On a rainy, humid, foggy Wednesday night in NYC, 100 people came together to be part of a conversation between Norman de Greve, CMO at CVS Health and Margaret Molloy, Global CMO at Siegel+Gale. It was an insightful and thought-provoking evening with de Greve providing a candid, humble and revelatory look at his leadership journey. And in sharing his personal story and his company’s strategic growth plans he provided a road map to career and business success. Aligning customer-driven growth with purpose-driven business is not only possible, it’s essential Knowing that it’s always best to “begin at the beginning,” one of Molloy’s first questions was to define marketing. And from de Greve’s answer we immediately knew that this would be a strategic and expansive conversation. Marketing, he advised, is not advertising or digital strategy or even brand building. These are tools. Marketing is “customer-driven growth.” That is the role of the modern CMO and this is the lens he uses to evaluate all strategies.
This week we meet with our newest board member in the States. What’s your golden rule? I’m pretty partial to “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” The power of this is really evident in technological innovation. The CD did not provide better music quality than the LP, the mobile phone was not as reliable as a landline, the iPhone did not take photos as well as a point and shoot camera. Yet all of these items have created massive disruption and change. And over time, have themselves become better products, which have (or will) be disrupted by another good alternative. And so it is with ideas: a good idea that is timely and can be executed is always better than a perfect plan. What is your most hated business expression? “I just have one small tweak …” Great, bold ideas are often killed by a thousand little cuts. To be a successful leader you have to be the champion and protector of great ideas.
Data is hailed as the marketer’s Holy Grail for a good reason — providing marketers with the insight needed to tailor advertising campaigns helps them maximize engagement among target audiences and return on investment (ROI). However, harnessing data effectively isn’t always straightforward. For many marketers, the abundance of data produced by disparate sources has made the task of identifying and unifying relevant insight seem colossal. Machine learning, which can take control of data and use it to adjust activity, often in real time, has come to be known as the solution to the industry’s analytical woes. Machine learning alone, however, cannot offer accurate intelligence for all marketing efforts — data discrepancies have been plaguing the industry for years and we still don’t seem to be any further forward.
Quick quiz for you. How many of the following statements have you heard in the last three months? Consumers are ad-savvy. Nobody reads ads anymore. Advertising has to be entertaining. People are interested in our brand purpose. If you employ an advertising agency, or work in one, the chances are high that you’ll have nodded, mm-hmm-ed or “yes”ed to all four. But here’s the thing. Most people, and by that I mean, statistically, all people, don’t work in or employ advertising agencies. About 15 years ago, I moved from an ad-folk-heavy part of West London to Salisbury. Once a sleepy market town with a piece of paper entitling it to call itself a city, Salisbury is now renowned globally for its recent dalliance with Novichok, and matters geopolitical.
Think of your long-term content strategy like a savings account. If your goal is to retire someday, then you need a plan, and you need to be consistent with contributions. The more consistent you are and the better you are with contributions, the more you will get on your return on investment. But in order to retire, you need to be consistent month-after-month, otherwise, you’ll miss your goals and the ability to retire. The same can be said about your content. If you make a plan and are consistent in approach, then you’re giving yourself the best chance at achieving ROI from your content efforts. You’ll have the opportunity to grow an expansive library of content, making you and your business content-wealthy. Before you dive in and start developing a content plan it’s important to review and document your current initiatives and assets. Doing so will make sure you’re leveraging all your resources and nothing goes unaccounted for. Below are two important tasks you should complete before planning a long-term content marketing strategy.