Driving Innovation for Real Market Leadership
Jon Bridges, Chief Marketing Officer at Chick-fil-A Corporate led a CMO Club Virtual Roundtable around the challenges of driving innovation for real market leadership. Bridges shares his formula for continuous innovation across the marketing function and optimizing against a view of the future.
What’s the mindset for marketing leaders who strive for greatness?
Bridges’ view is that “we never really get there” with greatness, and it’s about “always striving for what’s next.” He explained that despite Chick-fil-A’s massive success, his responsibility as CMO is to be always looking for opportunities to improve. His advice to other CMOs?
- Extract Strategy and Write it Down
- Make clear what’s important right now
- Create a One Page Business Framework That Everyone Works From
- Your organization needs and craves clarity, and they will be more effective because of it
- Develop a Higher Purpose For Your Employees
- It has to be about more than just profits or shareholders
- It’s crucial to have the right people in place at your company, backing a meaningful purpose
“I’ve always been a person who tries to extract strategy and write it down, so it’s clear. If you do that, the whole organization will thank you, because they just want clarity.”
– Jon Bridges
Where do the best ideas come from?
Bridges described a relentless process for recognizing opportunities and making investments in key growth areas for the business. He emphasized three key areas to focus on:
- Understand Your Business Model
- How do you add value to your customers’ lives?
- Strive to be one of the brands that your customers would miss if you went away.
- Keep the Customer Front and Center
- The goal should be for your customers to associate competence and warmth with your brand.
- Create “remarkable experiences” and track against experience metrics relentlessly — word of mouth is better than paid advertising.
- Spend Time in the Future
- Everything is up for grabs. — Don’t bet your company’s future on short term success.
- The digital ecosystem is rich with opportunities to get to know your customers better — what they want, where they want it, and finding new ways to get it to them.
“How do you envision what the world is going to be like in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, and make sure you are making the investments now?”
– Jon Bridges
Listen to the full Virtual Roundtable as Bridges expands on these key themes and gives examples of how CMOs can keep evolving the ways they strive for greatness (as well as a number of reading recommendations that Bridges make for additional learning opportunities).