Thank you to all who joined us at Monday’s NYC launch event for my new book, “The Digital Transformation Playbook”!
If you weren’t able to join us, you can watch a videostream of the event below (filmed by Sree Sreenivasan via Facebook Live).
After a welcome by the brilliant Rita McGrath, I give a brief talk overviewing the key concepts of my book, which seeks to tackle the question: How does a business started before the Internet adapt to thrive in the digital age?
I am then joined by an amazing panel of luminaries who share their experiences grappling with digital transformation in an iconic media business, a popular consumer brand, a global professional services firm, and one of the world’s greatest art museums:
Thank you to Columbia Business School Executive Education for hosting the event, for the support of Columbia Business School Publishing. Big thanks to Rita, Sree, Emily, Jeff, and Alan for sharing all your wisdom and insights. And thank you to everyone who joined us at the Columbia Club of New York for this memorable evening!
Today is the day. My new book, The Digital Transformation Playbook is finally out in the world as both hardcover and e-book.
Your pre-launch sales of the book made us the #1 new release on Amazon in management science! Thank you!!
If you’ve been waiting to order a copy—now is the day you can download it, or ship it! http://bit.ly/DTPbook
If you’ve been thinking of telling a friend—here’s a sample tweet:
The wait is over! Get your copy of The #DigitalTransformation Playbook, by my friend @David_Rogers, today >> http://bit.ly/DTPbook
If you’ve already started reading—I’d love your feedback in an Amazon book review: http://bit.ly/DTPbook
If you’re in New York—please join us for an amazing panel discussion & launch event April 11: http://bit.ly/DTPnyc
The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age
by David L. Rogers (April 5, 2016, Columbia Business School Publishing)
Every business begun before the Internet now faces the same challenge: How to transform to compete in a digital economy?
In his new book, The Digital Transformation Playbook, Columbia Business School faculty David Rogers argues that digital transformation is not about technology—it’s about upgrading your strategic thinking.
Drawing on case studies from GE to British Airlines, and Wawa to The New York Times, Rogers shows how traditional businesses need to rethink their approach to strategy in five domains—customers, competition, data, innovation, and value.
With practical frameworks and nine step-by-step planning tools, Rogers reveals how to harness customer networks, platforms, big data, rapid experimentation, and disruptive business models—and how to integrate these into your existing business and organization.
Many books offer advice for Silicon Valley start-ups, but The Digital Transformation Playbook is the first complete treatment of how legacy businesses can transform to thrive in the digital age.
“Seldom have the effects of digital change on businesses been so succinctly explained. Rogers illustrates how and why the times they are a changin’—and more importantly, how to adapt.”
—Bob Garfield, cohost of NPR’s On the Media
“Packed with illuminating case studies and practical tools, The Digital Transformation Playbook maps out clear strategies for thriving in the digital age. Don’t start a business without it.”
—Neil Blumenthal, cofounder and co-CEO, Warby Parker
“Everyone talks about digital transformation, but here’s your chance to truly do it well. Rogers provides a roadmap that every executive should read. Read this book and get started!”
—Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Thank you again for all your support!
I am delighted to release the results of a new global business study — “What Is the Future of Data Sharing? Consumer Mindsets and the Power of Brands.” (Download here.)
(click lower-right button to view full-screen)
As data becomes an increasingly important asset for any business, access to accurate data from customers—about their interests, behaviors, and identity—is vital to successful, durable relationships. Our research explores how businesses can make data sharing a “win-win” for both companies and the customers they serve.
With my co-author Matthew Quint, we surveyed attitudes towards sharing data with business in six different industries, talking with 8,000 consumers from the US, UK, Canada, France, and India.
Our surprising findings show that even consumers who are actively protective of their data are often happy to share it for relevant offers and value. The study revealed four distinct “mindsets” that consumers have towards sharing data. And we uncovered clear opportunities for business to use data to add more value to their relationships with consumers.
The research goes far beyond general consumer attitudes towards data, in order to answer:
Today, businesses that hope to build an effective data strategy need to invest in building both data, and the trust of customers that makes it accessible. By giving customers more value—not just with traditional offers, but with new kinds of data-enabled benefits—and offering more transparency and control, businesses can develop a long-term relationship with customers that puts data at the center of a true value exchange.
The research study “What Is the Future of Data Sharing?” was produced by Columbia Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership (www.globalbrands.org), in conjunction with the Aimia Institute (aimiainstitute.aimia.com).
What are the challenges that today’s Chief Marketing Officers face as they manage a changing role and rising expectations in a world shaped by digital technologies? I got to discuss this question with a hundred CMOs of North American companies recently, while teaching a joint Google/Columbia Business School program, our first-ever “CMO Academy.” The invited executives from the US, Canada, and Mexico represented a diverse range of industries from fashion to financial services, and hospitality to healthcare.
Below are seven lessons that emerged through two days of case studies, interactive presentations, and hands-on problem solving with this group.
1. The Funnel Has Changed
The use of the marketing funnel as a strategic tool is undiminished, with various demands across the funnel. At the top of the funnel, 85% of our CMOs were focused on driving brand awareness and 51% on lead generation. At the same time, these CMOs need to deliver sales, both offline (59%) and online (49%). Beyond the point of sale, 73% of the CMOs said that customer loyalty was a critical objective for them.
The funnel is changing, though, as customer behaviors are transformed by digital habits and experiences. Traditional marketing tools–such as television, radio, and out-of-home advertising–are still important, but not always efficient or effective to reach the right audience. At the same time, the interactions of customer networks are shaping each stage of the funnel. (see my article on “rethinking the marketing funnel”). Search results, particularly on mobile devices, are critical in influencing awareness and consideration. Customer reviews and social media conversations are shaping brand preference. And the moment of purchase is happening across mobile, desktop, and in-person. Most importantly, marketers are thinking beyond loyalty to driving advocacy by their most engaged customers who can influence others. To achieve all their objectives, marketers need to focus on distinct digital strategies for customers who are at different stages of their funnel.
2. Content Is King
One of the top challenges identified by attendees was generating effective content. Marketers know they need to create new forms of content to engage their customers, but they are still struggling to find the right approach. We examined a variety of case studies to illustrate why not all effective content is the same. Although some content is based around storytelling (see Corning’s “Day Mad of Glass” below), other content is focused on providing utilitarian answers to a customer in a moment of need (see Home Depot’s videos for do-it-yourself home owners). Marketing content may seek to serve a broad audience, or an extremely narrow niche. Once it is created, this content may be distributed through established media publishers, or brands may choose to build their own publishing platforms.
Storytelling content by Corning
Utilitarian content by Home Depot
Google talks about a marketer’s content portfolio in three categories: “Hero” content seeks to connect with new audiences through impactful storytelling. “Help” content answers the questions of potential customers who are searching online for solutions. “Hub” content engages existing customers, by giving them a reason to subscribe and hear more from you.
3. Targeting Wins
Another common challenge voiced by CMOs was how to effectively target the right customers for their business. As the media available to customers proliferates, effective targeting is absolutely critical. Your message matters; but increasingly, who you reach is the difference between success and failure. In the digital era, targeting is fundamentally different than the traditional world of media buying. Marketers must shift from the old thinking of audiences (based on demographic fictions, e.g. “fashion-savvy, 25-40 year old, urban mothers”) towards addressing specific customers based on their actual behaviors. Netflix has shifted from making recommendations based on reported behavior (the movies you say you like) to observed behavior (what Netflix sees you actually stream at 11:00pm on Wednesdays). In the same spirit, marketers can target most effectively by using real-time data on customers’ actual viewing, searching, browsing, and purchasing behavior.
4. Measurement Is Not ROI
The biggest single concern voiced by our CMOs was how to “measure our digital campaigns and know which ones give us the best ROI.” These are actually two different goals, and it is important to not confuse the two. Marketers do need to win the support of the CFO and the CEO, and that requires being able to demonstrate how marketing delivers ROI to the firm by shaping customer lifetime value (through levers such as customer acquisition, retention, annual spend, and share of wallet). But it is equally important to recognize that not every marketing tactic can be measured through to a financial impact with equal certainty. Executives know that television advertising is not measured the same way as direct mail. Although digital tools come with a panoply of data and metrics, the tools which operate at the top of the funnel (shaping awareness, brand perceptions, and lead generation) will not be measured the same way as tools that drive directly to a point of sale. Sometimes the best route for measuring ROI of a new marketing tactic is through cost efficiency: Can I achieve my traditional marketing goal (e.g. GRPs or awareness) at a lower cost?
5. You Don’t Know What You Don’t Test
Even with metrics in place, CMOs often face challenges around attribution: how do I know which of my various marketing activities influenced the sale? Digital technologies afford marketers many more opportunities to measure as they go, and to adjust and optimize their marketing based on real customer feedback. To get the most out of any campaign, marketers must plan to test before, during, and after—that is, to plan to learn. Effective marketers use data to optimize their efforts on channel (which media are you using), on audience (who are you targeting), and on content (which messages are you using). One powerful example: with TrueView, marketers are able to place video advertisements on YouTube that customers can skip after 5 seconds (at no cost to the advertiser). Who wouldn’t want the option to test their advertising content with real customers, see which messages are actually relevant to them?
6. Talent Matters
In order to lead an effective digital marketing organization, CMOs need the right talent on their team. Most CMOs are finding they need to hire, train, and attract new skills in a variety of areas. These include: social media management (engagement and community building), content (from creation and editorial planning to distribution and SEO), digital advertising (search, display, paid social), as well as data and analytics (to measure, target, and deliver insights). Marketing departments today need a much broader array of skills than just creative planning and media buying. In addition to cultivating the right talent in their own departments, CMOs realize they need to work more collaboratively with other parts of their organization—sales, customer service, public relations, product development—in order to drive value and ensure the right experience at each stage of the customer relationship.
7. Learning Never Stops
The last challenge identified by our CMOs was the speed at which digital marketing is evolving and the increasing number of choices that it offers to marketers. I pushed the participants to resist chasing trends and planning their investments based on tools (“What’s our Snapchat strategy? What’s our Twitter strategy?”). Instead, effective leaders build strategies from clearly defined objectives and deep knowledge of their customers and their brands. With that in place, the right strategy can be chosen to draw on the best tools available. But it does require that the marketing team be a true learning organization, constantly absorbing new best practices and discovering the state of the art in its field. This is why I am such an evangelist for executive learning, both in my open programs held at Columbia Business School in New York, and for individual companies around the world. To lead in any market, learning must be continuous.
The challenges for CMOs today are complex, and they require new thinking about the discipline of marketing. I’ll be returning to each of the above topics in future posts, exploring lessons from other executives and firms around the world. Please let me know your questions in the comments section below!
Credit to collaborators: The CMO Academy is a joint effort of Columba Business School and Google. Many thanks to Alana Vieira who spearheaded the launch, to our host Harold Klaje, to Jennifer Harvey who taught alongside me, as well as presenters Matt Rivard, Fab Dolan, and Zahra Kanji. And thanks to all 100 CMOs who participated!
This article first appeared in the Forbes CMO Network.
Those of you who joined us know that this year’s induction ceremony for the Marketing Hall of Fame was another spectacular celebration of brilliance in the field of marketing. (See Forbes’ coverage of the event.)
I’m delighted that we are able to share videos of the keynote speeches from 3 of our 4 inductees. They provide tremendous insight, as well as timely reflections on the field, good humor, and some provocative thinking about what “marketing” even is.
SHELLY LAZARUS, Chairman Emeritus, Ogilvy & Mather (bio)
– “The challenge remains the same. Find that gorgeous idea”
YVON CHOUINARD, Founder, Patagonia (bio)
– “Marketing at Patagonia is easy. We just tell people who we are.”
DAVID AAKER, Vice Chairman, Prophet and Professor Emeritus, Berkeley Haas School of Business (bio)
– “When you turn a fact into a story, magical things happen.”
Also inducted: TREVOR EDWARDS, President, Nike brand, Nike (bio)
– “Innovation means making something new and better. But it must be better in the eyes of the consumer.”
Today’s CMOs face a key leadership challenge as they shift their marketing organizations to take advantage of the data revolution. Social media, mobile devices, analytics and cloud computing are dramatically reshaping what is possible for the modern marketer. But getting your marketing team to take advantage of this new paradigm is not easy.
I recently had the chance to keynote and spend the day with several dozen CMOs and leaders from firms like Coca-Cola, Caterpillar, Kimberly-Clark, Cisco, and WestJet at IBM’s Think Marketing summit in New York. Their diverse stories of data-driven marketing revealed a common set of challenges for CMOs.
Stitching the data together
The first challenge is to link together diverse sets of data in order to paint a complete picture of the customer. This is especially difficult for companies that don’t sell directly to the consumer. But marketers are putting the pieces together, by observing online behaviors (from website, email, and paid media), using social authentication (a Facebook login can be invaluable), purchasing demographic data from third parties, and sharing data with strategic partners. Caterpillar now requires its dealers to enter into valuable data-sharing agreements, but in return provides the dealers with benchmark and tools to improve their own sales efficiency.
Turning data into customer value
The next challenge is to turn a coherent data picture of customers into a source of new value. That starts with behavioral segmenting (Coke found that baby boomers preferred rewards programs that delivered discounts, but younger segments responded more to app-based social games). Next comes predictive analytics (e.g. deciding which of a portfolio of products to emphasize to different customers, based on social signals, and real-time context). Ultimately, the goal is to understand and match the customer journey. Kimberly-Clark is segmenting and following moms through a path from diapers to pull-ups to swimwear for tots, targeting their marketing to maximize revenue.
Making the financial case
Building a data-driven marketing operation requires investment in new technology and skills. With budgets flat, CMOs are shifting money from events, trade shows, and person-intensive tactics. Cisco has seen costs drop significantly as it shifts marketing budgets to social, mobile, cloud, and analytics. Other firms reported solving customer needs with online solutions that were 30x cheaper than in-person service. Across the board, marketers found increased efficiency of spend as they deployed more marketing automation, delivered more targeted messages to customers, and stopped wasting money to reacquire the same customers across different channels. (Once they learned to link the data, they could recognize the same customer across email, website, Facebook, and loyalty programs.)
Changing habits and process
Before jumping head first into buying new technologies, CMOs say they need to think through the changes in business process that data-driven marketing will entail. Targeted messaging to dynamic customer segments requires a different approach to copyrighting – “hyperversioning” of content, where many variations of the same pitch are crafted in advance. Getting Coke’s brilliant content people to “think digitally” was essential before it could fully leverage the power of customer data. And while global firms have built powerful teams for data-driven marketing in the U.S., many still struggle to replicate those successes in overseas markets – with different data, and consumer media habits.
Taking ownership and responsibility
Lastly, data-driven marketing requires that CMOs take responsibility for technology issues to a new degree. No longer can they rely on cloud solutions to work around the CIO and run a “shadow” IT operation. Today’s CIOs are willing to show flexibility in order to partner more closely with marketing. That means CMOs have to weigh in on thorny issues like data security, and when to place data in the cloud vs. keeping it on-premise. The answers aren’t always simple, and they aren’t just technical, as consumers place their trust in brands, but quickly withdraw it. When it comes to customer data, “if you break it, you own it.” Today, how you treat customers’ data, and whether you use it to improve their lives and their experiences, is a responsibility for the CMO before anyone else.
This article originally appeared in Forbes CMO Network
It is my pleasure, as board member of the New York chapter of the American Marketing Association, to announce this year’s 2015 Marketing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (May 21, New York City).
The Marketing Hall of Fame (marketinghalloffame.org) was established by the NYAMA to celebrate brilliance in marketing across all fields and disciplines. It is dedicated to recognizing exceptional individuals who have made outstanding contributions and are inspiring new generations of marketers.
Join us for a part of marketing history at the 2015 Marketing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony!
We will honor four new inductees this year and hear compelling speeches on the future of marketing from each of them. Each of our inductees is responsible for outstanding leadership and contributions to the field of marketing:
The ceremony will begin with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by keynote presentations from each inductee. They will share insights from their extraordinary careers and offer their unique perspective on marketing’s past, present and future.
REGISTER HERE Tickets will go fast; don’t miss this stellar event!
The 2015 Marketing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2015
Time: 6pm to 9pm
Location: JWT Headquarters, 466 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017
I hope you can join us in New York on May 21st!
I am extremely excited about the agenda for this year’s BRITE ’15 conference, which I will be hosting in New York at Columbia Business School, on March 2-3, 2015.
I hope you can join us. This is our 8th conference since I started BRITE, and we have a terrific lineup of speakers.
You can check out the full agenda online now at: http://briteconference.com. (I will be premiering results of a new research study on the Internet of Things.)
I will be joined on stage by an amazing roster of speakers, including:
Presentations topics will include: the science and art of marketing, big data and personal information, business models for the Internet of Things, innovation lessons from DARPA, and the future of television, retail, fashion, robotics… and more.
Now in its 8th year, BRITE ’15 will bring together 500-600 leaders from business, technology, and media. BRITE offers a different blend of thinkers and doers, both onstage and off, than you will find at any other event. Participants come to think differently about the changing landscape of branding, media, and technology, and to connect with a unique group of innovators, marketers, and entrepreneurs.
I hope you can join us this year!
Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has grown into a powerhouse within China’s fast-growing market, as the equivalent of both eBay and Amazon. Now, as CEO Jack Ma tours the US in preparation for the biggest IPO in history, many are asking what this means for US Internet firms. Will Alibaba be a direct competitor? If so, where? And does Alibaba even have a US market strategy yet?
I sat down with The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Vigna this week to discuss.