CMOs: It’s Time To Rally Your Employees Around Brand Building

Sheryl Pattek

Fred Rogers touched the hearts of millions of children through his work in creating and hosting one of the most beloved educational television programs — Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Throughout its run, the show built a strong brand that was recognized as a leader in educating millions of young children. When public funds for the program became scarce, Mister Rogers stood before the US Senate Subcommittee on Communications to passionately defend the educational mission of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The goose-bumps-producing testimony compelled one of the most impatient subcommittee chairmen to approve $20 million in funding for the show.

Mister Rogers was able to accomplish this inspiring feat by building a strong brand for his show and using that brand to accomplish a seemingly impossible task — creating a community of devoted fans that Congress was compelled to keep alive and growing.

As our friendly neighbor Mister Rogers showed us, it’s possible to build a strong lasting brand by charming a community of involved supporters.

CMOs, it’s time for you to take a lesson from Mister Rogers by rallying and engaging your entire organization to reach the full potential of your brand.

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Why Performance-Based Agency Compensation Doesn't Work

Sarah Sikowitz

I embarked on the topic of performance-based agency compensation because I was getting A LOT of questions about it. Mostly, folks wanted to understand how to structure it. 

As I set out to answer that question, I uncovered a topic that is probably one of the most hotly debated topics in the industry. People are passionate – on the agency side, on the finance side, on the procurement side, and on the marketer side. Everyone has an opinion.

So, instead of doing a straightforward report on how to structure performance-based compensation, I took a step back to dive into whether performance-based compensation is actually achieving the desired results – which is better performance from agencies.

I found that:

  • Performance-based compensation, as it is most commonly structured and applied, is being used as a stand-in solution for a much larger issue – the fact that CMOs are having a very hard time measuring and explaining the impact of their agencies' work on ultimate business outcomes.
  • Adding financial incentives to agency contracts gives organizations a way to measure the impact of agency work and assign that impact a monetary value.
  • These organizations are not getting better work from agencies because of this. And by using performance-based compensation as a motivator, they are missing an opportunity to truly motivate their agencies.
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Change The Interface, Change The World: Microsoft HoloLens Takes Computing’s Next Giant Leap

James McQuivey

Windows 10 comes with holographic computing built into it. And to prove that it’s serious about holography, the company announced Microsoft HoloLens, a headset that lets people interact with holograms in the real world.

Wait, what?

I know what you’re thinking. Microsoft has a credibility problem when it comes to launches of future tech. Remember that this is the company that tried to launch touch-based tablet computing in 2000. Microsoft launched a smartwatch years before anybody else that also came to naught. I’ll spare you a longer list of Microsoft’s mislaunches. It all adds up to a fair bit of earned skepticism. Surely Microsoft can’t be expected to create the computing interface that will do to graphical user interfaces what the mouse did to the text-based user interface.

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Sony Should Fight Fire With Fire And Post "The Interview" Online For Free

James McQuivey

Late last night, Sony revealed that it would pull The Interview from its release schedule. This decision was made in response to the step taken by the major theater chains, all agreeing that they would not screen the movie on its release day. The unprecedented decision is causing consternation among entertainment media types who feel that Sony has put the right of free speech in jeopardy. That's a conversation worth having, and I'm glad it's happening. But there is an entirely new question that this situation brings into dramatic relief, one that didn't exist before and one that our premeditations won't help us resolve. The question is this:

Can companies participate in cyber war?

Up until now, companies have prepared to defend themselves against cyber attacks as one-off nuisances. Such attacks are now so common that they no longer make the news. Even massive breaches where millions of customer data points are compromised tend to give us pause for only a few moments, perhaps a few days, and then we move on. But what Sony experienced was not just a security breach. This hack was a declaration of cyber war intended to bring Sony to its digital knees: a low-cost digitally effective cyber war that puts none of the hackers' assets in harm's way. And given yesterday's announcement, it appears to have worked.

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Four Lessons On Wearables From LeWeb Paris 2014

James McQuivey

I'm packing to leave Paris and it's a hard town to leave. Not only because I managed to catch a glimpse of a Paris sunset last night from the top of Notre Dame, but because I'm leaving LeWeb Paris 2014 while it's still in full swing. There's no denying LeWeb is one of the most invigorating events I've attended. Highlights in the first two days included a candid discussion on Uber with celebrity venture capitalist Fred Wilson and amazing comments from Web founder Tim Berners-Lee on everything from robots to net neutrality to Europe's "right to be forgottten" laws. Most invigorating for me personally was the day one session on wearables. LeWeb invited me to curate this hour-long track as part of its new format, tackling multiple themes in short bursts over several days. Curation required pulling together experts on the topic which was both simple and difficult. Simple because there are some great ones to choose from, difficult because I would have had 10 people on stage if I could have managed it. But that's where the hard task of curation comes in.

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Innovation Agency Wave: Learn more about the 10 agencies driving innovation

Sarah Sikowitz

I am very excited to announce that the Innovation Agency Wave is now live! 

Marketers need data, technology support, ideas, experience design, and change management — not just channel expertise — in order to differentiate themselves in the age of the customer. To accommodate, agencies are redefining their core competencies to better align with three areas of marketers' demandinnovation around products and business models, integration of channels and customer data, and implementation of enabling technology systems.

This research reminded us that "innovation agency" is a label that Forrester assigned to agencies with specific aptitudes. Most agencies don't have neatly packaged innovation offerings. But those we reviewed do offer strategy, change management, customer experience, and design and development services — capabilities that are core to enabling digital business innovation. Since CMOs may not find a standard blueprint for an innovation agency, this wave provides guidance as you review potential innovation agency partners. 

In addition to the report, please make sure to download the interactive scorecard tool to build your custom wave and gain a more in depth look at each agency.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all of the agencies that participated.  The teams that I worked with are all so talented and put in a lot of time and effort, which I appreciate. 

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It’s Time To Revamp Your Agency Roster

Sarah Sikowitz

Continuing the theme of agency selection, my next report, Revamp Your Agency Roster To Lead A Connected Brand Experience (subscription required), came out yesterday. 

This report helps CMOs reorient themselves to the shifting agency landscape and identify partners to help move them from channel expertise to leading a connected experience.

In establishing this new model, CMOs must partner with agencies to:

  • Create transformative experiences
  • Craft and distribute a connected brand story
  • Deliver technology to drive a connected brand experience

This report makes up the Performance Management module of the Brand Experience Playbook.

Please reach out to schedule an inquiry if you would like to discuss further.  I look forward to hearing from you.

CMOs And CIOs: A Couple Still In Need Of Therapy To Reach Power Status

Sheryl Pattek

A new pneumonia virus first infected a few people in China in November 2002. A scant seven months later, the virus known as SARS had infected more than 8,000 people in 26 countries and caused 774 deaths. The international medical community mobilized: Within one short month, it discovered the virus that caused SARS, completed its genetic sequencing, outlined its modes of transmission, and communicated guidance for managing the outbreak.

How did this happen so fast? The power of collaboration. A network of 11 laboratories in nine countries came together and collaborated to identify the cause of SARS and how best to combat it. They shared research in near real time, empowering each lab to build on the work of the others. Compare the success of this collaborative effort to the three years it took to discover that HIV led to AIDS as well as the slow movement to solve our current Ebola crisis. Clearly, collaboration when mobilized can have a huge, positive impact on the world in which we live, work, and play.

Now, just because CMOs and CIOs are not curing world hunger or an infectious disease, that does not mean they can choose to ignore the power of collaboration. In fact, as CMOs and CIOs, you too need to be collaboration superstars in order to prosper in the age of the customer

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Screen For These Four Criteria During Your Next Agency Search

Sarah Sikowitz

Being asked to pitch for a new piece of business strikes both excitement and fear in the hearts of many agency folk.  When I started research for my latest report, The Fit Test For Strong Agency Relationships, there was no shortage of people who wanted to weigh in on how to make the process better for both CMOs and agencies. 

After many interesting and spirited conversations, I settled on the four things CMOs should screen for when selecting an agency to help drive their business forward in an increasingly competitive and real-time environment.

Check out my report (subscription required) for a how to guide to screen for:

  • Vision: Does they agency’s vision for the future of consumer behavior, technology and marketing align with yours?
  • Experience: Can the agency provide a fresh perspective to your acute business challenges?
  • Passion: What is the agency doing to create a culture where its employees are passionate about coming to work?
  • Process: Will the agency be able to enact change across your organization?

If you are interested in discussing your next agency search or how to get the most from your current agency relationships, please schedule an inquiry with me.  

CMOs Boldly Reach For More Influence Across The Enterprise In 2015

Sheryl Pattek
For as long as there have been children and travel, frustrated parents have been subjected to repeatedly hearing a simple, “Are we there yet?” In their innocence, children seem to understand that all journeys should lead to a final destination; with those journeys never reaching their destination quick enough.
 
Empowered buyers have raised the ante to successfully win, serve, and retain them, increasing the pressure on organizations to accelerate their journey to customer obsession. But almost halfway through the decade, we find organizations struggling to find the right leader to seize the reins and transform the organization to be laser-focused on the customer. Enter the CMO.
 
In 2015, Forrester believes CMOs will step forward and take responsibility for turning the enterprise toward the customer, evolving their role into the engine that fuels customer-centric company growth. It’s time for CMOs to cultivate the trust, respect, and collaboration across the entire C-suite and use that influence to ask for the right to not only hold but also turn the keys to the customer.
 
My colleagues, James L. McQuivey, Moira Dorsey, Laura Ramos, Sarah Sikowitz, Tracy Stokes, and I therefore studied the landscape and expect CMOs to seize this new opportunity to both shape their personal success and accelerate the growth of their organizations in 2015. In particular, we predict that:
 
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