HBR: 5 Things Digital CMOs Do Better

InsightaaS: Harvard Business Review (HBR) is recognized worldwide as a leading source of management insight and innovation - and Gartner Group is the world's foremost research and consulting firm focused on IT industry. HBR focuses on providing advice to senior management, including CMOs; Gartner has been predicting that CMOs will have an increasingly-influential role in directing IT-centric strategies and investments. It shouldn't come as a surprise, then that a recent HBR post, penned by Gartner's Jake Sorofman, provides a unique - and valuable - perspective on the ways in which digitally-savvy CMOs are helping their businesses to drive higher levels of performance.

At InsightaaS, we have observed first-hand some of the success patterns that Sorofman comments on, including (and especially) the observation that digital CMOs "shelve the commercial pitch in favor of authentic storytelling." This dictum, and Sorofman's point that there is a "shift from finding customers to getting found," are consistent with much of what we've seen from organizations like Forrester and Sirius Decisions, and what we've found in our own customer discussions. We also felt a pang of recognition when Sorofman urged readers to look for new positions with the titles "data architects, corporate journalists, data storytellers and chief content officers." Old-time marketers and media critics alike may have reasons for objecting, but the increased links between the CMO's digital reach and new ways of commingling content and customer engagement will be with us for some years to come.

If you’re a mid- or late-career marketer, chances are your job today is mostly unrecognizable from what you signed on for. Perhaps no other business function has changed as dramatically over the past decade.

Why? Following a silent coup, the coronation is complete: the customer is king. With an abundance of information and choice, customers now guide their own self-directed decision journey as they traverse connected experiences that blur the lines between physical and virtual and scramble marketers’ signals for targeting.

Many marketers are left behind, simply tuned in to the wrong frequencies. In response, capturing the right data has become the key capability in finding and engaging audiences. But data, alone, isn’t enough; search and social marketing, for example, are content hungry disciplines. Marketers must also become publishers.

For marketing leaders, this has forced some serious soul searching on how to meet these challenges...

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