Category

CMO

Next Generation CMOs: Transformation Leaders

butterfly out of cocoon

The marketing industry is constantly evolving. These changes bring new opportunities and roles for CMOs and the brands they represent, alike. Brand marketers today are stepping away from legacy marketing tactics and inventing new, exciting campaigns to reach customers.

According to Deloitte’s Jen Veenstra in her article, “If CMO roles as we’ve defined them have required proficiency not only in marketing but across multiple business functions, the job has expanded even further in complexity to include sustainable growth, highly personalized customer experiences, and advanced marketing innovation.”

In order to ensure success, CMOs need to embrace and step into key strategic roles. By doing so, you will increase opportunities to enhance brand awareness, driving revenue for your business, and expanding your own professional repertoire.

man on a toy car in flame - growth

Growth Driver

It is vital that CMOs drive growth for their brand. When they fail to establish and implement initiatives for improvement centered on growth, the brand suffers.

Most CMOs measure growth using revenue. However, this seems like a daunting task to accurately attribute, and many marketers experience disconnect when trying to drive growth through revenue.

But CMOs must put in the effort to become comfortable using revenue as a metric for growth by adopting the new role as enterprise business growth leader.

At the end of the day, one of the critical responsibilities that a CMO has is to have an end-to-end view of the customer, acknowledging trends, and making strategic recommendations to outsmart the competition to grow business. It is, ultimately, the bottom line for C-Suite decision-makers.

Customer Champion

Embracing customer data and intelligence are important ways for brands to deliver better customer experiences. You can gain valuable insights by collecting and tracking both emotional and transactional preferences from consumers across all channels.

CMOs can then use this data to become the “voice” for their shoppers. And, consequently, CMOs will more effectively engage with their target group of consumers and provide a personalized buying experience.

When brands know what consumers want and what their expectations are, they can implement marketing approaches that personally “speak” to customers.

businessman holding tablet

Storyteller

Riveting, intriguing stories engage consumers’ interest. So, CMOs should ensure that they effectively assume the role of storyteller. By creating and sharing an entertaining narrative about your brand and value, shoppers will be more drawn to what you have to say, and more attracted to your products. Marketers can reshape their brand’s image through the stories they tell consumers.

As Veenstra explains, “It’s still up to marketers to safeguard and disseminate the news about their companies’ brands and invite consumers to participate in the narrative. Chief storytellers have been defined by their part in promoting brand relevance and consistency, and it appears they aren’t straying far away from this role.” Growth-oriented CMOs see storytelling as a thriving and exciting opportunity to connect with customers.

*****

CMOs no longer have only one role to follow. Brand marketers who want to remain profitable and relevant in today’s ever-changing market must wear different “hats,” hence, the future roles of CMO are likely to become even more complex. By adopting the enterprise-wide mindset to align with the shared goals, and to become a brand’s voice for consumers, CMOs will become the major player behind their company’s success.

Related blogs:

Subscribe to the Blog

Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE

Top Brand Marketing Trends for 2019

people looking up-crowd

2019 is set to be a game-changing year for brand marketers. Between a rapidly shifting political landscape and fast increases in marketing technology, the way marketers do their jobs – and how brands connect with their customers – is likely to witness some major new trends that they’ll need to be prepared for to capitalize on.

That’s according to an article by Michael Stone, published in Forbes that while “we live in a time of radical transformation” of the retail space, savvy marketers can still prepare themselves for success.

So, what significant trends are set to shape the marketing landscape in 2019?

broadway street view with storefront signs

Merging Online and In-Store Customer Journeys

One of the biggest marketing trends set to continue well beyond 2019 is the merging of an online and in-store customer retail journeys.

As Stone says, “the blurring of online and offline retail will continue at an increased pace.” This is made possible in large part due to advances in customer data tracking and analysis. Thanks to a multi-channel understanding of a customer’s interactions with your brand, you can drive them either to your brick-and-mortar space or your e-commerce website by offering personalized deals through either channel.

At any rate, brands will need to ensure both their digital and in-store marketing are in healthy, fighting shape, as competition continues to grow from retailers moving from one space into the other (like Amazon’s move into brick-and-mortar, and Walmart’s robust online shopping platform). Stone explains: “Retailers will not [be able to] sit still as they continue to up their game.”

Creating Compelling In-Store Experiences

As we’ve discussed on the NVISION blog before, one of the most interesting retail marketing trends is the growing appeal of transforming retail stores into “experience centers.”

With online shopping and e-commerce becoming easier and faster every day (especially with services that offer next-day or even same-day delivery), brands must find new ways to draw customers into their brick-and-mortar stores. To do so, they are creating experience centers, where customers can physically touch, try, handle, and use the company’s products, and even test them in a real-world environment.

“Brands will continue to look for ways to ‘pull’ customers into the brand rather than ‘pushing’ the brand at them,” Stone explains, “such as creatively driven pop-up stores; new, permanent mono-branded stores; malls featuring spa services, tailoring, and personal stylists; branded hotels; themed restaurants; and themed exhibits. Brands and consumers will become more ‘entangled.’”

And as the popularity of these brick-and-mortar experiences grows, so too will the need for brands to create, produce, and deliver their physical marketing materials on-time, on-budget, and with empowered flexibility.

woman holding shopping bags walking

Brands Taking Positions in a Shifting Political Landscape

For years, brands were told to “stay in your lane” and athletes were told to “stick to sports.” But 2019 promises to be a year where much of the rules around marketing and politics change.

As Stone points out, many brands have been “forced” to take a stand politically, citing the example of many brands pulling their support (and advertising dollars) and “abandoning the NRA following the shooting last February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.”

Other have chosen to take a stand and roll the dice both financially and politically, such as Nike did in 2018 when it made former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick its spokesperson.

“Brands are increasingly aware that younger consumers want their brands to take a position and to have a purpose,” Stone writes. And whether that position is something fairly uncontroversial – like using sustainable manufacturing processes or promoting female executives to leadership roles – or whether it is a new hot-button issue for 2019 (like the widespread legalization of the marijuana industry in the U.S. and Canada), customers want their brands to stand for something.

*****

2019 will be a year of new trends and changes for marketers everywhere. Between a shifting political landscape and the continued blurring of the online and in-store retail spaces, having flexible and reliable marketing operations will allow many brands to capitalize on these changing trends and post record-breaking years. And that’s a trend we can all hope for.

Related blogs:

Subscribe to the Blog

Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE

Top Ways ABM Is Creating Opportunities for CMOs

Think of traditional marketing as fishing with a net – designed to reach as broad and wide as possible to snare any potential deals of all sizes. This works well if your goal is not to miss any opportunities but ultimately leads to significant waste.

Then there is ABM or account-based marketing. Compared to traditional marketing, ABM is like spearfishing – targeting only the ideal accounts that are most likely to close and/or generate the most revenue. That’s why, according to a recent report by ITSMA, 87 percent of companies state that ABM delivers a higher ROI than traditional marketing.

So, why should CMOs care about ABM in 2019? Jon Miller of Engagio explains some of the best reasons.

professional meeting - ABM

Better Alignment With Sales

One of the most common frustrations CMOs face is a lack of alignment with sales teams. With different goals, KPIs, and responsibilities, marketing teams often find themselves pursuing one thing while sales is actively pursuing another.

The result? Your prospects receive mixed messages and inconsistent marketing materials. That weakens your brand. But with ABM, marketing and sales are more fully aligned. With a small selection of specific, hand-picked accounts, CMOs can produce marketing materials that are more personalized, targeted, and branded just for those accounts. Marketing and sales are now working in tandem, sharing the same goal of landing those identified accounts.

And that means better ROI for CMOs. In fact, according to SiriusDecisions, sales and marketing alignment can drive up to 36 percent more business growth and 27 percent faster profit growth.

Stronger Brand Recognition

Related to the “waste” associated with traditional marketing methods mentioned above, even the strength of your brand can get lost in the shuffle. For every mass email blast that reaches an audience it wasn’t intended for, your brand is seen as inaccurate, irrelevant, or – worst of all – pitching a message that you did not intend for that customer to hear.

“ABM allows [CMOs] to establish and cultivate trust with your customers, thereby building a strong brand over time,” Miller explains. “If you take the time to utilize the core tenants of ABM, and send a personal and relevant message to a targeted audience,” you are able to portray your brand as an authority, a trusted advisor, and an approachable resource. That specificity and intentionality strengthen your brand.

brand idea poster - onsite services

Marketing Guides the Customer Journey

ABM is a “land and expand” type of strategy. It involves identifying and targeting accounts that are not only ideal new customers but that present likely upselling and cross-selling opportunities as well. “ABM guides intelligent account expansion at existing customer accounts,” Miller says. “In ABM, all customer-facing teams work in harmony to ensure a buyer’s experience is positive, consistent, and in context with the rest of the account.”

This means that ABM uniquely puts CMOs in charge of creating the customer’s journey since CMOs are the best-qualified people in most organizations to safely steward the brand’s identity and value propositions across multiple channels.

“It is about providing a holistic view of each account, coordinating interactions across departments for every stage of the customer experience, and measuring results with an account-centric lens,” Miller continues. “The right person to own the coordination and orchestration of the relationships is [the CMO] because they have the technology and skills to do so.” ABM presents savvy CMOs with an opportunity to apply their strategic expertise to real-world account-based campaigns.

*****

Account-based marketing, or ABM, is changing how marketers generate leads for the better. With this new focused, granular outlook, ABM presents CMOs with several exciting opportunities to improve both the public perception of their brands and the operational effectiveness of their marketing departments. And that can lead to better ROI, more qualified leads, and stronger revenue forecasts.

Related blogs:

Subscribe to the Blog

Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE

Gartner: Three Tips for Building an Agile Marketing Culture

The landscape for marketers is changing more rapidly than ever. And for marketing leaders who feel like their teams and resources are already stretched thin, this can be a daunting reality. But, one of the best ways to plan for this reality, and to prepare your organization to maximize marketing resources is to develop a marketing culture around agile thinking.

That’s according to Marc Brown at Gartner, who explains that today’s marketing leaders can cultivate an agile culture – and agile thinking – by focusing their attention on three key areas: Skills, Data, and Operations. So, what does that actually look like for real CMOs and marketing directors?

Let’s dive in.

professional meeting - a woman presenting

Build Your Team with the Skills to Match Your Vision

Nearly every member of your marketing team probably has different skills. From copywriters to designers to marketing automation experts, your marketing department is more than the sum of its parts. But just as each member of your team has different skills, so too does each marketing department have a different overall vision for success. And that vision should shape the skills makeup of your team.

Marketing visions can vary vastly from team to team,” Brown explains. “Assembling a team with a unified vision all starts with the recruiting process.” To this end, Brown recommends taking the time to put down on paper exactly what your team’s vision is – what metrics success will be judged by, what key goals you will hope to achieve, etc. Then, Brown recommends recruiting “T-shaped” team members, or team members who possess a broad breadth of skills while also demonstrating deep expertise in a single specific area. According to Gartner’s 2017 Marketing Organization Survey, 53% of modern marketers are already “T-shaped,” so developing your perfect team is mostly a matter of mapping everyone’s skills to your larger team vision.

Data is the Foundation of Agility

As Brown explains, one of the fundamental characteristics of an agile marketing approach is constant iteration and analysis. What’s working, what isn’t, and how closely are you measuring it? “For a marketing team to break the norm and boost engagement, they must first understand exactly what ‘the norm’ is,” Brown says. “Agile marketing’s iterative approach enables you to incorporate data and insights into your planning on an ongoing basis.”

Gartner specifically recommends using your customer data to create a multichannel 360-degree of your customer’s journey, from Buy to Own to Advocate. “Using this data is key to understanding pain points. You can’t find innovative solutions if you don’t understand the common snags in your systems, customer behavior, and shopping trends,” says Brown. If you want to build an agile marketing team that can respond to new trends at a moment’s notice, you must first establish the data practices to discover them.

Agile Operations Are Not Always Linear

Part of shifting to an agile marketing mindset is adjusting your expectations for your operational workflows. Traditional marketing operations tend to conceptualize these processes as flowing naturally, step-by-step, from something like Strategy to Research, Design, Deploy, and finally, Measure. But as Brown explains, agile marketing operations look very different.

“It’s better to view the process as a loop to continuously facilitate collaboration, ideation, development, execution, and measurement.” This, Brown says, is to account for the fact that no team can ever predict all the ways and areas where optimization has opportunities to improve the process. “Although it may seem like these processes naturally flow from one stage to the next, there’s never a one-size-fits-all formula. Certain stages may be conducted simultaneously in order to view the situation from all angles, or to reevaluate a plan or to pivot and adjust direction.”

*****

An agile marketing mindset helps marketing teams position themselves for future success in a quickly-changing landscape. But to put themselves in a position to respond with agility, marketing leaders must take steps now to build and establish an agile mindset. By focusing on Skills, Data, and Operations, smart CMOs can do just that, today.

Related blogs:

Subscribe to the Blog

Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE

Millennial Marketing: It’s a Whole New Ballgame

Millemmial Marketing

The world is changing, thanks largely in part to the efforts, habits, and preferences of “millennials.” And the field of marketing is no exception.

Millennials, those of us born between the early ‘80s and early 2000s, are now the single largest age demographic in the United States. There are currently 87.5 million millennials living in the U.S., compared to just 83.7 million “Generation X” Americans (those born between the mid-‘60s and early ‘80s) and 66.4 million “Baby Boomers.” This means one thing very clearly: to be successful in marketing today, you must engage with these millennials, and savvy marketers must understand their psychology.

Which is why NVSION has gathered some of the latest data on the psychology of millennial shoppers, and how marketing organizations can leverage this information.

hand holding mobile phone with AR

Millennial Spending Preferences: What Marketers Should Know

Due to broader differences in modern culture and values, millennials show distinct preferences for certain industries when it comes to how they spend their hard-earned money. By understanding this fact, marketers in these industries can feel confident in strategically focusing their efforts on capturing this millennial audience and allocating their marketing budgets accordingly.

Here are the Top 5 areas where millennials spend their money.

  1. Socialization. Whether nights out on the town, social organizations like recreational sports leagues, or just fun, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, millennials spend the lion’s share of their disposable income on socialization. Fun is on the menu for them.
  2. Education. We’ve all heard horror stories about student loan debt and for-profit colleges. But millennials are also spending their money on personal continuing education opportunities, like language courses, classes that teach specific skills (like cooking or brewing), and other opportunities to increase their knowledge.
  3. Apparel. We all want to look our best, and that’s especially true for millennials. Clothing retailers and marketers would be wise to closely study the psychology of millennials’ shopping behaviors.
  4. Services. The most precious commodity to millennials is time. As such, they are more willing to pay for time-saving services than any generation before them.
  5. Eating Out. Similar to the Services industry, millennials love to get their food out because it saves time and effort. They’re willing to pay a little more for it. Just look at the success of on-demand food delivery services like GrubHub and Uber Eats.

When you compare these trends to the top areas of spending focus for Gen X shoppers and Baby Boomers (things like pensions and insurance), it becomes clear that a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy just won’t work. Personal insurance marketers should be investing their marketing budgets differently than socialization marketers because their audiences – and their audiences’ preferences – are different.

Best Practices for Marketing to Millennials

Keeping the above spending preferences in mind, here are some best practices for marketers to leverage and increase millennial engagement.

Millennial Personalization

According to a study by the University of Southern California, millennials are 85% more likely to purchase a product if they have been exposed to it via personalized content. Whether this is with marketing promotions based on their personal shopping history or unique materials segmented for their unique buyer persona, millennials prefer highly personalized marketing.

In fact, a 2018 SuperOffice study found that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product if marketed to them with personalized experiences. And that trend will only continue: customer experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator among consumers by 2020. Agile marketing operations that can accommodate the creation of personalized experiences will win more millennial business for your brand.

Multi-Channel Marketing to Millennials

More than any other generation, millennials engage with brands across multiple different channels, including digital, mobile, in-store, and direct mail.

A recent study by the Harvard Business Review found that 73% of consumers regularly engage with their preferred brands via an average of four (4) different channels. What’s more, retail brands that engage their customers with a multi-channel marketing strategy see an average increase of 89% in customer loyalty and retention.

These numbers only increase for millennial shoppers, who own on average 7-8 internet-connected devices each. In fact, 60% of millennials expect a consistent experience across all of that brand’s channels. By working to establish well-organized, agile marketing operations, marketers can create the unified, multi-channel marketing experiences that win over millennial shoppers.

*****

The millennial generation becomes a larger portion of your marketing audience each and every day. By understanding their unique preferences, spending habits, and preferred methods of engagement, marketing teams can capture more of their business, increase overall revenue, and improve brand loyalty.

Subscribe to the Blog

Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE