2016’s first WFA CMOFORUM was held in Singapore on May 25th.
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Nine nationalities, 14 companies, a wealth of experience across markets and highly thought-provoking roundtables led by:
- David Wheldon, WFA President & Global CMO, RBS on ‘The Death of Marketing’ and how marketers must remain true to the fundamentals to thrive in a connected age.
- Sam Ahmed, SVP & Head of Marketing Asia Pacific, MasterCard on ‘The Role of the CMO as Change Agent’ and how the modern CMO must wear different hats to lead and succeed in the face of business transformation.
- Rahul Asthana, Marketing Director Asia Pacific, Kimberly-Clark on what Marketing Leaders can do to build, integrate and inspire successful marketing teams.
The group discussed the current state of modern marketing and ramifications for CMOs globally while considering the challenges and opportunities that lie specifically in Asia-Pacific.
Here are 15 top line tweet-style takeaways from the group discussion.
- We are in the Confidence Industry. If we’re not confident about what we’re doing, no one else will be.
- Marketing is a WE thing, not a ME thing. For transformation to take hold across the business, teams must hold themselves accountable.
- Marketing is really about end-to-end brand ownership across the business. When you give someone that responsibility you imbue that person with authority and accountability; it’s impossible for that person to not invest themselves in the process. We must remind the new generation of marketers that this is what it’s all about.
- Marketing isn’t a stepping stone to something else. It is the CMO’s role to restore a deeper commitment to functional excellence and instil pride in the pursuit of marketing as a career in itself.
- If every engagement channel is an opportunity to sell, then every sales channel is an opportunity to engage. This is an ideal opportunity to unite the business through commonly set metrics that everyone is committed to.
Roles, Responsibilities & Requirements for the Modern CMO:
- Being a Maverick isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s not a popularity contest. Great marketing doesn’t come about by playing to the gallery. Great marketing comes when we are courageous.
- CMOs are really Chief Value Officers: It’s all about constantly keeping our eyes on consumers and doing what’s right by them.
- Consider the value exchange for employees: Think about internal customers as well as external ones. What can marketing do for a millennial marketer? How do we keep young marketers engaged?
- Passion, perseverance and purpose are the three top qualities every marketer should have in abundance. Have the courage to follow your convictions, stick to your guns & defend the brand at all costs. There are times we will have to push our way through the door. Passion will open that door, perseverance will see us through and purpose help keep our seat at the table.
- Be the glue that binds organizations together. The CMO is the perfect person to rally the business amidst transformational challenges that are currently disrupting organizations.
- Transformation requires challenging traditional norms. There is no room for the ‘proud ignorance’ of the past. If there’s something you don’t know, go out there and find it, learn it, do it… and do it FAST. It’s OK if you don’t have the right answer, but a lack of knowledge is no excuse for inertia.
- Transformation is not a single year process. It takes time to move the business to where it needs to go. Be sure to identify, articulate and celebrate key milestones & successes along the way.
Marketing in Asia:
- Decentralization is critical for real-time success. We must drive consistency on the Why, but allow local markets freedom on the What and the How; Relinquishing control doesn’t always have to be expensive – sometimes the value received from customization pays itself back several times over.
- The Challenge for Asia; it’s a long road: Driving marketing success in the face of decelerating growth rates and increasing amounts of clutter is a tough task. We’re now expected to do more with less; less budgets, less resource and in less time. We need to deliver the same quality of work but also be conscious of the strain this puts on our teams.
- The Opportunity for Asia: it’s the best region for a marketer to be in right now. As much as keyboard warriors are starting to make their presence felt, Asian consumers aren’t as cynical about brands compared to in other parts of the world. Asian consumers still feel that brands add value to their lives. We must make the most of that and deliver on our brand promise.