Top-performing retailers align on a north star based on their strategic and customer goals, then set their omnichannel course accordingly.
Understanding both what is core and what can give them leadership allows retailers to place their bets more strategically, giving management the clarity needed to ensure buy-in and alignment on the agenda.
Today's Senior Marketing CV's are littered with descriptions of 'paid media' digital communications expertise and the awesome results they've delivered - seems very few have ever had shit results BTW!.
This is as a result of years of internal promotions of junior marketing executives into senior marketing people who today know very little about brand marketing other than deploying 'paid media' bullhorn campaigns.
Worse still is the board believing that this is 'marketing' - when in reality its an echo chamber of what they have always done, and simply stifles growth and innovation.
Prior to this pandemic marketing communications should have been about 8% of the marketing function’s duties.
However, it increasingly seemed to take up almost all of it along with a sizable budget spend - something that also got 50%-75% ad fraud built in but never reported to the board.
As such marketers were becoming more and more responsible for the communication aspects of the marketing mix – with 'paid' social media, PR, CRM and ecommerce all increasingly under their control as the other tactical and strategic challenges dissipate.
It certainly seems like business has lost sight of the wider role of the CMO's ability and expertise in leveraging research and data to identify changes in consumer behaviour, explore organic growth opportunities, find untapped consumer ideas, along with opening up new product opportunities in different sectors and markets.
Findings suggest that CMOs will have to significantly adapt to hold onto their positions which is now opening up opportunities for the CMOs of yesterday to embrace the role of "CGO" (Chief Growth Officer) and look beyond typical brand advertising and digital communications.
Prior to this crisis the role of the CMO was already seen as a relatively short term tenure.
Losing their jobs every eighteen months seems to me to be a case of a CMO being employed, given six months to get their feet under the desk and then they try and 'do what they've always done' having told the board how great they were in their previous role.
Companies who thought they had years to transform have just had a very nasty wake up call.
The seemingly mismatch between a board simply needing execution of an existing strategy (more of the same please) yet hiring for growth tends to be at the heart of the CMO turnstile.
Pre Covid (hopefully not post) companies would run the recruitment and interview process, a process that was/is significantly biased towards the paid media digital communication expertise a Marketing Director/CMO or marketing lead could bring - just check out any job role description for a marketing head on LinkedIn and you will see the absurdity of the incremental bias.
Is this really the extent of what businesses need from it's marketing leaders, and from those future leaders who are coming through today's marketing departments?
Top-performing retailers align on a north star based on their strategic and customer goals, then set their omnichannel course accordingly. A mass apparel retailer, for example, knew it needed to both expand its e-commerce capabilities and revitalize the in-store experience. But the commerce model wouldn’t give them enough advantage, since peers in the same hotly contested space would be racing to acquire the same capabilities.