The Mentality Of A CMO Is Changing To This

by Steve Olenski

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Adapt or die. It is an oft-spoken term, most notably in the movie Moneyball by Billy Beane, AKA Brad Pitt. In that context the term referred to the way baseball general managers needed to change their entire method of evaluating players via the use of “sabermetrics.”

We won’t get into the whole nitty and gritty of sabermetrics but its introduction into the game caused quite a stir and debate and still does to this day.

When it comes to the role of the CMO, the same type of fundamental change is occurring as the mentality of a CMO is changing to one of a Chief Engagement Officer. Why? The answers are obvious, at least they should be.

In today’s digital world – and let’s get one thing perfectly clear here, we as marketers are not doing digital in a marketing world, but rather are marketing in a digital world , big difference – engagement is everything.

Yesterday we were both part of a panel discussion on a webinar entitled The CMO Solution Guide to Leveraging New Technology and Marketing Platforms Webinar. Presented by Oracle Marketing Cloud (OMC) (note: Steve’s employer) the webinar featured insights gleaned from a Guide by the same released earlier this year by The CMO Club in partnership with the OMC.

During the discussion this very topic of Chief Engagement Officer was raised. The sheer number of engagement opportunities alone is staggering hence the need for this mentality shift among CMOs. The use of technology as a means to engage with a given brand is only going to keep climbing with no ceiling in sight.

Today, consumers aren’t just tech savvy, they are techdependent. How many studies and surveys do we need to read where people say they would be willing to sacrifice this or that before they give up their technology?

Still not convinced? Well perhaps the opening line to an article on Bloomberg from earlier this year will convince you. “Almost a third of Americans would rather give up sex for a year than part with their mobile phone for that long.”

Not only are consumers tech dependent, they are techaddicted.

CMOs must adapt or die. No, not in the literal sense of course. But in a very real sense nonetheless for if they do not adapt to this mentality they run the risk of seeing their career perish – understanding engagement is that important.

This article was co-written by Michael Williams, CMO of Grand Prix of America and contributor to the The CMO Solution Guide to Leveraging New Technology and Marketing Platforms.

*This post originally appeared on Forbes.com.


Steve OlenskiSteve Olenski was named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred. Steve is a senior creative content strategist at Responsys, a leading marketing cloud software and services company. He is a also a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing and co-author of the book “StumbleUpon For Dummies.” He can be reached via LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter @steveolenski or at the nearest coffee shop.