You've put in your time, worked hard and you're now a CMO. Good for you, now get to work. No, seriously, get to work! Your plate is already full.
Back in the day, a CMO was responsible for things like brand identity, brand awareness, and corporate marketing, but today's CMO is responsible for a great deal more. Things like growth, top-line revenue, CRM, and profit are now your responsibilities as well, and experts say your responsibilities will only increase. So get to it, and while you're doing all this new stuff, make sure you stay up to date on all of the ways consumer marketing is changing. Make sure you're an expert on all things digital, have a deep understanding of social media, and know exactly how each of your consumers wants to be spoken to... on an individual basis. Get to it!
Sound impossible? How can you be responsible for all of these important new initiatives while learning about everything that's changing in the digital world? The transition is difficult, but not impossible. I know, because I lived it. I found a path to learning that you can develop for yourself to help you stay on track.
In 2010, I became CMO of Sharp Electronics. Like many of you I found that this was a critical position for the company - one that went well beyond "advertising." Not only was I tasked with creating a new brand identity, but I was also asked to identify new revenue streams through services, software, and content. Later that year I participated in IBM's worldwide CMO study. When the results came out, I was not surprised that the factor that concerned CMOs most was feeling unprepared for the "data explosion." A whopping 71% of CMOs had the same concerns I had! The difference for me, however, was that the advisory work I was doing with OwnerIQ, an ad-tech startup out of Boston, had given me the confidence I needed to take on the digital landscape.
When I became a CMO in 2010 the average tenure for the job was 2 years. I made it to 25 months, thus doing my part to push up the mean! I ended up consulting for, and now working full-time for, OwnerIQ, where I found myself knee-deep in the most exciting and effective type of advertising available: path-to-purchase programmatic media buying using real-time bidding. It sounds like a mouthful, but the barriers to understanding digital advertising are lower than you might think. All you need to do is find a little time and be willing to learn. Here are five ideas:
You do need to put aside time to do these things, and time is precious. The time you invest in learning about something that will dramatically improve your professional standing is well spent. There's really no other option than to embrace the changing landscape. So get to it! You and your company will be glad you did.
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