There is a surplus of marketing predictions for 2019. I’ve read all of them but have to say that some are “science fiction” and written to grab attention whilst others are “known knowns” and are perennial topics. Furthermore, nearly all tend to centre on the “what” trends: what will be hot, what will consumers think/want/do etc. This is not surprising as it is rightly where most marketers and agencies focus a lot of their attention. But, who is considering the “how” of marketing – the core marketing transformation topics? You know the stuff that makes marketing work? The “How” of marketing is increasing in importance. So “how” does a CMO do data, processes, technology, organisation design, skills, ways of working with agencies etc. You don’t see much on these VITAL marketing enablers, but these “how” topics are the really important stuff. Without addressing these “how” topics, a CMO cannot address the “what”!
So, please find below what Flock believe should be on every CMO’s “to do” list for 2019 – unashamedly focused on the “how” of marketing”.
- Get a marketing inclusivity strategy and plan
This will continue to be a massive topic this year. As a CMO you’ll want an internally diverse team of course, you’ll also want to ensure that your entire agency and supplier base is celebrating diversity in every way. It’s crucial that all of your working processes lead to marketing work that is inclusive and celebrates your diverse customer base. But, have you actually joined this all up into a comprehensive plan? Is it market leading? Are the benefits measurable?
- Get some new agile marketing processes
The rate of change of consumer behaviours is getting faster and faster, and on the whole marketing processes are not keeping pace. How can you reengineer your ways of working to be faster, leaner, more flexible? How can you “de-process or un-process” in some areas to get ahead and improve creativity?
Many CMO’s are scared of looking hard at their marketing processes, and yet it is a fundamental building block to promote good marketing work that serves the consumer. Maybe this year is the year to get ahead of the consumer with new ways of working
- Organise around the future consumer needs
Most CMO’s talk about bring the consumer into the heart of their organisation, but how many actually organise their marketing teams to make sure this actually happens? There are so many exciting structures that allow marketers to build better joined up customer experiences, to make better use of global resources, and it is a wonder to us that many CMO’s do not formally revisit their marketing organisation design. Many CMO’s like to tinker and add bits and bobs, rather than addressing the whole organisation to allow them to REALLY place the consumer at the heart of their work. Why?!
- Get a marketing data strategy and plan
This could be the year that consumers rebel around the use of their data! The Facebook and hacked consumer data news of the last year is reaching a tipping point for many consumers. For any CMO there is just no excuse NOT to have a proper marketing data strategy and plan. You need to join it together but IMPORTANTLY make sure your strategy is designed to help the consumer – what is good for the consumer is good for you. Too many data strategies seem to be designed to disregard consumer wishes and exploit a consumer’s data, rather than use it purely for the consumer’s benefit.
Our top for CMO’s is “Do it before it gets done to you!
- Get a marketing technology strategy and plan
Many CMO’s have risen to the tip of their organisation over a period where marketing technology was a small part of a marketer’s job. Now it is one of the biggest areas of spend and responsibility and many feel ill-equipped to lead this area. Also, many CMO’s do not have someone in their team who is responsible and accountable for marketing technology. This is a bit scary! Perhaps reviewing the skills, organisation design, processes and of course the technology itself is a good idea?
Maybe 2019 is the time to reap the benefits and avoid the pitfalls of this $100billion industry?
- Set out to double the speed and amount of marketing innovation
As we’ve said the consumer is changing quicker than ever before. This means any marketing organisation must innovate more. And, it also needs to innovate quicker.
The best CMO’s have set out a plan to double speed and the amount of innovation. They have formalised marketing research and development plans, test and learn “play pens”, hackathons, and budgeted for action plans where winning tests work out well.
Have you got your marketing innovation plan nailed down? Is it thorough and comprehensive? Maybe this is where you make a difference in 2019?
- Remodel your agency ecosystem to serve the above
There have been endless articles about “new agency models” and “agency of the future” and yet we know of some companies with 1500 agencies in no discernible category, order or hierarchy or with a strategy to solve for this. Given our work with McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, Ford, Goretex, Duracell and a host of others, we’ve seen many alternative agency ecosystem solutions. We always say there is no silver bullet, no right or wrong, just good and bad execution. We always tailor make a solution based around what the consumer and our client company require, in the future.
We have a great process for understanding what a CMO needs from its agencies, and how to organise the agencies. Maybe this is the year that you may wish to plan what your agency ecosystem should look like – based upon your new organisation design, new ways of working, new data and technology plans? See what else Flock does here.
We hope that this seven-point list of CMO to do’s prompts you to rethink from “what” to “how” and gives you ideas for the year ahead.
We wish you all a very happy and successful new year!