A lot has been written lately about the changing profile of the CMO, a role which faces an increasingly complex set of stakeholders and expectations (“10 Great Expectations: What CEOs Want From Their CMOs”) as it is engulfed by empowered consumers, big data, digital media pervasion, and accelerated technology innovation cycles. While CMO tenures have slightly increased to an average of less than four years, the role remains a hot seat. Technology savvy, analytics prowess, and strict ROI measurement are almost unanimously heralded as the key attributes of a successful marketing leader. The CMO is expected to be a business strategist, innovator, and change agent, while at the same time also acting as the brand evangelist, inspirational communicator-in-chief, and cross-functional collaborator. Tough one. How can today’s CMO succeed in times of hyper-connectivity when long-held beliefs are shattered, audiences are transient, and “software is eating the world” (Marc Andreessen)?
Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn yield unprecedented actual or virtual valuations. Social media empower and propel social revolutions such as the ones we are witnessing in Arab countries. Enabled by broadband technologies and mobile devices, entire industries are connecting with customers – and each other – in entirely new ways. Clearly, the Connected Age has arrived. A world population connected through ubiquitous, real-time, and social computing, and through more than 50, 75, or even 100 billion devices. A world where every thing is connected with everything.
Cleverly defying my post from a few weeks ago about teaching students to collaborate in a multi-disciplinary way but have a deep mono-disciplianry skill set, Julius Tarng is wrapping up one of the most brilliant student projects I have ever seen.
MarketingVox reports some interesting findings of a recent Nielsen study examining the effectiveness of big consumer brands’ World Cup campaigns. According to Nielsen, Nike so far has trumped archrival Adidas in terms of exposure – although Adidas is an official FIFA World Cup sponsor and Nike isn't. Adidas’ ball, jersey, and in-stadium advertising simply couldn’t compete with the viral power of Nike’s “Write the Future” spot – arguably one of the best sports ads ever made – which has gotten Nike twice as many mentions on English-speaking blogs, forums, and social networks than Adidas has had (also read this great interview with Trevor Edwards, Nike's VP of global brand and category management). The full-length Nike video has enjoyed almost 14 million views on YouTube since the middle of May. Adidas produced its own Star Wars-themed World Cup video featuring David Beckham and attracted more than 2 million viewers since the release last week.
Nike isn't the only brand to successfully “ambush” a World Cup sponsor, as the Nielsen study shows. Carlsberg, a sponsor of the England national team, had almost four times the level of mentions in English-language messages around the tournament than Budweiser, the official World Cup beer sponsor.
A list of visionaries, sense makers, disruptors, game changers and contrarians.
As the world slowly emerges from the economic gloom, and the “hyper-social real-time web” requires new organizational designs, it’s clear that business as usual will not be so usual anymore. Yet fundamental concerns remain, both for business leaders, who face the challenge of innovating in a hyper-transparent and always-on environment, and for consumers, who are increasingly searching for non-economic values amidst the shattered trust in business and the information overload. Smart companies recognize the historic opportunity to transform the way they do business and provide customers with more value-rich, sustainable, and meaningful products, services, and business models. From “un-entitlement” to “disruptive realism” to “for-profit activism” – here are some of the new paradigms that shape meaning-driven brands.
A full-page ad in USA Today on Friday and in the New York Times today marks the next chapter of the never-ending “the conversation is your brand” saga. Trident, the chewing gum maker, bought the placements, and instead of using them to promote its latest product (Trident Layers) with the usual mix of emotionally resonant narrative, sharp copy, and persuasive imagery, it chose to feature select tweets about the product under the tagline “The people have Tweeted."
If you only see one slide show about the State of the Internet in 2009, "Digital Strangelove (or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Internet)" by David Gillespie, an Account Director at Maclaren McCann, Toronto, is a good choice: a mesmerizing 256 slide manifesto on the Intention Economy with Data (as the bank) and Meaning (as the currency).
After participating in frog's first Digital Brand Think Tank in Munich a couple of weeks ago (a lively discussion with 20 marketing executives from Audi, BMW, Google, Continental, and other top-tier brands), I must admit that I’m a bit tired of having to evangelize (or even justify) the value of brands using social media. It is astonishing to me that companies still ask for evidence when the tweet is on the wall. The event showed that there is a new Digital Divide that cuts straight through the ranks of the marketing industry – some executives get the Social Web, some don’t. No one has figured it out yet. Most would admit that they need to catch up and keep learning.
I’m nervous, seriously nervous. In a few hours, in the Olympic stadium in Rome, FC Barcelona (or “Barca,” as its supporters call it) will face Manchester United, the other soccer superpower, in the game of all games, the final of the UEFA Champions League, the most important club competition in Europe (and the world, for that matter). Both teams have already won two trophies this season (their national leagues and national cups respectively), and a victory in Rome would see either one clinch the “treble.” For Barca, it would be a historic accomplishment – no other Spanish soccer team has ever won all three possible titles in one season. That’s not the only superlative in the lead-up to the game: Messi, Eto'o, and Henry – Barca’s offensive trio – have scored more goals together this year than the entire squad of any other European club.