Many of the CMOs I engage with are adept at dealing with change. Marketers have to be adaptable these days, right? We're all playing in new channels and at different ways of interacting with customers.
But through my discussions with marketers, I've noticed two things: 1) Most marketing organizations are reacting to, rather than driving, change, and 2) marketers aren't reaching far enough.
Why do I call marketing reactive? Well, CMOs don't consider themselves change agents, and that's despite rapid changes in consumer behavior and the new possibilities technology offers them. Indeed, marketers see their own company's efforts at marketing innovation as middling, according to our September 2009 Global Marketing Leadership Online Survey (see figure below). I suppose that's to be expected. Marketers have a job to do, business to deliver, budgets to protect, and bosses to satisfy. Innovation isn't often part of their job description . . . but it should be.
As a first step to making innovation a more important part of marketing's role, CMOs must define their marketing innovation strategy. I've structured a framework and process for doing just that in my new research.
But in defining marketing innovation, marketers can't stop at "adopting digital,"" dabbling in mobile," or "setting a social strategy." Which brings me to my second observation. Even if marketers are most at home in testing new media channels, CMOs must use a broader framework to explore innovation. Marketing leaders have got to be more ambitious.
A marketer's innovation strategy must touch each of marketing's core compenents, or the four P's: product, price, promotion and place. And few go so far today. In the report, I've highlighted some great initiatives where marketers are focusing on at least one of those four P's. But it gets really interesting when two or more of the P's overlap!
So back out to you: Where are you innovating? Where will you innovate? What ideas have caught your attention?