I recently attended the CMO Club Europe Summit that took place on September 6th in London. Although they have been dipping their toes in Europe for a while now, this event marked the official launch of The Club overseas. And, I must say, it was pretty remarkable in many ways – and was certainly no ordinary European event.
The objectives for the day were set out early on:
- To help CMOs solve their biggest problems
- To enable CMOs to build real peer to peer relationships
- To have fun
By the end of the day, all the boxes had been ticked and I had gained a lot of valuable insights that consistently came through from discussions with CMOs from leading global brands. Here are a few of the top tidbits I picked up:
- Keep things simple – we often feel compelled to create grand, elaborate plans that don’t always make it off the drawing board. Don’t forget to keep things simple and focused on the business. Net/net: Transformation happens through a series of simple things everyday.
- Going global – now obviously this was a European event so speaking about international marketing was not a surprise, but I was amazed at how it was a part of every conversation. Net/net: It’s not a ‘topic,’ globalization is a part of everyday business and its complexity needs to be taken into account from strategy to execution.
- Branding beyond the marketing department – branding was a hot topic in most conversations and many trails led back to the necessity for everyone in a company to own the brand. Why? To ensure it’s consistent, delivered, and proven through the customer experience via every channel (including the sales team). Net/net: It’s easier to do when company values are the backbone of the brand and every department hires, practices and delivers on the brand values.
- The modern CMO is getting back to business basics – marketing has gotten very fragmented with new niche practices that has seen the rise of super-specialists (mostly thanks to digital). CMOs must be able to be the voice of the customer, take back credibility by cutting through all the digital noise and present business value to their organizations. Net/net: CMOs should embrace the strategy and not the channel.
- Don’t forget to take risks – we talked a lot about innovation throughout the day. Like most people, marketers are always looking for the ‘next thing.’ Be it technology, a practice or a consumer trend. Although we want to be innovating, we often get bogged down by the day-to-day. Net/net: Don’t forget to balance the getting the work done today with the innovation of tomorrow – take calculated risks.
As well as wonderful content and conversations, (and a bar on stage where the panelists were served drinks for their sessions), what set this event apart for me was the entertainment. In just one, day there were no less than four moments of ‘fun.’ We had football legend Denis Irwin, comedian Daniel Audritt, actress Emma Kingston, and musical group Twin Wild. You don’t see that level of entertainment at a conference every day. It was great.
But, the bottom line is this: The urgency to transform marketing has never been higher. Pressure to deliver business results is mounting. Consumer technology adoption is accelerating changes in buying behavior and increasing the desire for personalized experiences. It’s time to transform how you use data, technology, and content to deliver more meaningful customer experiences at every touch point.
If you are trying to figure out where to start, download The CMO Solution Guide For Building A Modern Marketing Organization. You will learn from 20 progressive CMOs and senior digital marketing executives about building more effective Modern Marketing teams.
And now for my own net/net: I can’t wait for the next event!