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David Smith

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David Smith

Jun 8, 2017

Time for a New (Automated) CMO?


As the client services director in a cutting edge marketing agency I am privileged to engage with a range of businesses and functional leaders from across multiple industries. It’s clear to me that in this ‘always on’ society, time is the true currency of meaning. As organisations become flatter, less formal and more mobile the previous barrier of technology is no longer an excuse. The elephant in the room is surely time or more specifically the lack of it. Does ‘always on’ lead to always productive or always exhausted?

There is a lot of chat in the market around hollowing out professions, automating the repetitive task, enabling you and your teams to focus on the bigger picture and getting better value from your talent investment. I for one believe it is the most effective and efficient way to streamline your business using technology as an enabler. With the ever shifting political and economic landscapes dictating the cyclical mundane boom and bust cycles, the marketing department and in fact the modern business of today can’t continue consolidate and cut, then invest and run base level improvements. We need to aim higher and want more sustainable innovation and success.

For the marketing leader of the future the answer is consistency and continual development.To coin a well used phrase ‘incremental gains’ are the answer not awaiting the silver bullet of the next new fad, piece of technology or new global head of X title that is going to be your new savour. It’s about investing in the infrastructure and an robust continual development model that evolves with technology and the modern marketing landscape.

That is why my automation journey is driven on the frustrations of boom or bust strategies. However, I suppose I should be thankful as most agencies would be out of business if it wasn’t for the ebbs and flows of talent and resource availability of our mid tier / enterprise clients.

Modern marketing automation is about identifying the repetitious but valuable activities and selecting a platform that can create not intelligent and complex workflows but time itself!

I am unfortunately known for using buzz terms and love the term ‘currencies of meaning’ - with modern commodities like data, skills and technology having completely different values to any one business it is hard to put a standardised currency or price point on at any time.

Arguably demand dictates price and demand is driven by availability which in term = time and the value of. If you and your team of marketers are highly talented then time is their strongest asset, so putting it to good use is critical.

Using modern automation and platforms like your OMC, Marketo and Hubspot will provide you with the ability to design and build all the relevant pieces of the puzzle which includes behavioral based data, email, personalisation, real-time and mobile marketing. Your challenge as a modern leader is to leverage the team's skills to maximise on talent.

Project based marketing can free resource and allow you to access talent at the right time in the right place. Having the right team onboard is key to tier the workload from strategy through to deployment. This level of hollowing out professions may also enable you to become a leaner more efficient team, focusing your budget on output and results, not salaries and man hours.

It is also key to recognising your shortcoming in skills, with only 20% of the market offering personalisation in MA and up to 78% of the market not understanding the broader capabilities of their MA investment, selecting the appropriate strategic partner to plug the holes is critical. hat’s where agencies like Tomorrow People are invaluable in aligning objectives to delivery, creating consistent user journeys and demonstrating ROI in your investment!

Now like the timelord himself, Dr. Who, you have created time itself by investing in MA best practices and the infrastructure to enable the basics to be delivered by themselves. Congratulations, you now have the opportunity to implement and sustain the vision of your defined modern marketing strategy with no excuses.

Look to leverage your team, partners and channels to deliver truly integrated, omnichannel marketing experiences for the end user whether that’s internal / external / B2C or B2B. Surely that is the holy grail of MA, and actually should be part of your job description, if not the next CMO inline.

Maybe it’s time to rethink your marketing spend before your organisation rethinks its recruiting strategy. Maybe it’s time to get automated!

Key takeaways

  • Strategy what strategy? - Have a clear defined plan that aligns to the your business, marketing and campaign goals
  • The customer is always right - know your target audience and deliver on persona needs and desires
  • One step at a time - there is no magic wand - just take one step at a time, test and learn
  • I don’t know - don’t be afraid to ask the stupid questions, securing a talented team and strategic partnerships are the key to delivering strong performance
  • Time is your most valuable asset - use it wisely :)

Read: The CMO's Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation

Topics: Marketing Automation

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