CMO strategies in a highly disrupted market


Jamie Miller - Director, Marketing Recruitment
Image of people coming up with a strategy

By their very nature, Chief Marketing Officers tend to welcome disruption, not to mention creativity and innovation, particularly if it is being driven by the talented team they have carefully built. But even for CMOs who thrive in a complex and highly competitive marketing landscape, Covid 19 has produced a range of internal and external market complexities which require an unprecedented response from their function.

Internally, their business brands are facing fundamental changes to real estate strategy, a flexible and largely home-based work force and a step change in customer interaction. Externally, they are engaging with a consumer base who are distressed and have been forced to adapt their lives and purchasing priorities.

Whilst a range of existing digital marketing tools are simply being accelerated into the heart of the strategy, there is an increasing focus on organisational tone, sense of purpose and genuine empathy with the consumer audience. The following initiatives and digital trends have been particularly prevalent across corporate marketing functions in recent months.

Maintaining Sensitivity & Empathy

Developing and demonstrating these attributes with the consumer are critical for now and post Covid 19 engagement and can be achieved through careful listening. There are a diverse range of social listening tools which can monitor consumer conversation and behaviour. Marketing content teams in turn can analyse this data and produce meaningful content to share and remain connected with their consumer audience.

Defining organisational purpose

Whether it is an institutional investor, shareholder or an individual who subscribes to your services or picks a product from the shelf, companies are being increasingly evaluated on the value they create across society. CMOs are collaborating across their cross functional executive leadership teams to extract and define organisational purpose with a strong focus on Environmental & Social sustainability and Diversity and Inclusion at the top of the agenda.  

Digital transformation and investment

CMOs who continually collaborate, challenge and work in strategic partnership with Chief Technology Officers, will enrich their functional strategy. Consumer data which is 3 months old is increasingly out of date and leveraging carefully thought through Artificial Intelligence can play a critical role in engaging and understanding the consumer further. Chatbot platforms are huge growth areas for leading brands with consumers citing they do not have a preference for whether their problem is solved via Bot or Human, as long as the problem is resolved.

Harnessing Diversity & Inclusion

CMOs are evaluating the true breadth of their teams from cognitive diversity right through to style and the lens through which they view the world. The economic, creative and commercial upsides to a diverse and inclusive team are now proven, forward thinking CMOs are already pipelining into this potential to steer organisational success.

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