How not to fail as a CMO

Lessons from the BA100 ad that can help CMOs last longer than the 18-month* UK average.

In Oct '18 Forrester found that successful CMOs know that two things must align:

  • The desired perception of the organisation (the brand)
  • The customer’s actual perception (the experience)

Yet, for many organisations, the brand’s Customer Experience doesn’t always live up to a customer’s expectation and actual experience. In other words, how that brand interaction makes them feel.

There’s a tribe of old-school CEOs, CMOs and agency staff that, on the face of it, operate something like this: ‘As a consumer I dislike brand/experience misalignment yet, at work, I find it so very hard to resist.’

Causes? Senior management brand hubris based upon historic, rather than current, realities. Siloed organisational structures, CMOs who just find it all a bit ‘too hard’ to fix because their experience doesn’t give them the credibility to work across functional demarcations and lead change. Agency partners that are only equipped to do the ‘glossy’ bit rather than partner with CMOs to create a driving force that places marrying brand and customer expectations at the very centre of their organisation.

Which brings us to BA100. Paul Finch nails it. BA100 is a homage to BA of the past – one that we can’t now experience. Who doesn’t regret the loss of those lovely BA short-haul cream teas? Yet Ogilvy’s work asks us to believe that BA is still premium.

So, what can CMOs do? We call it ‘Seizing the Gap’. By working with agency partners, like us, who can map current customer experiences vs. expectations and help deliver changes required – technical, organisational, creative – CMO's can be the heroes that keep their organisations relevant. Here’s how we’ve partnered with the organisation that buys and sells 1 in 10 of the UK’s new cars to deliver brand and experience alignment and amazing results: The CMO 2.019 Paper

If you’d like to know more, I’d be delighted to talk through your challenges and goals.

*UK: Marketing Society figures show the average tenure of CMOs in the UK is only 18 months (https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/09/07/why-cmo-tenure-is-falling/)