Last week at the Churchill Club, CMOs from four celebrated brands converged for a candid discussion on the changing CMO role. Moderator Laura McLellan, Gartner’s Research VP and Marketing Disciplines Agenda Manager, made a bold prediction in January that “By 2017 the CMO Will Spend More on IT Than the CIO.” Panelists SAP’s Jonathan Becher, Intuit’s Nora Denzel, DreamWorks Animation’s Anne Globe and Google’s Lorraine Twohill agreed that marketing is moving in that direction.
Panelists affirmed that their roles as CMO are more diverse than ever before, which was no surprise to the audience. They shared several commonalities:
• All reported directly to CEOs and were held accountable for helping the business grow.
• All are leveraging big data and digital analytics to succeed in marketing.
• None drew a distinction between channels, such as social media verse traditional media – all channels are a means to engage with customers, and all campaigns feature multichannel integration.
• None have “digital marketing” specialists because digital is so integrated, it’s hard to draw a distinction.
Surprising Insights on Data Analytics
Anne Globe, CMO of DreamWorks Animation, shared that she and her team “work more closely with our CIO on how we can talk in real time with our audience.” She is always looking for ways to “weed out the data that’s just making noise” from the valuable data analysis that will illustrate new marketing truths. The entertainment business more than most must analyze data and make campaign adjustments in real time because the success or failure of a film is determined by its results from 9 p.m. on the opening Friday.
Jonathan Becher, SAP’s CMO, admitted, “I’m a dashboard guy.” He keeps a close eye on the four marketing metrics that matter: Revenue, the health of the pipeline, customer engagement and the health of the brand. (Full disclosure: As CFO of Anametrix, I’m a dashboard guy, too, and Jonathan’s sentiments were music to my ears.)
For Nora Denzel at Intuit, her title extends beyond CMO to senior VP of big data, social design and marketing. She spends much of her time analyzing big data to meet stretch goals for customer growth. “[Getting to a market of one is] difficult to do, but it really gets you back to the days when there was a corner store and the guy knew your name and knew you and could start packing the bag when you came in. And we’ll get to that digitally with the nexus of the social media, smart devices and data. That is the marketer’s dream, and that is what we’ve wanted since I was born: a 3-D view of the customer. And I think we’re on the cusp of it in the next five years, 10 years.”
On the Art and Science of Marketing
Lorraine Twohill, Google’s VP of global marketing, is proud to work at an engineering-led company, but she will not tolerate using “science [as] an excuse for mediocrity.” Just because you can implement a marketing initiative you can track doesn’t mean it’s good for your brand, even if it performs well. It needs a spark of magic, as well as consistent branding. “Everything we do carries messaging. It has to be great work.”
Gartner’s Laura McLellan reinforced Lorraine’s view of marketing as art and suggested that, “Marketing is entertainment. [Marketers] are content publishers” using storytelling to influence purchasing decisions.
We agree… which is why we help marketers decipher the science of marketing-data analysis to help support and enhance the art of marketing! After all, the only way to be a great marketer is to truly understand when and why marketing magic actually works.
Advice for CMOs and Marketers
So what advice do the panelists have for marketers? Here’s our summary of each person’s thoughts:
For more detail, view the whole event at Fora.TV and read the tweets for #churchillclub. Join Anametrix in the conversation on Twitter and follow the Churchill Club and CMO Agenda panelists @jbecher and @ndenzel.