Archive for December, 2009

The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Chief Marketing Officers (Habit #2)

This is part two of a ten-part series that will share my Ten Habits of Highly Effective Chief Marketing Officers, based on my experience and what I have learned from others.  See my December 10 entry for Habit #1 – Reveal Your Brand Ideal And Operationalize It.

Habit #2 – Be Clear What You Stand For And Be Visible Inside And Out.

Too many CMOs are either not clear on what they stand for, or are not explicit enough about it. You cannot lead if people don’t understand what you believe, and your beliefs need to be consistent with your brand ideal, or higher order benefit your brand is giving the world.

When I was leading a training session at Yum! Brands in December, I asked the marketers in the session about leaders who are clear in what they stand for, and are visible inside and outside their companies. They talked about people like Steve Jobs of Apple, Eric Schmidt of Google, Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Eric Ryan of Method, Jeff Immelt of General Electric, A.G. Lafley of Procter & Gamble.  These leaders build confidence among employees and consumers and customers, because they know what they believe and they are constantly reinforcing this.

We also talked about the CEO of Yum! Brands, David Novak. He also is very clear on what he stands for, and he is a relentless advocate of the ideals behind the Yum! Brands. David is a prolific speaker, and he is constantly meeting with groups of employees. David has a book he has authored, and is working on another one to make it even clearer what he believes.

It is important that CEOs and CMOs are clear in what they stand for.  And it’s not for “soft” reasons, it’s simply good for their business:  the people most important for each brand notice this and it builds greater affinity and affection for the brand, and greater confidence in the brand. It’s important for employees, for customers, for investors, and for all business partners.

When I was Global Marketing Officer at Procter & Gamble, I made it very clear to everyone that I stood for transforming our marketing to become the best brand-building organization in the world, benchmarked against the best CPG and non-CPG companies. I also stood for more creativity and innovation in our brand-building programs, and in building a culture that was consumer-centric, empathetic, and driven by higher ideals.

So don’t go another day without clarifying what you stand for, and thinking carefully about your plan to be more visible inside and outside your brand/company.

Read Next: Habit #3

Categories: Business, CMO Habits, Marketing, Speaking Events

Comments (3) | Add a Comment

The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Chief Marketing Officers (Habit #1)

In early December, I led a full day training program for high potential marketing people at YUM! Brands.

The session was in two parts:  1) A dialogue around what the best brands in the world do differently to achieve better results for the people they serve, and for their shareholders.  This session was based on the study and ideas behind my upcoming book, and was rich with learning.  2) A session on The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Chief Marketing Officers, based on my experience and what I have learned from others.  And a shout-out to Stephen Covey for his great book/work!

Over the next few blogs I want to go through my “Top Ten” list. And with each of the ten points, I will share some of my learning and stories on why I feel this is one of the habits that will make chief marketing officers on any business more effective.

Habit #1 – Reveal Your Brand Ideal And Operationalize It.

I have found through my personal experience that businesses driven by a higher ideal motivate employees and inspire consumers/customers. This leads to sustained strong results. This has been validated by the study I have fielded with the collaboration of Millward Brown Optimor, and the UCLA Anderson School of Management.  Brands that consistently outperform their competition financially and in brand equity are driven by a higher ideal.

The most important work a CMO does is to reveal, rediscover, or reinvent a brand based on a higher ideal that is authentic to its heritage. What would Google be if it were not driven by their higher ideal of helping people access information to improve lives?  What would Method be without its ideal of inspiring happy and healthy homes? What would Red Bull be without its ideal of uplifting mind and body?

That is the first step — revealing the ideal. But, that is only academic unless the CMO and CEO operationalize all of their activities around this ideal. It becomes the basis for their business model and their activity system. And everything must pivot from this — work people do, the capabilities the company builds, the career systems it implements, and the culture it creates. In a few days I will share the Second Habit of Highly Effective CMOs.

Read Next:  Habit #2.

Categories: Business, CMO Habits, Marketing, Speaking Events

Comments (6) | Add a Comment

Learning from a Dynamic Duo

Within a week in November, in Los Angeles, I met with two iconic creative people in our business of building brands.  I chatted with John Hegarty at a wedding in Pacific Palisades, and a few days later I had breakfast at the Broadway Deli in Santa Monica with Lee Clow.

John and I talked about a speech he was about to give to The Marketing Society in honor of their 50th Anniversary.   John sent it to me, it is a wonderful talk, you need to read it.   Two of his thoughts really reverberated with me.   First, the idea that the language of “consumer” is old fashioned.  It implies one-way, top-down driven communication.  It breeds complacency and lethargy.   John likes to think of “consumers” as an audience–audiences are engaged, they are entertained, they show commitment, they are involved.  We as brand builders would behave differently if we took this to heart .

The second idea is the notion that all of us are in the fashion and entertainment business.  No matter what we are marketing and selling.  It is a mindset, so critical when your “audience” has more and more options to choose and control all communication.

My breakfast with Lee was a lovely and animated discussion about the ideas in my book, which I am getting ready to share with potential publishing partners.  We talked about how conceptually simple it is to build a brand with higher ideals, with genuine meaning, a brand that impacts positively the people it serves.

Brands need a soul, an ideal, that comes from the person who conceives the brand…or from someone who rediscovers or re-imagines the brand ideal.   Think Knight/Nike,  Schultz/Starbucks,  Smith/FedEx, Ryan/method,  Jacobs/Louis Vuitton.  Then the BEHAVIOR of the brand needs to emanate from the soul, the ideal.  All behavior.   Look at what happened when Nike moved from a shoe company to a brand that inspires potential and performance in all sports.  Their behavior changed.   Finally,  the brand artist, or brand leader, needs to hold him/herself  and everyone accountable to that brand ideal.   That is what the famous Schultz Starbucks letter was all about.  That is why Tony Hsieh wrote that amazing letter to his employees as Amazon was acquiring Zappos.

So it is conceptually very simple to build a brand with higher ideals, which is the only way to generate longterm growth.   More later on why more people and brands don’t do it!

Categories: Business, Marketing

Comments (1) | Add a Comment