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8 things CMOs need to know right now

James A. Martin | May 9, 2017
At the recent Marketing Nation Summit, industry leaders offered CMOs tips and strategies for success — including why less is more when marketing to customers.


4. Just be yourself

Brands should have a strong identity, and their marketing should allow them to show that identity — to be themselves, so to speak. This advice came from the host of The Late Late Show with James Corden, who was a featured speaker at the conference.

Consumers “just want the truth,” Corden said in an on-stage interview with Marketo CEO Lucas. “They want to feel like they ‘get it,’” and they greatly value authenticity. He added that the segments of his late-night show that score the largest internet audiences are those in which “it’s me being the closest version of who I am.”

Authenticity and being “who you are” is especially important in an era when brands can highly personalize and target their marketing messages, Corden added. “The more open, honest and transparent you can be, the more people will respond to that,” he said.

And then, looking out into the crowd, Corden added: “You all look like you smell amazing.”


5. CMOs have great responsibility for their company’s security

It’s never been more important for CMOs to work closely with CISOs and CIOs to maximize security across an organization, said Holly Rollo, CMO of RSA Security. “Think about all the data marketers work with and depend on, all these listening tools to engage and inspire audiences,” she said. CMOs are responsible for the data and tools, and if you haven’t aligned them with your organization’s security strategy, you could be exposing the company to “massive business risks.”

Too often during digital transformations, marketing “works around IT,” and that puts the entire organization at risk, Rollo said. For example, she cited the fact that in the European Union, fines for not adequately safeguarding customer data are “tripling.”


6. CMOs should focus not just on tools but on training

Like many organizations, publisher/research firm Wiley has a proliferation of marketing tools at its disposal, said Clay Stobaugh, executive vice presiden CMO. The challenge is not necessarily getting the right tools to the right people. The challenge is in making sure you have a training foundation so that your marketing folks can use the tools, which helps build their careers as well as improve the company’s business performance.

For example, under Stobaugh, Wiley developed the Marketing Revenue Center, a ‘global center of excellence’ focused on building internal skills and training in customer experience, CRM, social media, content marketing and SEO/SEM. Employees train to receive internal certifications in these and other disciplines. The certifications help Wiley managers more easily identify employees with the skills they need in their department, which in turn gives employees a stronger career path.


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