Two Things CMO Demands Will Dictate in 2016


Joe PhelpsBy Joe Phelps, CEO, Phelps

As we dive, head-first, into 2016, the focus of the chief marketing officer (CMO) should be driven by two objectives—achieving better collaboration and access to in-depth analytics .

Better Collaboration Among Suppliers

Near the top of the list of CMOs’ greatest frustrations are the disappointments they share in their agencies’ inability to work together to integrate the myriad of today’s communications platforms.

C-suite executives are looking for harmony in their communications in 2016.They’re tired of departments and agencies fighting over budgets.  They’ve had it with agencies trying to one-up each other and working from different strategies.

They want peace and prosperity.  In 2016 we’ll see more CMOs insisting their agency partners play nice, respect each other and collaborate.   They must — in order to reap the power that comes from aligning the paid, owned, earned and shared media to speak with one brand voice.

CMOs will seek agencies that will recommend what’s right for the client, not just what’s right for the agency. So, in 2016 the smarter agencies will see the advantage of working in harmony with their clients’ other partners.  These agencies will work as a team for the client’s benefit.  They’ll learn from each other.  As a result they will all gain from their combined efforts.

Greater Demand for Analytics

Organic and paid search (SEO/SEM) is becoming the most powerful marcom medium.  Those searching are more in the information-seeking and buying modes. So it’s about giving them what they want quickly and clearly, and less about vying for their attention. The most effective media has shifted to more permissive and less interruptive messaging.

Yet, analytics is obviously more than SEO/SEM.  Using marcom as an example of opportunities available: What social media listening tools or brand passion indices are companies using? And how do they take that information (along with their web analytics or email analytics) to adjust content, offers, customer service, etc.?

As this happens, marcom becomes more deeply involved with the operational workings of the company – the three marketing “Ps”— Product development, Place of distribution and Pricing.  For sellers to meet demand for product and service features, and reach their target more efficiently, the demand for analytics increases and drives the integration of all elements of a business.

Every discipline across the board needs to better understand what resonates with their target.   Whether it is product design, sales, customer service or marketing communications, the analytics for one discipline can drive understanding for others. Every discipline needs to have access to and understand all the analytics.  For example, if PR specialists know what content is resonating on the website or in an email campaign, that content can become a pitch that will likely resonate with a journalist or blogger.
So back to my #1 prediction:  Collaboration and integration can be both synergistic and symbiotic – whether it’s among departments in one company or among consultants.  And fresh information from analytics provides the fuel to help this happen.

Joe Phelps is CEO of Phelps, a leading independent marcom agency on the West Coast with longtime clients Tahiti Tourisme, Public Storage, Panasonic and Whole Foods Markets among others.  He is author of Pyramids are Tombs, a book that describes a unique business model with proven methods for aligning associates and clients for success.


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