Before transformation of your company from Traditional to Digital, make sure your Chief Marketing Officer is digitally transformed first. Let’s be real. Most CMOs are old. They subscribe to the old school of thought. They don’t understand digital completely. They lack clarity.
So they play safe.
They don’t understand that the new platforms, content or behaviour. They reject the evolved or transformed digital output. So they ask their team/juniors to learn digital. But when it comes to approving, they reject and fall back on their old ways. This frustrates the juniors. On the one hand, your boss is telling you to go digital with your content and strategy. On the other hand, he rejects your digital work. It is incredibly hypocritical on his part.
This has been my experience with a top 500 Cr company that I worked in.
Most CMOs don’t tweet but like going to digital and social media conferences. They like taking pictures or giving awards. But they don’t post that content or use that as promotional material for their personal brand or company’s brand.
They try to show they are digital by just attending and not participating.
Search online to see how many CMOs actually post original blogs or contribute in any other way.
They love using jargon when talking but it’s all without any impact because they don’t see the big picture around the technical terms they use.
I’ve been to several conferences. Maybe even all. The same people say the exact same things. In the same words. In all these different places. It’s hilarious sometimes. It’s like listening to a broken record.
Let me tell you why. As human beings, we hate change. “My kids are on the phone and don’t go out to play”. That’s something you hear a lot and people think it’s sad. But it’s how our generation communicates. Like sure, sending messages tied to a pigeon was cool in the late 90s and early 2000s for militaries but now they can send a text or use a satellite phone. Coming back to the point, we hate change. So when change does occur, we go back to what we have always held dear.
For these CMOs, that’s traditional marketing mindset. So they try some new digital strategy. But they expect instant ROI. The fact is that nothing happens overnight. So when they don’t like these results, they give up and go back to their old ways. And they justify it by saying that the old method works.
The truth is that the old methods used to work. But not anymore.
The real reason why a CMO is not doing digital is that investing in a solid digital strategy does not align with his short term financial interests.
When you ask CMOs when was the last time they initiated themselves into learning about content marketing or inbound marketing, or by giving online tests to see how they’ve been doing, you’ll not get an answer. That’s because they are busy making PPTs on these things for internal reference but are all struggling to make sense of it all.
CMOs need to wake up. They can’t even evaluate a digital agency. They have very limited skill/context. They don’t know what’s relevant as per the generation.
They are still confused between a copywriter and a content Writer and also a between a graphic designer and a UX designer. They think both are the same. Sad.
Here are my 2 cents on what you need to do to win:
- Read these books/ audiobooks- Buyer personas, Influencer: psychology of perception&The Content formula
- Give Hubspots exams on inbound and content marketing
- Don’t see digital through your traditional lens
- Consume relevant YouTube videos or podcasts to keep up with what’s happening (Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM or Gary Vaynerchuck)
- Understand content marketing in relation to the customers buying cycle
- Appreciate new age designs and concepts
- Read: Inbound marketing books like: “Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs (New Rules Social Media Series)
If you are a CMO, ask yourself. Which are the platforms do you have an account on? The likes of Medium, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube? Now ask when was the last time you actually contributed to any of these platforms?