I attended the iMedia CMO Summit in NYC this past Friday to learn what’s on the minds of today’s executive marketing leaders. I was dismayed at the level of the conversations, the overplayed jokes about the 18 month tenure of the job, the stretch of sales pitches, and a general lack of sophistication about how to embrace today’s consumer. I did, however, glean a few noteworthy nuggets:
- Trust and loyalty remain paramount, yet marketers just can’t get it right as to what channels are best to maintain these relationships.
- Social media – few have figured out how to build a real community around a shared passion and even less know how to actually prove its effects with tangible ROI.
- Budgets – markets are bouncing back but marketers do not anticipate an incremental bounce in their budgets.
- The Digital Consumer has broken free, and everyone is struggling how to find, understand, engage and convert them.
- Data is the new creative – The relentless drive for automation and data-driven decisions is on. You need to be faster to be relevant and to grow more than your competition. When surveyed, 76 percent of respondents agreed that consumer insights have the most direct correlation to successful marketing.
My favorite presentation was Mary Garrett, Vice President Marketing & Communications, IBM Global Sales and Distribution. Her smarter planet campaign is brilliant as it demonstrates the new voice of the CIO and the power of data — how to apply it, what to do with it, and the insight you can get from it. It can really change the game for advertisers.
Mike Steib of Google, hadn’t read the presentation the staff prepared for him, but nonetheless, there was great DATA. Books – Radio – Phone – Computer –TV – are all web enabled. Device adoption is rapidly accelerating with the iPhone 4 taking only 3 days to hit sales of one million units versus the iPod which took 380 days. This all adds up to, he pointed out – that the 100 percent digital consumer is not in 2020, it’s as soon as tomorrow and the old ways of doing business don’t add up. To connect with the new digital consumer, you need to think different, leverage technology, and demand your agencies do so as well!
Thanks to my friends at DMG – Brad, Chelsea & Keith for having me as your guest.