up Mount Manadnock, although I probably should. Half the time it’s at the bottom of my purse, battery dead. I guess that’s not love. It escaped from my briefcase on a recent flight and hid under my seat. And because I do not believe the world needs to hear from me again after an hour in the air, I did not fire it up as soon as the wheels touched down in D.C. I left without it. Ten minutes later, walking the wrong way to my next gate and looking for my connecting flight, I decided to call home. No phone. Panic. Maybe it was love. I wanted a button I could push to locate it and make it come back to me. But I had to rely on the kindness of strangers, namely airport personnel, who knew my arrival gate from my boarding pass and found it hiding under my seat. I actually kissed it when she handed it back to me. Love? There are times I don’t want my life enhanced, connected and accessible by everyone, everywhere, anytime. And there are times I do. Like when I’m on the move. Get it? Mobile. I’m waiting for my kayak dealer to send me a message that says, <<Call us when you get back to shore from your next trip and let us know how you like that new gel seat.>> Or sending me a guide to Google Earth local waterways within 50 miles of my house that are unexplored, unsanctioned, tough launch sites, but well worth it.
Hint: Location-based services
First rule of e-commerce everywhere: It matters where I am, and who I am – and always will. Second Rule: I can find the off button.
See answers in the next post.
Category: digital marketing Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by jbeck | September 9, 2012 | Submit a Comment
Gartner has reserved a seat on our CMO Panels at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in both Orlando, Florida and Barcelona, Spain for the B2B or B2C CMO who has a compelling point of view on whether or not CIOs and CMOs can do something extraordinary together.
Enough depressing talk of economic instability, risk-adverse leadership, the lack of true innovation and the absurd idea you can do morewith less. You want different answers? Ask different people, different questions. So we’re turning our attention to the two functions in anyorganizations that can actually get something positive done these days. And the challenge is to move from the obvious to the extraordinary. Think about it –when these two executives finish each other’s sentences – they can design, build and maintain a new growth machine – a fully automated mechanism to drive connected and continuous customer dialogues. They can grab onto that elusive goal of engagement, create integrated experiences that not just please – but create followers for life.
But neither can do it alone.
So CMOs – your audience is thousands of CIOs, businessleaders and IT providers from every industry and government organization. They’ve come to hear your stories, your advice, your demands and your dreams. Who among you can give this audience reason to believe that they can do something extraordinary for their organizations if they just suspended disbeliefs, share budgets, make unsolicited proposals to the leadership team and dictate joint success criteria? It’s happening in pockets all over the world. Is it happening to you?
Join the conversation…
Contact me, Jennifer Beck, VP, Research Fellow, Gartner Research for more details by emailing email@example.com with your story.
Details: One session will take place at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Florida on October 25th at 1:30-2:30. Another session will take place at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Barcelona, Spain on November 6th at 2:45-3:45PM.
Category: Uncategorized Tags: digital marketing
by jbeck | September 4, 2012 | 2 Comments
Ever feel like you’re not busy enough? Is the pipeline of incoming suggestions and ideas in danger of drying up? Of course not. Most marketers are working way too hard for the results they produce. Why? They haven’t mastered the art of multi-channel, multi-media campaigns in compressed timeframes built around one simple idea.
Oh, you’re plenty busy – with ad words, SEO strategies, e-mail campaigns, the trade show boondoggles, TV ads, store promotions, partner events, sales incentives, some thought leadership pieces, another website refresh, a brand overhaul, a new product launch, a sprinkle of automation here and there, and some cool new metrics to make the next round of budget negotiations not feel so much like a root canal. But you’re traveling at 60 mph, spraying precious ammo at poorly defined targets, never to return to the scene of the crime. And you’re adding to the white noise created by the convergence of multiple buzzes that is your marketplace. No one can hear you, even if they’re listening.
Let’s revisit some basic psychology. Think about how you learn a new term, and then think you see it everywhere. Or how you discovered some new product. Like most people, you have a preferred way of consuming information. Maybe you’re mostly visual – got to see the pictures. Or you like to read about things or need to discuss with others. Maybe you’re the type that has to get your hands on things, kick tires, experiment.
Most of us have a preferred mode of learning. So hence the need for multi-media approaches that cater to those preferences. But we also tend not to form an opinion or take action on that new knowledge until we’ve been hit from multiple angles – hence the need for multi-channels. But we also need that information in very consumable chunks. We scan more than we labor through dense content now. We Google-search, we don’t research. So now there’s a need for simple, memorable, appealing and interesting ideas that resonate. And they have to matter to people. Think about why certain things go viral and others die out. Why do you forward a YouTube clip or follow certain blogs? Humor? Creativity? A feel-good moment? An accepted concept turned on its head? That’s the stuff that industrializes word of mouth.
And finally, we’re a society of multi-tasking, super busy, immediate-gratification-isn’t-soon-enough type consumers that want it our way or no way. So if you’re going to get their attention you’d better be lining up all that media utilizing the optimum compliment of channels, around one compelling concept – and deliver it in a compressed timeframe.
1) Have you aligned everything you’re doing to an overall business goal? Not the measurement madness of just lead volumes, conversion rates, website hits, social media traffic, media mentions, and the like – but the accumulative benefit of a well choreographed effort to attract a specific number and type of new buyers, or to redefine a market category, or grab market share from a competitor.
2) Have you been smart about reuse and leverage of marketing assets including content? Not a series of one off creations in response to an opportunity that stray off in entirely new directions from the core brand storyline.
3) Have you catered to the basic psychology of how people learn and act? Not another drive by attempt characterized by random shots that riddle some second tier city sidewalk with lead, never to return to the scene of the crime.
Category: Uncategorized Tags: campaigns, digital marketing, marketing, multichannel marketing
by jbeck | August 30, 2012 | 1 Comment
With talk of economic instability, risk-adverse leadership, elusive productivity improvements, lack of true innovation and the absurd idea you can do more with less – let’s turn our attention to the two functions in any organizations who can actually get something positive done these days. And let’s challenge them to move from the obvious to the extraordinary. I’m talking about two unlikely bedfellows – the CIO and the CMO. Why them? Because they are the closest to being able to design, build and maintain the growth machine – a fully automated mechanism to drive connected and continuous customer dialogues. But neither can do it alone.
CIOs have the power with every technological decision to enable or deep six every corporate initiative. And if ever there was a lightning rod for growth strategies, differentiated experiences, and new opportunities – it’s today’s CMO.
The airwaves and digital channels are awash in opinions and hyped headlines about the “dynamic partnership” between the CIO and CMO. Conferences and seminars and daily blasts of free information and guidebooks offer up the obvious advice about “critical imperatives” for these two very busy and highly visible people. Marketing agencies and tool vendors who have always sold to the CMO are looking over their shoulders at a growing list of visitors from other planets – high tech providers who have traditionally sold only to IT, business service providers hanging out in the clouds, and a host of hybrid types that offer to do everything from tracking leads to lighting up blood flow in the brain to test reactions to new product features.
The advice on how to close the gap between these traditionally opposed disciplines ranges from the amazingly helpful and practical idea to “have lunch”. To the painfully obvious notions that you might need your CIO to help track and analyze customer data. Seriously? Do we even know why these two leaders haven’t been playing golf or drinking beer together all these years?
Take the COSMO Quiz. I call it that because it’s that irresistible urge to know how you fit into the human experiences we all share. I use the shorthand here and name this type of self-assessment after Cosmopolitan Magazine. Yes, even men all know what women’s’ fashion magazine we’re talking about. You know why that thing flies off the newsstands? It’s not so much the glamorous, provocative, and scantily clad model on the cover. It’s the crazy quiz they feature like “Are you a Good Lover?” Now who can resist taking that quiz?
Gartner has conducted a few Cosmo Quiz-like focus groups over the last two years at our Symposium conferences in Orlando and Barcelona with both CIO s and CMOs in the room. The experiences ranged from analysts breaking up the fights and mopping up the fur that went flying, to being amazed that great innovative marketing ideas actually originated in IT.
It’s easy to figure out why these two not only dress differently, but appear to be from different planets. But pitting them against each other just isn’t helpful. And the generalizations are just that – with loads of exceptions today. Nearly half the CIOs in Gartner’s executive program don’t have technology backgrounds. They’re business people. I talked to one gentleman the other day who was a former Accenture partner, now a CIO. He still wore cufflinks by the way and my guess is he drove a Lexus. So let’s leave the differences behind and focus on what they have in common. What pain do they share? What realities do they live? Some findings from that COSMO Quiz and some suggestions for a chat over lunch:
• You both love new tech toys and like to show them around – so start a Lab project where you can self support your habit cause we know whoever retires with the most toys wins.
• You both suffer indiscriminate budget cut backs – so use the gold running through them there pipes to prove you handle assets and investments, not discretionary expense line items.
• You both rely heavily on good technology decisions to deliver value to the business – but do you have a shared definition of what makes a good technology decision? Bet you don’t.
• You are heavily outsourced and now rely on a stable of providers for your success – do not let purchasing dictate those choices or manage those relationships. These are not sticky note pads and coffee beans we’re talking about here. You’re digital marketing customer hub is not a commodity item you want at low bid.
• Everyone is a self appointed expert in your field so you have doors outfitted with huge suggestion boxes – design some common tools that help you assess and objectively evaluate all those incoming ideas, so you know if they’re just plain crazy and their time will never come – or they might be a better alternative or a great compliment to what you already have in flight.
• You probably both report to the CEO or a leadership team member high enough up in the organization that your eyebrows regularly catch on fire – well go higher for your inspiration – and do it together. Everything in business rolls down from the Board. In government, it’s complicated. But some higher power is pulling strings and they probably don’t know what the two of you know. Go dazzle them with your collective brilliance. Then ask them to champion the idea.
• Your leadership team thinks you can produce magical results within your current constraints – and that’s your big hairy problem. If there’s one thing in the way of true innovation it’s that old adage – “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Go break some rules. Get ready to fail early and often. Experiment. Just tell everyone “It’s just a pilot”. No worries. I mean who’s going to question two senior executives who back each other up with the right cover story?
Now go do something extraordinary.
Category: Uncategorized Tags: CIO, CMO, digital marketing