I love September. American and European football are back, allowing me to spend a large (but who’s counting?) amount of time watching uniform-clad fellows run around across expanses of green in front of raucous crowds. Soccer in particular has an unparalleled beauty to it: an exquisite orchestration of movement and ingenuity that, at least to my mind, no other sport can match. The brains behind the on-field talent are the team managers, who understand formations and strategies and how to measure results beyond wins and losses.

Soccer managers have a lot in common with today’s CMOs. Both must understand how to succeed in a global context, deploy a diverse set of skills to greatest effect, and create an experience for fans that sets them apart from the crowd. Luckily for CMOs, today they get their very own playbook! I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the Customer Life Cycle Marketing Playbook (subscription required), designed to help chief marketing officers transform their organizations to become customer-obsessed, a requirement for competitive success in the age of the customer. By changing the game from the marketing funnel to creating and activating a customer-life-cycle-driven marketing strategy, CMOs will deliver value that is visible to the customer and position the brand for long-term success. We've organized the playbook to help CMOs:

●     Discover the business value that a strategy grounded in the customer life cycle creates. These reports set the stage for why the customer life cycle is a better framework for modern marketing; they also arm CMOs with the business case to justify the investments and resources they will need for this change.

●     Plan the move away from the marketing funnel and to the customer life cycle. In this section of the playbook, CMOs can use the reports to assess their current capabilities and form a road map and strategic plan to get them moving toward a customer-driven marketing function.

●     Act on the new requirements that a customer-first strategy demands. Here, CMOs tackle the hardest parts of a major transformation: embracing a change management function to transition people, processes, and technology to the customer-first orientation.

●     Optimize performance to enable organizationwide customer obsession. Finally, these last reports take the customer life cycle initiative to the next level by managing performance with new metrics, benchmarking current success, and identifying the next capabilities to add to become even more focused on customer needs.

Tell me that doesn’t make you want to lace up your boots (cleats in the US) and get started. We recommend you take a look at the executive overview, “Adopt The Customer Life Cycle To Win In The Age Of The Customer,” to get a full look at the content this playbook offers. This research stream is only just underway, and I’ll continue to add new reports and update current ones over the coming months — so if you have feedback or input, please let me know.

Game on!