What an excellent article and the type of thinking that is really required… I have taken an excerpt that I particularly liked!
“But I was struck by the idea that what companies really need is a new role, such as a Chief Marketing Technology Officer. That’s an idea we’ve heard before, but the need became very clear through the discussion as the panel focusing on the idea of a “bridge” to connect marketing and technology and work in both environments. There can’t be a fence between the two organizations, but it’s not enough to tear those fences down. Organizations need to build bridges based on people with the talent to operate in both marketing and technology environments”.
Tim McGuire, a principal at McKinsey and head of the Consumer Marketing Analytics Center, moderated a panel at the Direct Marketing Association’s recent NCDM conference exploring how to bring marketing and IT together.
Avoiding all the cliché’s, skilled resource is undoubtedly the most valuable asset to an organisation. Keeping your competitive advantage doesn’t come from one guy or girl at the top of the pyramid, but from the people within and only when the culture is correct can they meet and exceed the customers’ demands.
Google, Microsoft, Linkedin, Facebook….. Harley Davidson, Ford, Bugatti…. Pepsi, Coke, Mars… you name the industry, a leading force within and on their corporate section of the website, their staff are the number one asset.
Consumer habits and communications are changing rapidly. The change surrounds us in consumer buying habits, consumer researching and ultimately decision making.
So, with the undeniable changing consumer habits and the consistent mash-up of IT/eCommerce/Marketing and Sales, here is my view on the types of personalities we can expect to appear in a future organisational structure that is built for success.
To think of the future, look at the P.A.S.T…
People, people– Some things will never change. Without a doubt a key element of the future marketing leader will still be about the person and their ability to lead in varying degrees of complexity and changing environments. An individual may be a tech wizard, a financial modelling genius but if they are not true leaders in a world that the specialist is often the highest paid and most respected, success is unlikely. One adage that I have always bought into is: “Leadership is about enabling people to deliver more than they themselves thought possible”. For digital/eCommerce particularly a new style of leadership is required, distancing the hierarchical “ I am the boss, therefore it is written”, to a involving, problem solving, innovation creating culture that enables experts to flourish while maintaining output and increasing value across the organisation. Advanced education, a determination to succeed and quality experience (life and work) helps to garner commitment from all of the below to be part of the journey! Look at any successful tech start-up, at the right time they will bring in the qualified leader that will take the business forward. They know business, they know leadership, and they know people.
Artists – Creativity remains an invaluable gem, even when the forces of process try to keep many companies within boundary the artists shine. The artists are the challengers, the creators, the innovators willing to take risks and put their name on the end result. Artists will look at the existing and magic a new opportunity, they will see the gaps and they will seek to fill them, they look at the broken and find a new, better fix to them. They are the Linkedin of CV’s, the Facebook of Bebo, the Apples of Nokia, the Google of Lycos, The Sir Tim Berners Lee’s of the digital world. They are passionate, driven and relentlessly challenging in pursuit of creation. They irritate the status quo and challenge the job-for-lifers; they are the upstarts and the up-setters. They know how to mash, take the existing and make it more useful. They are not always tech purists per se, but they are technical fluent. They see the bigger opportunity, faster than others and they know how to take the chance.
Scientists – They ask “what if”. The big Data people. The new BI stars. They dream of attribution and arbitrage. They seek continuous improvement through models and simulations. These are the true stars of the decision making. They model risk and present the opportunities through data, they test hypotheses against simulations. They are Monte-Carlo, Regression, and algorithmic Rockstars. They are confident interpreters of trends and assertive and creative communicators to the less versed. They see the opportunity that others do not and they are skilled to take immediate action. The scientists are critical to the new-age marketing cycle of finding and speaking to individuals rather than the masses. They reduce your paid and assist increasing the owned and earned. They are invaluable.
Technologists – The Purist creators, the systematic operators and the mashers live here. The purists speak a different language, but fluently. They write faster and more accurately in code than they do in their native tongue. They understand the business need, question it and then seek to provide a solution to a problem. In their spare time they code, they create and come up with novel solutions to known and unknown problems. If they fail, they get up and start again and again. The operators are the best friends and the worst enemies of the purists… they are systematic, process driven and represent the end consumers experience. They operate multiple devices and channels, with increasing levels of efficiencies. They are the testers of code and the stalwarts for perfection. The mashers are the modern day techies, the artists who do not write code, but know how to maximize its performance when mixing up the applications. They take the code to the next level, where even the purists did not realize was possible. They are the best friends of open source and the enemy’s proprietary code. They are conversationalist, social influencers and content creators.