It’s about creating meaningful value-based connections with the people you want to influence in action. It is equally critical inside an organization as it is outside, involving people on your team, throughout the organization, and in the marketplace.
We tend to forget about that when it comes to marketing, so easily distracted by a bunch of shiny new objects, technology, data, mass production of iterative content for every possible channel setup. But “in the end, it comes down to people and values,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
I have had the immense privilege of working with hundreds of CMOs in various formats, through CMO Moves Podcast, Top of Mind videos, CMO Playbooks, deep dives into specific topics such as purpose, culture, leadership, skill development, and more.
Even though each CMO role is unique to its respective organization, the only consistent theme I see is that the CMO role is increasingly focusing on the centrality of people. Here are those changes in the context of the questions to ask yourself as a leader:
Champion Diversity and Inclusion:
Are you championing diverse talents — diversity of all kinds: age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, experience, beliefs, etc.?
Are you ensuring that everyone has a respected and welcome voice at the table so you can hear their unique perspectives and make sure they feel safe to bring their best self forward?
Are you closing gaps across your organization and with partners to ensure collaboration, innovation, and productivity?
Investing in talent development:
Are you investing in your teams?
Are you giving them the tools and opportunities to be successful? Are you aware of the implications of AI / ML and building a vision for the future for your team, equipping them to evolve their roles and remain significant contributors?
Are you looking inside and out to help guide young leaders or future leaders?
Are you equally allowing yourself to be reversely mentored to stay in tune with what is important at all levels of your organization and the (declining) pool of marketing talent?
Embrace the Creative Revolution:
Are you realizing that consumers are the new creators and many of the new marketing tools on the landscape are being created by them or for them to create even more content?
How are you thinking about the skills of your teams that go from the creators to the enablers of these new creators?
How are you working with your agency partners to ensure that your best thinking can remain part of the equation as they will have to unveil that new market perspective like never before?
So let’s get back to the headline.
Who are these 100+ marketing leaders?
They are the ones who came together officially to launch a new Executive Mentor program to help the next generation of leaders.
All over 100 years volunteered their time as a mentor as CMOS, CBOs, CEOs, industry leaders of the world’s most iconic brands:
Adobe, Airbnb, Anheuser-Busch, Burger King, Citi, Deloitte, Denny’s, Facebook, Gap, GE, General Mills, Google, L’Oreal, Marriott, Mastercard, Nestle, NFL, NHL, Pandora, Petco, Spotify, Target, Uber, Verizon, Viacom, Visa, Walgreens, Walmart and more.
They know that the future is about feeding and empowering the next generation of leaders. Your success, and the success of the industry, depend on fostering an inclusive environment that brings diverse thinking and unites communities.
They recognize that influence comes from authentic leadership, upholding values , and ensuring fairness for each individual. It is truly a circle for people-based growth.