The media landscape is swirling and changing under our feet. The potential of marketing in the digital world is in its formative stages, and as it destabilizes the status quo, the CMO can no longer rely on past history as a guidepost for acquiring customers and building a brand.
While technology creates new ways to speak to prospective customers, and as we explore all of the new media forms, we need to remain focused on our No. 1 responsibility: What is our core message, and how can we keep it clear and consistent across the myriad of formats required to participate in the explosion of consumer touch points?
Given our finite time to accomplish our mission, don’t let the endless stream of new options divert you from what I believe is your main task. Find the emotional end benefit for the consumer of your product or service that resonates across all of the old and new platforms and collectively becomes your brand.
The challenge for marketers is to maintain the human connection in the digital space that speaks in the same voice and puts forth the same emotional end benefit that converts the consumer into your customer.
The most satisfying breakthrough I’ve witnessed is when an advertiser finds that core emotional transforming message and witnesses the number of new customers skyrocket. As one example, in the for-profit educational field, we found that degree offerings were not the trigger needed to acquire new students. The aspirational themes that centered on the emotions of attaining success and the American dream were transformational positioning that dramatically improved the performance and ROI of the advertising investment.
As we find ourselves immersed in this era of “content creation” feeding a multitude of ravenous digital platforms, it becomes of paramount importance for the CMO to put in place a process to evaluate the consistency of messaging across all offline and online consumer touch points. This is a more complex and more important responsibility for the CMO as the shelf life of creative becomes increasingly shorter, morphing across an array of new and largely untested formats.
Additionally, as you are well aware, the real-time nature of social advertising poses both opportunity and risk. It will require a carefully thought-out and discrete control system of oversight and accountability.
So as we work with these new communication avenues, the consistency of the core message and the retention (or development) of the human connection needs extra protection and vigilance to ensure your messaging is amplified, not weakened, by the myriad of simultaneous messaging under your watch.