Ink that doesn’t stink.
CMO Spotlight: Kieran Hannon, Belkin International
If you've ever wondered to yourseself, "How can I make this product better?" you were probably asking the wrong audience. Or at least that's what Kieran Hannon, CMO of Belkin International, would tell you if you were one of his employees. At Belkin, the idea of turning over a product in just one person's, or even several people's, hands until market-ready is unthinkable.
Maslow's hierarchy of human needs is much like the USDA's food pyramid. At the very top is the peak of self-fulfillment, which we might consider to be a taste of our life's calling. At the base are the physiological elements that keep us alive, like air, shelter and food, which many of us are fortunate to take for granted daily. However, one of the most important -- clean water -- is becoming scarce in many parts of the world, and this is where our CMO Spotlight flows today.
Taking a messaging app like WhatsApp or Snapchat to a global audience requires more than one-by-one customer acquisition. When it comes to adopting a new form of communication, not only do consumers have to buy in, but so do their personal networks, otherwise users -- and the app builders -- will only find silence on the other end of the line. In other words, growing a messaging app requires word-of-mouth to spread, but exponentially, and on steroids.
In the aftermath of a complete digital transformation, it's easy to forget just how much time and learning went into making that change happen. Shifting paradigms doesn't happen overnight, after all, and organizational change certainly doesn't occur any more quickly. This week, Cara Coffee of SABMiller, the world's second-largest beer and beverage distributor, shares just how much effort has gone into -- and is still going into -- turning the company's marketing to a more social, consumer-focused approach. In Latin America, where Ms. Coffee is part of the Marketing Development Americas team, it's a case of collaboration and knowledge transfer that would make any self-proclaimed digital "growth hacker" more than just a little envious.
If there's anything to learn from 2016, it's that empathy is immensely valuable, albeit immensely rare. While often underdeveloped, empathy is an instrument we wield to help us understand perspectives that are different from our own. Not coincidentally, empathy is also an extremely useful tool in marketing. Knowing what your customer needs -- actually needs -- can do wonders for both business and customer happiness.
CMO Spotlight: Aniko Delaney, BNY Mellon
Unlike the rest of us, brands have no age. The ones that endure for decades -- centuries, even -- merely find a way to reinvent themselves, time and time again. Sometimes, that "way" comes in the form of an opportune moment in popular culture, like in the case of 232 year-old BNY Mellon, which formed in 2007 with the merger of The Bank of New York and Mellon Financial Corp. BNY Mellon saw and seized the chance to engage with an insanely popular Broadway musical, whose starring character just happened to be its founder: Alexander Hamilton. As Global Head of Corporate Marketing Aniko Delaney tells it, "Hamilton" opened a stage door that allowed her company to share its story in a more engaging way than ever before.
CMO Spotlight: Suzanne Copeland, Sterling National Bank
People love to use the adage "work smarter, not harder" these days. It implies that the quality of one's work has outmaneuvered the hours normally spent on it, sparing unnecessary time and energy. Indeed, it's one goal of the modern workforce. Try applying this to marketing, however, and the phrase comes up short. For example, quality has always been a must in content marketing. But any marketer knows that quantity is tantamount to awareness, as study after study shows that a customer almost always intercepts a message multiple times before making a purchase.
CMO Spotlight: Lori McFarling, Discovery Education
If you've ever worked for a brand, your team at one point probably entertained a sponsorship opportunity. Maybe a sports team or a popular event made for a good brand fit. But was education ever on the table?
CMO Spotlight: Rich Honiball, Nexcom
Unless you or a close family member has ever served in the U.S. Navy, you may never have heard of the Navy Exchange Service Command, or Nexcom. Think of it as the sailor's department store, started in 1946 by the Department of the Navy to serve the seamen who find themselves in lands and oceans far, far away from the delights of American consumer goods. Today, Nexcom is a $2.7 billion organization with more than 300 retail stores around the world.