I spent Wednesday in an all day session with some Fortune 500 companies discussing how to improve global marketing operations. It was a great session with a lot of sharing among the companies. We had equal representation from Marketing and IT and a few even indulged in the tiramisu.
A rare thing happened in the middle of the day that I wanted to share more broadly. Have you ever had the light bulb go off in your head – a new clarity on a complex topic, a new way of looking at things. Once it goes off, the idea seems so obvious that you can’t believe you didn’t know that before. Now have you ever had that happen as part of a group? When everyone’s light bulb goes off at the same time? That is what happened yesterday.
I will try to replicate it in this blog, although I won’t be able to recreate the feeling in the room.
The Light bulb
The whole marketing world is talking about digital channels (mobile, social and content marketing) – and yet completely missing one of the biggest changes they bring. In the marketing world that nearly all current CMOs grew up in, nearly all marketing campaigns and communications went through broadcast channels (TV, Print, Radio, Outdoor). In the broadcast world, campaign success is largely driven by the strategy, concept and creative. So this is what most CMOs continue to focus on today across channels. Campaign execution is owned by the channel providers and advertisers don’t need to worry about it.
So far there shouldn’t be any light bulbs in your head. Here’s the light bulb: The new digital channels (social, mobile, content marketing) are not broadcast channels. To be effective they need to be timely, authentic and participative conversations from real people inside of companies.
It is the realization that companies must own execution for these new channels that is freaking out most Chief Marketing Officers. It is not a skill they have learned on their way up to their role and they are unsure on how to proceed.
So, any light bulbs? Seems obvious now that you see it. But I challenge you to find any reference on the web that talks about the shift in execution ownership from broadcast channels to digital channels. Anyone else in the midst of helping companies with this challenge? I’d love to hear from you. We are also trying to figure out the best way to depict this graphically. Please share your suggestions to improve the graphic.