What a CMO Needs to Know About Web to Print

As a Chief Marketing Officer, your ability to know what is going on with your marketing strategy is key to your survival.  In the not so olden days, Chief Marketing Officers were all about creative. They knew the best agencies, the best media buyers, the best outlets for their goods and services and just when to change the tag line or to add a new product to the line. If they were in the big arena with budgets to buy prime time air space, then it was simple – more numbers meant more sales.  Neilsen ratings were enough to evaluate and adjust.  But fast forward to today; there is no one-size-fits all solution for the Web, SEO, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and all of the other services that are now vying for your customer’s face time.  The eyes are being redirected everywhere, every second and no one is quite sure where it will all end up.  Monitor Silicon Valley and you’ll discover there are billions of dollars in venture capital being poured into fledgling startups in an attempt to build a new framework to monitor your activity amongst this new phenomenon.   New standards are being devised for big data design, scalable storage, application storage, stacks, cloud schemas and analytical engines capable of telling you just where those eyeballs are going.  But that’s technical gibberish and doesn’t solve your immediate problem.

In the meantime, you’re still the CMO.  You better have proof as opposed to spin when you land front and center in the boardroom to justify why they should keep you.  Imagine the Chairman/CEO’s first question; just how effective have your marketing plans been this quarter?  Please show me.

As the author of your campaign, you know it to be well thought out and first class.  Yet a poorly executed first class plan can kill you and your career path.  When the arrows come flying over the wall and you have insufficient facts in your defense, even if you’re right, you’ll end up as road kill.

Case Study:  North American client had pain with incumbent marcom provider due to both poor technology and lack of execution.  Times to get materials into the field were increasing.  The brand was being diluted due to multiple providers and cost cutting by the broker/vendor.  Reporting was sparse and incomplete.  Complaints from the field were numerous and compounding.  Corporate had to make a change.  After an RFP and a marketing shakeup, the new vendor, a technically savvy solutions provider (not a broker)  installed a custom marketing and communications resource portal as the central repository  for every product used for marcom (over 300 unique pieces).  Now all field offices can interact directly through the portal to customize, direct and track every order.  Management can log on and see every detail of every order, requisition request, PDF proof and shipping record 24/7.

This CMO can now see just how and where the plan is working and who is participating vs. those who are not.  Granted, there are a whole lot more responsibilities in the life of today’s CMO.  But knowing where everything lands and when, is a major step in learning just how well your campaigns are being executed and thus, how effective they truly are.  The role of a CMO has changed drastically.  The new CMO will be measured by their ability to implement systems that produce real time data necessary to produce statistical analysis and thus accurate measurement of the marketing road map.  Gone are the days when a CMO could justify their livelihood with creative and spin using annual year end numbers.

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About marcomstudio

Solutions Architect/President of SPC Marcom Studio - a forward-thinking marcom execution solutions provider.
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