Your Marketing and Design Reading for The Weekend
Forrester's Chris Stutzman points out that only 16% of CMOs believe it is necessary for them to be proficient at social media themselves to be successful leaders. They are in for a rude awakening. In the next 20 years, we will enter what Forrester calls "the age of the customer," meaning CMOs can't be content with customer-focused approaches. Rather, they have to become customer-obsessed.
- A sea of customer change is heading our way.
- CMOs must invest in social media to engage with empowered consumers.
- We are understaffed for social initiatives.
CMOs from the largest companies do not participate in social media—only 15 CMOs from the Fortune 100 have Twitter accounts and most do not use social media to interact with customers. But CMOs have to experience social media to better lead the brand experience. "CMOs can only inspire a vision and outline a compelling road map for the brand experience when they personally understand the gaps in the company's current social capabilities."
- Listen to customers yourself by connecting directly on social media. It is a lot faster, easier and cheaper to tap into customer sentiment in social media than it is with focus groups or traveling around to have sit-down meetings.
- Keep a pulse on the competition. Rather than wait for traditional intelligence reports. CMOs should follow competitors on Twitter or Like their competition's Facebook pages.
- Experience your company's social strengths and weaknesses. Get firsthand knowledge of the company's brand in social media in the same way you would call customer service or shop in your stores.
Another way CMOs should use social network is in helping to motivate and manage their organizations.
- Inspire employees by doing what you say. If social media is important to the company and marketing, it should be important to the CMO. Digital First Media CEO John Paton advanced the "digital first" strategy as the basis for the publishing company's turnaround and has set the example by establishing a blog.
- Build momentum with all of your employees. Social media complement methods of connecting with employees to build morale and it becomes especially valuable if your employees are virtual.
- Recruit talent. Social media give you the opportunity to compete with other companies for employees by networking and communicating a desirable work culture.
As the author notes, you don't have to become a "power user," but you should be in touch with the realities of marketing today.