The Hybrid Marketer: The Future-Forward CMO

Future of Work

One thing on my mind has been the growing changes to the marketing discipline as we know it. I wonder if these changes, subtle in the past but unforgivingly obvious in recent time, are a top priority for most of us.

For me, a candid way to look at the marketing space has been to put the two predominant tracks in nicely labelled boxes — Brand Marketing and Performance Marketing.

Brand marketing comprising traditional marketing pillars; strategy (i.e. brand and marketing), planning and execution. Performance marketing refers to paid digital channels and data analytics.

The Case for Customer Centricity

The need to be customer-centric as a guiding principle in decision making, irrespective of functional lines, brings to fore the necessity for Hybrid Marketers with competencies across current and emerging skill-sets:

=== Market Research (Measurement models)

=== Consumer Insights

=== Brand Strategy

=== Marketing Strategy & Execution

=== Digital Marketing

=== Customer Experience (CX, UX, AI, ML)

=== Data Analytics

=== Performance Management

=== Soft Skills (Communicator, Agile design thinker, Negotiator, Coach, Leader of self & team etc.)

This competency model drives home the “T” shaped inter-disciplinary approach as a personal career preference. Strong expertise in a single area, or a few closely related areas, but broad understanding across the board.

Captured In a Simple Framework

Captured in the framework below are components of building and sustaining a powerful brand, each block providing valuable input into the next. The framework also visually highlights the hybrid marketing competency requirements from start to end of the marketing process.

Infographics: The Marketing Framework
Infographics: The Marketing Framework
The Marketing Framework

Market and consumer insights drive strategy. The brand strategy at the core; marketing strategy as an expression of the strategic direction, providing the foundation for effective marketing mix and promotional tactics, be it offline or online. Customer experience remains the underlying wireframe for humanising and personalising all customer interactions; the next frontier for brand differentiation and team capability acts as the lifeblood for the efficient running of this entire marketing system.

The hallmark of results from this integrated system is delighting the customer, difficult to replicate initiatives and strong ROI.

The Hybrid Marketer

There are a few notable qualities of the Hybrid Marketer as a future-forward CMO:

  • Features a broad spectrum of functional and industry experience, with expertise in over one vertical, with an appreciation for diversity and various work cultures
  • Has a good balance of both the art and science to marketing, giving credence to a major, be it brand or performance, but having a very good grasp of trends in minor areas of expertise
  • The Hybrid Marketer as a future-forward CMO must be adaptive while scaling leadership to run and motivate a collective of teams

The journey to Hybrid Marketer status is an attitude of lifelong learning, continuously adding to my toolkit of skills and competencies.

And so, no matter the ambiguity of our times, we must remind ourselves of our ultimate destination, which is delivering value to our customers, business and finally our community.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the future-forward CMO. Leave your comments below.

Digital Native & Brand Strategist I Lifelong learner I Living virtually