Okay. Now that I have your attention, let me rephrase the title to: Why all strategies and tactics fail to maximize results in yesterday’s and today’s marketing environments. Answer: It’s about the corporate culture and until that is fixed, marketing, sales and customer service will fail to communicate and connect with most customers and clients.
Valeria Maltoni, a smart marketer who gets it, recently penned a post called How Big Brands can Start Testing Social Media. The sentences that carry the most cache for me are these: “You probably read it in many of my posts – we’re tired of being sold to, but we do like to buy. It’s the push/pull tension. Social media, when executed well, is perfect for what marketers term inbound.”
“I have been screaming to the hills with very few echoes returned: In today’s world, we marketers should be placing most of our efforts and our budgets on Inbound Marketing. But first we need to fix corporate cultures.
“According to just-released CMO Council data, “83 percent of marketers say they face change-resistant corporate cultures, conflicts and competition between internal constituencies, and a resistance to operational accountability, visibility and measurement.” And that is a problem.
“Until alignment of customer touchpoints and accountability plus measurement become top priorities, no strategies or tools will be effective or efficient. Keep up the great thinking Valeria.”
And that’s the bottom line. It doesn’t really matter how we approach marketing. Until we align the data, analyze it and use it to predict consumer behavior, Inbound Marketing can only deliver mediocre results. Apparently, those of us criticizing CMOs for not getting it owe 83 percent of them an apology. They do get it. Silos exists primarily because of the “change-resistant corporate cultures, conflicts and competition between internal constituencies, and a resistance to operational accountability, visibility and measurement.” Those were the reason 30 years ago when I first entered the corporate world, 11 years back when I left it, and today as I attempt to serve it as a consultant.
CMOs and their current marketing operational models face “significant challenges from entrenched corporate cultures, inter-departmental politics, and a lack of adequate data and information systems,”
The research, entitled Calibrate How You Operate, tells us that marketers face “a lack of corporate mandate for alignment and integration.” Forty-one percent of the 400-plus marketers audited “point to siloed data and limited cross-functional feedback loops as major internal challenges subverting the marketing operational process.” The CMO Council believes that “The study underscores the critical need for marketing to drive operational effectiveness and optimally structure, resource, and run today’s digitally driven, customer-centric, and globally distributed marketing organizations.”
Can cultures be changed? Not easily and not quickly. And the change can’t happen at all without the leadership of the President, CEO, COO, CFO and the Executive Leadership Committee. That’s too bad, because external marketing at it currently is practiced is going the way of the dinosaur; it is becoming extinct, although it is fighting to hang on. Inbound Marketing will eventually save the day because it is cost-effective and customer-driven. And when that day comes, social media will have a seat at the table alongside the CMO. Meanwhile, all this talk about social media’s value isn’t worth much when it is placed within a contextual vacuum. Instead, social media must be discussed within the context of Inbound Marketing, which as Valeria correctly says is about the simple fact that “we’re tired of being sold to, but we do like to buy.”
Tags: alignment, CEO, CFO, CMO, CMO Council, Conversation Agent, COO, corporate culture, customer-centric, digitally-driven, External Maketing, Marketing, metrics, operational effectiveness, President, research, silos, Valeria Maltoni