Chris Connell points to Coca-Cola’s recent decision to dispense with the role of chief marketing officer, the CMO for god’s sake, as a sign of just how rapidly the role of marketing is evolving.
Speaking at the ADMA TechMix day yesterday, Connell also drew on a Forrester study released late last year, which suggests some 30 per cent of all CMOs will get shown the door this year. Marketing is a new discipline and company’s are not afraid to swap out key personnel if they’re not getting the desired results.
Comparing the current climate to the eye of the storm, Connell said marketers were currently copping it from all angles. He said marketers were not data natives, that there’s currently more than 7000 martech/adtech solution providers on the market. There’s unrelenting complexity, not least of which is the empowered customer who wants the Amazon or Uber experience every time.
“There’s no real clear pathway forward,” he said.
However if you work in marketing, before you put your house up for sale, all is not lost, Connell argues, suggesting, marketing as well as being in the eye of the storm is at a Morpheus moment.
“While there’s never been a more demanding time to be in marketing, change brings opportunity and there’s never been a more rewarding time to be in marketing,” he said, admittign he was pivoting towards the positive.
He said marketers needed to see how deep the rabbit hole goes and wake up the new reality.
“Get out of send mode and get into receive mode. Stop trying to interrupt the customer and start trying to engage with them …we need to stop the monologues. We won’t survive with yesterday’s answers . . . ,” he said.
Connell suggested marketers needed to adopt a more chaos theory and stop trying to do things like customer journey mapping.
“Inside the echo chamber of some meeting room with a product manager somewhere, you think that makes sense. You need to stop trying to control the customer journey and try to enable it.”
Connell also warned marketers to stop trying to engage the boardroom with marketing metrics, arguing they C-suite doesn’t care what your metrics are, they care about earnings per share. Chief risk officers have their eyes on marketing budgets and they’re not happy, he added.
“Make friends with the CFOs and learn their equation to calculate earnings per share and work backwards from their. Engine room metrics need to stay in the engine room,” he said.