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Michael Brenner is senior director of global marketing for SAP. He is also author of the B2B Marketing Insider blog and cofounder of social news site Business 2 Community. Michael is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 99 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Marketing Transformation: 3 Leadership Skills You Need To Succeed

04.19.2013
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Has the rise of digital, social and mobile technologies affected your marketing organization? In response to these rapid changes in the way everyone on the planet gets and processes information, governments, businesses and individuals are all facing the challenges of adapting to continuous change.

As organizations seek to differentiate themselves, Marketing has taken on a more prominent role in many organizations. Simple advertising campaigns and tactical approaches to gain new customers are no longer enough. CMOs see the need to define the vision and path to real marketing transformation.

Why? Because business innovation cycles have sped up. Communication happens across the globe in milliseconds  Customers expect real-time service and support. All while the global, political and economic landscapes have become more complex.  As a result, CMOs need new skills.

Earlier this month, Caren Fleit and Brigitte Morel-Curran from Korn-Ferry released “The transformative CMO: Three must-have competencies to meet the growing demands placed on marketing leaders.” (No registration required.)

Caren and Brigitte argue that today’s CMO must move beyond brand-building and even voice of the customer to become strategic leaders who carry the weight of delivering quantifiable business results. They must think more broadly than ever before and need the skills (and the relationships) to drive change across the organization. To become a transformative CMO or marketing executives, they believe you need to acquire 3 new competencies:

3 Competencies Required For Marketing Transformation

The report defines the 3 skills required for marketing transformation as:

  • Creating the New and Different: more than just the ability to “create new ideas” this skill requires the acumen to manage the innovation process and implement change
  • Focusing on Action and Outcomes: requires the ability to make decisions with “incomplete data” that have the largest potential to impact the bottom line.
  • Inspiring Others: transformative marketing leaders understand the importance of “compelling vision, commitment, and superior communication” in a diverse work force.

After seeing the report, I reached out to SAP’s CMO, Jonathan Becher (@jbecher) who is leading the marketing transformation effort here at SAP.  Jonathan also speaks and writes quite a bit about the need for marketing transformation. Jonathan agreed with the main points of the report but added “the one thing that might be missing is Culture. You know I believe Culture eats strategy.”

In What Every CEO Should Expect From Their CMO, Jonathan mirrors the need to create “the new and the different” by capitalizing on insights. Jonathan says “For the first time, marketing has the ability to get a view of customers in real time.  Jonathan also suggests marketing leaders “inspire others” by not just “representing the voice of the market,” by being “the champion of the overall experience” and the “brand steward” but also by being an “integrator and force multiplier across the company.”

Finally, Jonathan agreed with the need for a “focus on actions and outcomes” in Three Must Dos For The Modern Marketer where he recommends marketers “measure what matters.” Jonathan states “I believe we should track outcome metrics, not activities.

Now it’s your turn…what skills do you think are required for marketing leaders to drive transformation across our businesses?
Published at DZone with permission of Michael Brenner, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)