Today’s consumers are empowered with technology like never before, and the pace of technological change and it’s penetration through all sectors of society makes it hard for most marketers to keep up with. This can be extremely disrupting as the new digital landscape of interactive media and digital devices challenges the ways marketers have traditionally planned and managed dynamic systems. The need to constantly keep abreast of what is new, and how to leverage it is foremost in marketing managers minds – as well as organisations as a whole.
A recent paper by Chris Stutzman from Forrester entitled CMO Mandate: Adapt Or Perish the Five habits Of highly Adaptive Marketers looks at the landscape and lays out essence of the success behind those marketers who are winning in this new space:
1. They Roll with Change
What worked in yesterday’s marketing environment is no guarantee for success today. Marketers who are adaptive and take a more dynamic approach through experimenting with their team structure, emerging media channels, and new technology will be ready for left field change, and able to stay ahead of the pack.
2. They Challenge the Status Quo
Today’s environment calls for anything but sticking by “the way things have always been done.” Adaptive marketers question the status quo, acting as leaders of change in creating new brand experiences, and finding ways to use new technology to their advantage.
3. They Act Continuously
Marketers risk losing opportunities by getting overwhelmed by new options. Adaptive marketers prioritise speed and action when it comes to utilising new channels or creating new customer-facing initiatives.
4. They Engage Personally
The traditional marketers’ world was a top-down structure, whereby those at the top often became detached from the front lines of consumer traction. Marketers today need to get their hands dirty in new media and innovative marketing and lead their team by example into having a personal stake in shaping new brand experiences.
5. They Break the Silos
Siloing stifles creativity and collaboration. Organisational boundaries need to be redefined to motivate people to link up in different ways and share their knowledge. Good leaders will find ways to give them the tools to stay connected with each other.
Chief Marketing Officers need to give clear direction to effect the changes required to stay ahead, and channel them for competitive advantage. They need to redefine their own role amongst the company’s leadership.
Marketers should become that voice in the company pushing innovation through the business. As the CMO role grows across new customer-facing initiatives, it will also expand to internally facing projects. CMOs should seek out a more prominent role in building brand internally, identifying brand heroes within the organisation, and building the bridges between marketing, sales, and service for total brand experience.
CMOs need to develop a dynamic relationship with CIOs to bolster the usages of new technology. This can be done by having a chief marketing technologist in place to stay ahead in emerging technology, utilising learning labs where marketing and IT can experiment with new technology together, and by using new tech and social media tools that are gaining traction with consumers.
The agenda for the adaptive brand marketers is immense: developing an agile approach where marketers quickly response to their environment, constantly aligning consumer and brand goals to maximise the return on brand equity.