Tag Archives: CMO Corner

Getting Down to Earth in Cannes: Intelligent Tires & Bottom-Up Creativity

Cannes Lions is one of my favorite events for marketing and advertising professionals. The French Riviera in June provided the perfect setting for the annual International Festival of Creativity on communication, commerce, data, and design.

With senior executives from companies like Johnson & Johnson, Lego, PepsiCo, and Pirelli, we had lively debates on two topics that I feel will make a significant impact on the creative services sector.

Technology was our first big topic – specifically, artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, and big data. I've seen the work of data scientists and creative marketers coming together to deliver really interesting innovations.

  • Lego is experimenting with voice-activated devices to help blind children build with Lego.
  • Pirelli is using sensors on their tires to understand their customers’ driving styles. We’ve heard about runners with customized footwear, but it looks like drivers will soon be able to get personalized tires!  
  • As voice-controlled devices in the home are becoming more mainstream, we also discussed the issue of security and consumer trust, which is now a key consideration for many tech developers.

Campaign magazine hosted the session. You can read more about the panel discussions here

The second discussion turned to talent recruitment and how to retain a fresh generation of workers. The advantage of diversity is particularly important to creativity. It was great to hear that our panelists shared my belief in hiring from unexpected backgrounds.

Bottom-up creativity can also give companies the competitive edge, and there were a number of comments about not allowing organizational hierarchies to get in the way of ideas from junior staffers being heard.  We also agreed that younger workers look for a sense of purpose beyond their paychecks, and companies need to keep this in mind.

Talking Talent, Creativity, and AI at Cannes Advertising Festival

In a little more than a week, industry luminaries from advertising, media, technology, and fashion will crowd the French Riviera resort of Cannes for its annual International Festival of Creativity on communication, commerce, data, and design. The festival will be packed with executives from the world’s top advertising agencies and influential marketers from a host of industries, and I hope you’ll tune in to see what Oracle has to say too.

On Tuesday, June 19, I’m looking forward to speaking on a panel exploring the impact of artificial intelligence on creative professions. On Wednesday, June 20, I’ll also take part in a discussion on how to attract and keep diverse talent and accommodate a generation of workers who value freelancing over fixed positions. And on June 21, Oracle will join a roundtable talk on the changing definition of creativity in a fragmented media landscape. You can follow the action at the conference web site and on this blog.

I’m excited to share examples from some of the world’s leading brands of how they’re capitalizing on  the Oracle Marketing Cloud. Pirelli, the iconic global maker of high-performance tires and 2018 double winner of Oracle’s Markie Award, is using the software to  transform their digital marketing efforts, shifting their focus from B2B to consumers and keeping in touch with them whether they’re online or on the road.

Heineken’s Urban Polo series in New Zealand is attracting younger audiences to smaller fields to view the traditional game, and using Oracle’s Marketing Cloud for automated chats in Facebook Messenger that convey information about matches and parties in place of a program.

Cannes Lions will host more than 4,700 companies, plus some show business stars to lighten the mood (Kevin Costner and David Schwimmer of “Friends” will speak, as will Smiths' guitarist, Johnny Marr). I hope you’ll join me in person or online to see what my colleagues from the advertising and marketing spheres are saying about their customers and industry trends. 

GDPR: Why CEOs Need to Lead from the Top Down

Oracle’s Alessandro Vallega discusses the need for cultural change to ensure GDPR compliance, and why that change must come from the top.

GDPR is now in effect. (Companies across every industry have been under pressure to become compliant since the law was introduced in 2016.) Some responded by changing their IT processes, others placed the burden on their legal team, but others only began to adapt in earnest just before the May 25 deadline was approaching.

Data protection must be treated with the right level of gravitas. It might be tempting to think you can steer clear of regulatory issues as long as you are not doing anything untoward with people’s personal data, but this is short-term thinking. GDPR may only mark the beginning of a global regulatory push to improve data protection, and regulation will only become more demanding.  

Real change requires a shift in culture. The way companies govern data has not yet caught up to the way employees use technology, which is why we still see staff taking a lackadaisical approach in many organizations. They save company information to personal devices, use (and sometimes lose) business laptops on the train, and turn to file sharing sites to share sensitive information. All these practices pose a security risk, and they are all too common. 

The cost of not complying with GDPR can be significant. Business leaders will be aware of the potential risk of non-compliance (up to 20 million euros or 4% of the company’s global turnover) but there are less obvious consequences too. Data breaches must be made public to the supervisory authority within 72 hours once a company becomes aware of them, and the reputational damage that comes with these if the company does not have a good handle on security, has its own cost.

In addition, a supervisory authority has the power to impose a temporary or definitive limitation including a ban on processing, and data subjects have the right to bring claims for compensation.

This makes GDPR a boardroom issue, but this does not mean companies can just appoint someone to take charge of compliance and let them run with it. With an imperative this important, the bucks stops with the CEO.

Business leaders must be figureheads for data protection. For an organization to manage data more responsibly and stay on top of its data in the long term, it needs buy-in from all staff. Each individual must be accountable for their actions and play their part in compliance, and this understanding must be driven from the top down.  

How can business leaders help achieve this? The first step is to make training compulsory. This could include anything from data management training, to workshops on protecting data or even running phish-baiting tests to help employees identify suspicious emails.

Incentives also help drive change. Data protection needs to be as much a part of someone’s job as doing their timesheets, so why not reward team leaders who have ensured all their staff have taken the appropriate training, or include security training as part of employee performance objectives? It will ultimately come down to HR, IT or legal teams to develop these initiatives, but the imperative must come from a company’s leadership.

For more information on GDPR and its implications for leaders across the business, check out our GDPR hub page.

What GDPR Means for CMOs: Is All the Hype Justified?

By Mark de Groot, Marketing Director, EMEA CX, Marketing Apps & CRM – Regional, Oracle

As a direct link to customers and their data, marketers will be uniquely affected by GDPR. In this Q&A, Oracle’s Marie Escaro and Kim Barlow discuss how GDPR affects marketing teams.

How Seriously Should Marketers Take GDPR Compliance?

Kim:

European regulators have a clear mandate to tighten controls on the way businesses collect, use and share data, and the prospect of large fines for non-compliance is enough to make companies err on the side of caution. Marketers should take this very seriously, as a large part of their role is to ensure the organization has a prescriptive approach to acquiring, managing and using data.

Marie:

Businesses increasingly rely on data to get closer to their customers. With data now viewed as the soft currency of modern business, companies have every reason to put the necessary controls in place to protect themselves and their customers.

What Does This Mean for CMOs and Marketing Teams?

Marie:

Marketing teams need a clear view of what data they have, when they collected it, and how it is being used across the business. With this visibility, they can define processes to control that data. I once worked with a company that stored information in seven different databases without a single common identifier. It took two years to unify all this onto a single database, which should serve as motivation for any business in a similar position to start consolidating their data today. It’s equally important to set up processes to prioritize data quality. Encryption is a good practice from a security standpoint, but marketers also need to ensure their teams are working with relevant and accurate data.

What’s Been Holding Marketers Back?

Kim:

There is still a misconception around who is responsible for data protection within the organization. It’s easy to assume this is the domain of IT and legal departments, but every department uses data in some form and is therefore responsible for making sure it does so responsibly. Marketing needs to have a clear voice in this conversation.

Many businesses are also stuck with a siloed approach to their channel marketing and marketing data, which makes the necessary collaboration difficult. These channel siloes within marketing teams have developed through years of growth, expansion and acquisitions. And breaking them down must be a priority so everyone in the business can work off a centralized data platform. 

Is This Going to Hamper Businesses or Prove More Trouble Than it's Worth?

Kim:

Protecting data is definitely worth the effort for any responsible business. But GDPR is not just about data protection. It’s a framework for new ways of working that will absolutely help businesses modernize their approach to handling data, and benefit them in the long term. If we accept data is an asset with market value, then it’s only natural customers gain more control over who can access their personal information and how it is used and shared. Giving customers the confidence their data is safe and being looked after responsibly, while ensuring that data is better structured and higher quality will be good for the businesses deriving value from that data.

What Should CMOs Do to Tackle GDPR Successfully?

Marie:

As with any major project, success will come down to a structured approach and buy-in from employees. CMOs need to stay close to this issue but in the interests of their own time should at least appoint a strong individual or team as part of an organization-wide approach to compliance. Marketing needs to be a part of that collaborative effort and should be working in a joined-up way, with finance, IT, operations, sales and other parts of the business to ensure all data is accounted for and properly protected.

Click here to learn more about GDPR and discover how Oracle can help.

Also read 5 Steps to GDPR Compliance - It's Not Too Late to Prepare

CMOs Should Leverage Identity Confirmation Tools to Validate Stakeholder Sign-Off

As an outside marketing consultant working in the corporate arena, much of my day is spent chasing down approvals for campaigns, ad schemes and promotions. Even career, in-house marketing gurus struggle at times with the many sign-offs that are needed to move a project forward.

Allow me to offer a brief word of advice to companies looking to leverage the fresh perspective of an outside consultant:

Please, streamline the approval process as much as possible. Most outside consultants have chosen this path because they enjoy the freedom of performing their craft outside of the traditional corporate hierarchy. Creative spontaneity is what gives a new ad campaign wings. And nothing makes me regret taking on a new client more than being subject to the whims of fifteen different stakeholders and their endless, asynchronous requests for revisions.

The First Challenge is Confirming that Sign-Off Has Been Granted

One of my more frustrating experiences came during my birth by fire into the corporate arena. Our team created a powerful brand refresh; complete with concepts for YouTube videos, new social media pages, reactive animation ads and landing pages.

The only thing that was missing was a VR campaign – something that Mack managed to dominate with their Mack Anthem rollout.

During individual conversations with each stakeholder, I gained their verbal approval to move forward. And, of course, there were requests for minor tweaks along the way. Once these tweaks were incorporated, I asked for a meeting to present our concept to the entire leadership team.

Half-way through the meeting, as I hit play on our YouTube video concepts, I started to hear some grumbling from the back of the room. For the remainder of the presentation, this low conversational buzz continued. Finally, it was time for input – something I had hoped would come in the form of a quick thumbs up.

Boy, was I wrong. Nearly every member of the c-suite started in with their concerns. It was a disaster. I had to try and rebuild the entire campaign from scratch. There were just too many objections, and each one pulled the project in a different direction. Reconciling everything would be a challenge, and it was just easier to hit restart.

I’ve since learned my lesson. Getting verified sign-off from each member of the c-suite requires a lot more than a verbal commitment from each decision-maker.

Use Third-Party Verification to Confirm Sign-Off

There are many ways to authenticate an e-signature. The main things that I look for in an e-signature solution are:

  1. Does it allow for stakeholders to sign-off from anywhere?

  2. Does it require some sort of challenge, to confirm that the stakeholder is signing-off, and not one of their executive assistants?

  3. Can I easily access the executed document from any device?

  4. If a revision is made, can I easily highlight the changes and gain an electronic sign-off for those changes from each stakeholder?

This may sound extreme, but you’ll find that when you’re working with a diverse team of decision-makers, you need them to execute their sign-off privileges responsibly. This tool, which is legally the same as a handwritten signature, grabs the attention of decision-makers. They take an extra moment to look things over and ensure that they really are happy with what they’re signing off on – something that dramatically reduces last minute objections to things they previously overlooked.

Everyone on the team, whether a stakeholder or an outside consultant, has an endless list of fires to put out – demanding immediate attention and distracting from the organizational goals. As an outsider coming into the fray, it’s best to carefully document interactions with each key decision-maker. This not only ensures that their input is taken into consideration, but helps you to earn their attention at critical moments.

For more tips, tools, and hacks to make your life as a marketer easier- join us at Modern Customer Experience 2018. ModernCX’s Modern Marketing track offers more than 200 expert-led sessions geared to equip you with new skills you can immediately apply to your work.

Register for Modern Customer Experience 2018 here

 

How CMOs Are Helping Healthy Food Brands Secure Market Share

Consumer demand for healthy food is at an all-time high, leading Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) to think outside of traditional marketing channels to put healthy brands directly in front of their target markets. The majority of healthy food brands are small in terms of size, compared to the established players, but with creative approaches, they are being discovered, leading to healthy growth and market share.

The more conventional marketing strategies also aren’t direct enough, leading many experts to focus on content marketing and social media. The following five steps outlined below explain the new-age strategy CMOs are using to help elevate these new brands.

1. Introduce new brands through creative social media campaigns

Brands in the health food space are forgoing the traditional launch strategies, like press releases, in favor of attracting interest across social media platforms. Brands can attract instant attention using custom videos, well-crafted content and other attraction assets to create early interest and product demand.

Many healthy food brands are relying heavily on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook initially. It’s important to master a few social media channels in the beginning, rather than on all of them. Finding success on just a few is more effective than just participating on all of them.

2. Share the brand’s story

Consumers are attracted to a brand on social media when they connect with its story—include the reason for the brand’s launch or highlight the people behind the brand so the consumer can make that personal connection.

Personal connections create loyal brand supporters who will purchase and introduce their friends and family to the brand. Every brand should have a detailed “About Us” page on their website that highlights all of this information, which can then be repurposed on social media to help share the story.

3. Create and distribute educational content assets

When creating content, CMOs are focusing on publishing assets that provide educational information, rather than content that is purely promotional. Popular content formats include information packed long-form blog posts, educational videos and infographics that consumers love to engage with and share on social media.

Every time someone likes, shares or comments on your social media content, it’s introduced to new eyes that may not be familiar with your brand. To capture a potential consumer’s attention, your content needs to provide value and something of interest. If it’s just a glorified advertisement, it won’t receive engagement or be shared.

4. Focus on specific lifestyles

For healthy food brands, the niche is smaller and may not appeal to the masses in the same way as a large brand. While there is a growing interest in healthy food, according to a HealthyYOU Vending report, there is also a very large percentage of the population that can’t afford to focus on healthy food; instead, selecting their food purchases based on affordability.

When running social media campaigns, target those consumers that tend to be active in a specific lifestyle that relates to healthy eating. For example, target CrossFit fans to place your offers and content in front of an audience that is interested in healthy food choices. Facebook offers the most extensive targeting options, making it a must-do.

5. Emphasize the ‘how’ rather than just the ‘why’

Consumers that tend to gravitate towards healthy food options are more interested in how the particular brand is beneficial, rather than why. They are fully capable of understanding that healthy food offers many benefits, but they will want to know how your particular brand is going to contribute to their health.

One popular trend is to create how-to videos that explain the benefits and give some behind- the-scene footage of the brand. This educates the consumer while building trust. It’s a very low-cost strategy that performs well.

Final Thoughts

Large food brands are slow to make the transition to healthier varieties, leaving the window of opportunity wide open for new, smaller, health-focused brands to thrive. The discovery strategy above will be continued to be used by leading CMOs in the industry, and optimized along the way, as new social media networks and content opportunities emerge.

Download The Guide to Social Media Marketing to learn how to align with your customers and followers and create a better perception of your brand. 

Strategies for CMOs to Protect the Golden Playbook

CMOs have a tough enough job as it is. The way that consumers interact with their brands is changing at lightning speed. And there’s the constant drumbeat of new technology disrupting traditional advertising channels.

To keep up with the rapid pace of change, it’s tempting to broaden the circle and find new perspectives to help create fresh marketing strategies. But, you need to balance this gut instinct with the reality that your marketing strategies are your company’s nuclear launch codes.

If a proactive competitor knows how you’ll spend your ad budget, and what the messages will be, you’re sunk.

The Threat of Corporate Espionage is Real – Especially in Marketing

Examples of corporate espionage aren’t difficult to find. However, companies usually don’t broadcast the fact that they’ve suffered a marketing team defection. So, the overwhelming majority of these events remain in the shadows.

I’ve had to clean-up the aftermath of a rogue marketing employee jumping ship. While I would never embarrass that client here, I’ll just share that the former ad placement specialist was offered a $40,000 sign-on bonus by a competitor. Eventually the employee was sued for violation of their NDA, but it was an expensive legal battle. Not to mention the cost of rewriting the entire marketing playbook from scratch.

Some of the most highly publicized acts of corporate espionage involve attacks on U.S. businesses by Chinese intelligence operatives. The relationship between China’s businesses and government is very different than the corporate / government landscape in the US.

From marketing plans to corporate negotiating strategies, the threat of a breach is always there. It’s always better to invest in safeguards, rather than suffer through an expensive clean-up. 

CMOs Need to Build a Digital Moat Around Their Marketing Intel

There are a number of ways that CMOs can better defend their marketing data against bad actors.

Data Encryption

Data encryption involves the use of complex algorithms to encode information in storage and in transit. Once information is encrypted, it can only be decoded by other authorized devices with the key. Even if the data is intercepted, or firewalls are breached, the information is unreadable.

While it is possible for quantum computers to run a series of tests until the right combination of variables are found, it would take months or even years for the mathematical puzzle to be solved.

Protecting Data in the Field

If you’re anything like me, you live a mobile lifestyle. I regularly work from coffee shops, hotel rooms and in-flight WIFI. It’s the nature of being a consultant. To help protect my privacy, and all of the corporate data my device comes in contact with, I use a VPN service that utilizes OpenVPN protocols.

This is the most private and secure type of connection because it involves multiple layers of encryption, a tightly controlled set of keys and is still being updated to compensate for emerging threats.

I feel confident servicing my clients and handling sensitive campaign data when properly secured behind a quality VPN connection.

Per-User Access Restrictions and Logs

The other important thing that I see more and more companies deploying are per-user access logs with account-level restrictions. While this is old-hat in many industries, marketing teams have, until recently, valued diverse input over data security.

After all, the hackers are going after corporate financials and customer data, not boring marketing plans, right? Wrong. Thankfully, CMOs are waking up and smelling the coffee.

The most secure companies that I work with use the same virtual data handling protocols deployed by high-level government agencies. Everytime I access an internal marketing file, my credentials are watermarked into the document. I am required to reauthenticate everytime I access the database, and anything I download or print is heavily watermarked with my personal information.  

Access logs allow for internal security teams to monitor access and quickly identify potentially compromised accounts. And per-user access levels only allow me to view a narrowly focused set of information.

Prioritize Engagement of Marketing Employees by Communicating Value

But, even with the best technology and access protocols in the industry, losing key marketing personnel can be a body blow – especially in the leadup to a busy holiday shopping season, where retail fiscal years are made or lost. And if that individual heads to a competitor, things go from bad to worse. All of the training and insight into your operations travel with the people you hire and fire.

The things that have the biggest impact on an employee’s decision to stay or leave include:

  1. The ability of leaders to communicate a clear vision to their team and gain buy-in.

  2. The opportunities for training, advancement and interesting projects that broaden horizons.

  3. The sense of respect an employee feels – something that can be difficult to balance with oppressive security protocols.

The happiest marketing teams that I’ve had the pleasure of working with operated like a team of freelancers. Everytime few months, members were offered to opportunity to jump between campaigns. This kept the team feeling engaged and excited about what was coming around the corner, and how they could contribute to the company’s bottom-line in a fresh, creative way.

If CMOs can learn to better secure their human talent, and develop better strategies to secure their marketing data, they’ll enjoy a less stressful and more productive career. Maybe it’s time for you and your CTO to grab coffee and discuss some new protocols for the new year?

Now that you know how to defend your data, learn how CMOs weigh in on other challenges, including how they can skillfully decipher, understand, and leverage the abundance of available data to engage with customers. Download The Data Driven CMO

CMOs: In the race to provide more, don’t forget about the need for speed

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed CMOs get bullied into adding “just one more thing” the customer experience during a boardroom meeting. It’s tough to say no. Everyone wants to move the needle and deliver an exceptional quarter, but sometimes the answer needs to be no, or a compromise needs to be made.

For example, I consulted for a startup last year that was in the perfect position to disrupt their industry. As the finishing touches were being put on the platform, the CEO asks if it’s possible to add video chat to the inbound customer communication options.

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do while browsing the internet in my pajamas is start a video chat with some random customer service rep. But, the CEO was convinced that delivering customer service via video conference would be a differentiator.

The CMO should have said no, or at least offered to look into it and circle back on it at a later date. Adding “just one more thing” to a platform towards the end of development causes two problems. First, it distracts a focused team from the original project specs. And second, it increases the load on the underlying technology – usually resulting in decreased responsiveness.

Loading Times Dramatically Impact Abandonment

It’s a fact of life. The internet has given us the expectation that we can quickly and effortlessly find answers to questions, order products to be delivered to our front door and communicate with the people we care about.

If you add more and more to your platform in a way that sacrifices speed, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Almost half of your site’s visitors arrive with the expectation that the site will load in less than 2 seconds. If your site hangs past three seconds, 40% will leave and go elsewhere.

As the person in the c-suite with the responsibility of successfully delivering customers to your company’s online and physical presence, the last thing you need is to lose nearly half of your hard-earned leads to a slow site.

And if your site’s launch is hamstrung by last minute platform changes, where will you send the customers that you’re driving through your marketing channels?

Strategies for Effectively Saying “No!” to the C-Suite Pressure Cooker

Your best ally in the struggle to keep platform bloat at bay is your CTO. While you understand how speed and the customer experience impacts sales, they understand the value of efficient technical operations.

Legendary folk artist Pete Seeger once wrote: “Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”

Take that folksy advice to heart. Try to sell your CEO on simplified, streamlined operations behind the scenes. If they don’t buy into the need to reduce workload and potential complications, proceed through the following tactics:

  1. Explain, in detail, how the requested addition would add tremendous strain to your existing hardware and software configuration.

  2. Request for 24 hours to research the additional cost in both dollars and time that the new feature would require. Then present this information in a way that highlights how the costs outweigh the benefits. You could also play possum after you do the research. Sometimes moments of inspiration in the boardroom fail to survive into the following day. But make sure you have the information at your fingertips in case you get pinged.

  3. Commit to offering this additional feature in version 2.0 or 3.0. You could suggest a timeline, but I wouldn’t make a firm commitment. The goal at this stage is to find a solution that gives your executives what they want, without sacrificing the focus of your team and the loading time of the site.

It can be really challenging to communicate how something that sounds like a simple request can wreak havoc on an existing or soon-to-launch platform. Don’t be afraid to share your honest feedback, because if you just go along with something and it doesn’t work, you’ll own it.

Today’s CMO is tasked with many demands, made even more challenging with the ever-evolving digital domain. Download this report from Argyle Executive Forum to see how leading CMOs weigh in on other challenges, including how they can skillfully decipher, understand, and leverage the abundance of available data to engage with customers.

 

CMOs Can Still Add Value to a Startup without Obliterating the Budget

The median salary for a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is reported to be $169,066 per year. That’s an expense that very few startups can afford. Some entrepreneurs try to hire key personnel with less experience in order to reduce costs, but even then, you’re looking at an $80,000 salary to hire a CMO with limited product marketing experience.

As someone that works closely with entrepreneurs and startups every day, I highly recommend that you avoid spending more than $30,000 - $50,000 per year on any one individual, at least until your startup has some serious market traction.

For startups, if something can go wrong, it will. You need every spare penny to fund your runway, as money in the bank is the safety net that keeps Monday’s accident from becoming Friday’s out of business sign.

Consider a Strategic Partnership to Share the Burden and the Rewards

If you can’t afford to pay the salary of a CMO, the next logical step is to give up equity. Unfortunately, there are many, many reasons that partnerships just don’t work. When you enter into a partnership, you’re entering into a corporate marriage. And if things go wrong, you aren’t just sleeping on the couch, you might end up sleeping on the street.

I recommend a strategic partnership instead. With a strategic partnership, both parties retain full ownership of their individual brand. A common arrangement that I’ve seen work well is when two parties work together under a contract that splits revenue from a product or service.

For example, a founder can maintain full ownership of their product and brand. And a talented marketer will offer their services under a contract that entitles them to a quarterly commission on sales they help to generate.

If things go sideways, both parties can simply terminate the contract. But, this isn’t likely, because both parties are incentivized to help move product and grow market share.

I’ll be honest, most CMOs aren't open to this idea, unless they like to gamble and potentially win big if a product is a real hit. But, there are marketing firms that will agree to this type of arrangement. They will take the salary hit for a quality CMO while your startup gains access to an experienced marketing team often resulting in a win-win.

Guerrilla Marketing is Still Effective

When entrepreneurs get innovative, both customers and shareholders win. If you decide to enter into a strategic partnership with a marketing firm, or an experienced CMO, you’ll find that marketing a product is just as challenging as developing it.

Grabbing market share on a shoestring budget requires out-of-the-box thinking. Guerilla marketing is the art of getting your message out there without spending money on expensive advertising. Free media is a beautiful thing and there are plenty of examples of viral stories.

For example, a Minnesota insurance salesman decided to get out of his office and start doing good deeds around town. After paying for someone’s expired meter, the salesman left a note that read “I paid your parking meter. Imagine what else I’m willing to do to protect your car.” A business card was attached. The story went viral after someone posted a picture of his note on the internet and the free media this act of generosity generated only cost the insurance salesman a few quarters, but his blatantly promotional good deed paid off.

Work with an experienced CMO to brainstorm effective marketing strategies, both inside and outside of the box. You’ll want to zero in on ideas that generate goodwill, put your brand in a positive light, and have the potential to generate maximum sales with minimum up-front investment of time and money.

Lean on Expert Advice Networks

If you’re struggling to find a CMO that’s willing to enter into a strategic partnership, there’s always a CMO willing to charge you a consulting fee for a few hours of their time. Professional advice networks connect curious entrepreneurs with experienced experts ready to provide guidance for a pretty penny.

Do you have $10,000 sitting around? If so, Dallas Maverick’s Owner and Investor, Mark Cuban is willing to take your 1-hour call. Many CMOs are willing to give you an hour of their time for far less, if you’re willing to fairly compensate them for their time and experience.

You don’t have to sign a partnership agreement, employment contract, or enter into a strategic partnership to get great advice and insights. It all comes down to the best fit for your startup.

So, what are you waiting for? Start searching for available solutions that give you the information you need to find your CMO, at a price that won’t break the bank. Read up on how to integrate marketers into your boardroom. The CMO Marketers in the Boardroom paper reveals the value that marketers will add to your company when they participate at the highest level.

CMO Marketers in the Boardroom

Dear CMOs, Mobile Data Security Should Be Everything

Ok quick review for those who are currently out sick and thus may have missed the news. I will expect a note signed by Epstein's Mother. NOTE: If you don't know this reference it means you're under the age of 40. So Google It.

Anyway, for the uninformed...

When it comes to data, roughly 90% of ALL data in the world has been produced or created just in the past two years alone. Broken down to the minute, try this on for size from the folks at Domo:

That is EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY boys and girls. In other words there's a whole shitload of data (technical term) being generated.

In terms of mobile, try this one on for size via The Next Web:

Ok so on one hand we have lots of data being generated while on the other we have lots of people on mobile devices generating a large chunk of said data.

You with me?

You better be.

Data Breaches

In case you missed some more news, there's been a few breaches of data over the past X number of years. How many exactly?

Well this site puts all the info right at your fingertips.

As you will see there is an alarming number of ever-growing data breaches occurring all around the world. Now couple that with the fact that a whole lot of people are using their mobile device to do pretty much everything including financial-related tasks and the following stat via PwC makes perfect sense AND why I believe...

Mobile Data Security Should Be EVERYTHING To CMOs

65% of shoppers are wary of having their personal information hacked using their mobile/smartphone.

Moreover, according to PwC research "more than half of those surveyed only use companies/websites and payment providers that they believe are legitimate and trustworthy."

Madeleine Thomson, PwC’s retail and consumer leader in the UK put it perfectly:

"If people are going to continue to shop efficiently and quickly on mobile, then there has to be more thorough systems around how we secure the data and make the mobile environment more resilient."

So more and more people on mobile means more and more mobile data generated which means more and more breaches are in play which means brands need to the security of mobile data (and ALL data for that matter) at the top of their priority list.

It's All About the Experience

CMOs and marketers at all levels are fully aware that customer experience (CX) is everything today. And the mobile experience is of course at or near the top of the CX list for all the reasons stated above. 

Providing the best CX can be challenging but it doesn't need to be. Not in the least. Down Customer Experience Simplified to discover how to provide customer experiences that are managed as carefully as the product, the price, and the promotion of the marketing mix.

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