What CMOs have to think about is not necessarily the next big technology. Technology is moving way too fast, in fact, faster than CMOs can grab onto it and use it effectively. And so really, what they need to think about is thinking of their team, like software. And I don’t mean that in the sense that they don’t have personal relationship or connection, but the fact that using any technology is a group of people working together with a system of process and policies.
And how are those affected and managed and optimized to optimize your digital presence? Well, what is the digital optimization process methodology and system you have in place at the company? How are people learning? How are people moving that flywheel faster?
And so that is not a technology, but it’s been thinking about your team to adapt, to utilize all these new technologies. The other answer I’d give that’s also not technology is that CMOs have to start thinking about how they adapt to a transparent world. And there’s some good things about that, about the ability for a company to more easily express themselves in what’s going on and be open.
But the challenging part about that is that a CMO is not to control of the entire organization. And so really what they have to struggle with, the thing they have to start to think about, is, how do I become a company that people want to do business with, even though I don’t have direct control over all the things this company does, from the product that’s being created to the service support and everything else? So again, to be customer-centric is to break down those silos in a company.
And so they have to start thinking about the people, the process, the tools the buy-in to break down those silos to make the entire company move together in a way that is customer-centric so that authenticity actually is a competitive advantage for them. Assume we had five more technologies in the next two years, or themes, or memes, whatever you call them.
We’ve went from CRM, to web, to search, the social, to big data. It doesn’t matter. Really, what’s changing is the velocity. What’s really the challenge for CMOs is adapting to velocity of change. And so what they have to think about is, what do I put in place in terms of tools, but then on the people side, to adapt to that? And then to get the company to work in a way that all of this openness.
What big data, social and the digital democratization all means is that customers have more access to understand the company, its products, and they probably know more than the people inside the company. How does a company respond to that and facilitate that? Not control it or shape it, but facilitate it. In order to facilitate, you have to be confident that the company is operating in a way that you want it to.