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Branding = Change Management and Operational Excellence

Over the past couple of years I have been involved in the development processes of SME’s and some major companies with hundreds of millions or billions in turnover. These processes are about change:

  • The emphasis is moving from advertising and external media to own touchpoints and communications with own customers
  • The marketing as such is becoming more and more targeted and measurable. Marketing has a business case and acts more and more like a business unit
  • The view is moving from products and services to customers and customer centric insight driven development
  • The development requires companies to change the way they operate and how they are organized
  • Big data about customers, their behavior and their needs is required in order to enable the change
  • The change requires companies to re-consider their KPI’s and what data do they use in order to increase transparency and enhance and empower internal innovation and cross-silo collaboration
  • This change must be managed and management must change in order to enable the change for better

I recently published my view on the new and re-designed 7P’s for marketing. In this article I already underlined the fact that marketing has changed profoundly. Brands are no longer created – they are earned. Brands live in customers’ minds and they grow from experiences.. own and peer experiences. In my opinion CMO’s are at the very core of corporate Must Win Battles like:

CMO and corporate must win battles

This is why I would say rather confidently that the path from good to great brand includes these stages:

branding, marketing, operational excellence

First: You need to have goals and vision. They act as a unifying master plan that everyone in the company can understand and accept. What kind of brand are we trying to create? What kind of customer experience and and relationship are we trying to deliver and earn? What kind of impacts are we trying to get?

Second: When you analyse the customer journey accross all touchpoints and channels, you get to see how are you currently performing, what and where do you need to improve. This is where the magic happens between your brand and customers

Third: You need to take a look at how does your company actually operate and how is it managed. Does your current ways support and enable the customer interface operations that you are trying to achieve. Are you organized right, do you have right kind of KPI’s, are different diciplines and silos working together or do you lose insights between gaps and inevitably cause corporate autism?

Fourth: Does your corporate infrastructure enable everything mentioned and planned above? Do you have legacy systems and technology, disconnected data etc. In case the technology and infrastructure doesn’t enable the change, how do you take action? What kind of roadmap and investments are required? What can be done fast, what takes more time and effort? What can be piloted and can you start the learning curve growth with some manual work that enable more effective technology implementation?

This same approach to change management can also be seen as work that moves from practical customer interfaces insights and understanding to top – not top-down. This is how it works:

upside down strategy workWhen I have been running these cases I have learned that this approach works very, very well. The reason is that everyone is involved and the process in it self actually enhances the learning and feeling of unity, shared goals and willingness to change. This is because the process inspires, makes difficult theory work feel practical and easy to adopt. Very often the process generates several small victories and improvements that can be implemented immediately. The good experiences start building up and people get the feeling that these things are really happening and we are really doing something meaningful. Once the plan is ready, the organisation has already moved several steps to the right direction and has become excited about the development. For the management this is extremely valuable situation, because they can just enable what the organisation is asking for instead of trying to order and manage changes top-down.

The reality is that the use of data and data driven operations are requiring new approach to technology and companies need to adopt it some how. Here’s an example about the use of external data ecosystem along with own data

Internal and external data use in marketing

The role of internal and external data:

the role of internal and external data in marketing and customer services

This is how I see the brand development in this day and age. Do you agree/disagree? Would you have any cases, experiences or hints how I could develop this approach further?

See also:

SEE ALSO:

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What best performers do differently by Aberdeen

I found a great article from Slideshare about the role of analytics and data-driven decision making in all aspects of marketing to focus on the voice of the customer and drive revenue. The best performers simply work harder and more methodologically. The process and tools need to be in place and they are being actively used. This is all quite obvious, still too rarely executed in real life.

This is in short, what is supposed to be in place and in operational execution:

Best-in-class PACE framework What are the difference then?

Best-performers are different in operationsWhat about technology use?

Best performer technology useLet’s make a mental note, that this study and results are from 2011. Marketing analytics for social media and marketing automation have become much more influential since then. However, this study is a great reminder of the fact, that performance comes from hard work and dedication.

SEE ALSO:

“The CMO 2013 Study insights and what CMO’s should do now”

Lost insights and Corporate Blind Spots

Business Design with customer centricity

How to enable smart company and avoid corporate autism

Author: Toni Keskinen, Marketing Architect & Customer Journey Designer

http://www.linkedin.com/in/tonikeskinen

Join FutureCMO Movement LinkedIn Group here

Source: Aberdeen CMO Study

Great future for creative agencies

Creative agencies have been under siege for a long time. The business has changed completely within relatively short time and the balance of power between disciplines within agencies has shifted tremendously. Agencies must have changed a lot by now, but they need to change a lot more in order to meet the demands Future CMO will require from them. I would consider that challenge a great inspiration though, it can be an amazing adventure. Let’s look at where agencies stand now:

1. Creative agencies key asset is.. well creativity. People trained to open up their minds, simplify and recognize what is the thing that makes people (customers) move. The challenge is that advertising agencies have limited their use of creativity in communication and doesn’t have a credibility or position to use that creativity for more general business development, which would be very natural. In the very heart of creativity is customer insight. Using that insight to new purposes is much easier to do than teach non-creative people to become creative

2. Data is now available and media agencies have a long history of analysing it. In the current environment and the direction we are heading, corporate own channels, CRM and business data allready meet media data at media agencies. This will become standard practice over the next couple of years if it hasn’t been done yet. Media agencies are trained to measure and predict impact of different actions. Their role will be also to analyse different options in product portfolio scenarios and pricing, distribution etc. CRM and marketing automatatization will be a natural next step after people have already become professionals in making real time bidding online marketing, direct marketing, direct response advertising and managing revenue/cost ratios and communication portfolios

In my opinion the creative communication ecosystem will have to grow-up and take responsibility more than they have used to. Once agencies really take responsibility they can earn their way to the business development and real corporate management. As Future CMO has already cracked the door open, the CMO’s ecosystem must prepare to take the heat and meet the demands that should be seen as the new brave world with tremendous opportunities.

IBM CEO study was crystallized as three major change drivers by Mr. Samuel Palmisano, CEO and Chairman of IBM

1.The World’s private and public sector leaders believe that a rapid escalation of “complexity” is the biggest challenge confronting them. They expect it to continue – indeed, to accelerate – in the coming years
2.They are equally clear that their enterprises today are not equipped to cope effectively with this complexity in the global environment
3.Finally, they identify “creativity” as the single most important leadership competency for enterprises seeking a path through this complexity.

Well, let’s consider creative agencies and the CEO challenges. The complexity of the world is clearly a challenge when you look at it top-down. If you look at the company from customer’s point of view, that complexity becomes much easier to handle. Creative agencies should really be capable of both reducing the complexity to the minimum AND help coping with it. Media agencies with their capability to analyze markets and customer behaviour should certainly become very handy. The third challenge, creativity, is the bread and butter for creative agencies. So, why wouldn’t agencies start meeting these challenges.

Actually, the new breed of agencies have started doing exactly that. They are just called Service design agencies and their methodology is based on Design Thinking. The basic value proposition is to offer companies a) very clear customer insight b) services that meet the customers’ needs in new ways driving growth and profitability. They are actually changing marketing in to service. Pushy communications no longer work, making communications that inspire, entertain and serve customers are relevant and interesting.. and they sell better.

Dear former colleague, Adman and thinker who has inspired me more than any other person in the world, Rory Sutherland, has made a case of meeting the challenges with one single concept: Behavioral Economics. His case below is a great eye opener for any Ad exec or CMO. There is a great future for creative and media agencies if they just embrace the opportunities, take responsibility and are prepared to unleash their capacity to more meaningful purpose:

“IPA President Rory Sutherland explains why he is championing behavioural economics We need to broaden the definition of what we do to reflect the new reality of the market place because if we don’t create a new model based on human understanding, then we are in danger of using 1950s packaged goods persuasive techniques to solve todays communications problems! With behavioural economics we can align ourselves to a recognizable science and not be held hostage to the media budget. It gives us a framework that will refresh our thinking and our talent pool and with it we can use ideas to turn human understanding into business and social advantage.”

 

Author: Toni Keskinen, Marketing Architect & Customer Journey Designer

http://www.linkedin.com/in/tonikeskinen

Join FutureCMO Movement LinkedIn Group here

CMO expectations and emphasis – CMO survey 2/2012

CMO’s are quite optimistic, increase spending overall but especially in social media, CRM and analytics (internally and externally)
CMOsurvey.com made a study of CMO expectations and emphasis in February 2012.
The wheel is already turning and the role of CMO’s changing. It is especially interesting to see that the traditional emphasis of CMO is now giving way to more strategic role:

The CMO’s role is starting to turn and take stronger role in the board of directors with development and innovation role

The results clearly state, that the role of CMO is to run competitive and customer analytics and take action with analytics and insights in innovation and business development. Marketing is finally moving towards it’s roots, the 4P’s and commercial growth driver role. I can’t wait to see the next H2 results!!
Prophet’s State of marketing Study also emphasize the paradigm shift:
Another study “CMO’s Agenda” report from strategic marketing consulting firm CMG Partners conclude four other core trends affecting CMOs:

  • Strengthening the CMO/CEO relationship:  Interviewed CMOs report that they are strengthening their credibility with the C suite, and CEOs in particular, through best practices that include framing recommendations in ROI terms (beyond creativity and the marketing budget’s P&L); educating themselves and top management on how marketing can contribute to the company’s growth/business performance; documenting where marketing opportunities exist and might be captured; and highlighting risks while laying out how those can be mitigated. Successful CMOs are also building relationships with fellow senior managers and creating intra-company alliances based on their ability to demonstrate marketing’s impact on their co mpanies’ performance.
  • Social marketing:  Social media are not only transforming traditional principles of brand-building and customer loyalty, but altering human interaction fundamentals, says CMG. While CMOs are best-positioned within their organizations to lead the mission of understanding and mastering these complex trends, by virtue of their ages/backgrounds, few are “native social-media speakers.” Study respondents reported that they are mastering these challenges through “generational seeding”: Creating internal teams that include younger, cyber-intelligent employees. This also brings the benefit of developing a talent pool that should secure the organization’s future.
  • Managing Millennials:  Millennial-generation marketing employees are critical because of their inherent understanding of social media, but their insights are too often dismissed because of their inability to present such insights with “crisp logic and presentation cosmetics,” marketing chiefs pointed out to CMG. Investing the time and energy to “connect the dots” to develop this generation’s thinking can unlock crucial learning for CMOs and their organizations, the participants stressed.
  • Demand creation:  Successful CMOs realize that the ability to position themselves as the rightful keepers of the “innovation flame” – the critical, differentiating mission of creating the perception among consumers that a brand is delivering what they need/want even before they know it themselves – is extremely powerful, and the key to advancing their influence within their companies.

Behind CMO survey that is done twice a year is Christine Moorman the Director of The CMO Survey and the T. Austin Finch, Sr. Professor of Business Administration, The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. Full study is available below:

Author: Toni Keskinen, Marketing Architect & Customer Journey Designer

http://www.linkedin.com/in/tonikeskinen

Join FutureCMO Movement LinkedIn Group here

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