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Ashu Garg’s ‘5 Keys to Unlocking the Decade of the CMO’

Debora Haskel

As you may recall from my recent post, “Inspiration and Insight at &THEN and the Strategic Summit,” the insight came from Ashu Garg, General Partner at Foundation Capital. He proclaimed this the decade of the CMO and offered five keys to success in this decade:

  1. All hail king ROI.
  2. Hire math men, not mad men.
  3. Publish or perish.
  4. Mass personalization is not an oxymoron.
  5. Close the deal.

Since his five keys to success are explained in only 22 words, they must be simple to achieve, right? Not quite. Garg is a realist who provides great insight into the challenges of achieving success. Here are the challenges you may encounter at each step.

  1. All hail king ROI. The challenge will not be a surprise to anyone who struggles with attribution. As Garg describes it, in order to deliver ROI, “Marketing teams will need to combine disparate datasets, accurately attribute touches, and optimize spend and strategy.” If that wasn’t hard enough, he reminds us this all needs to happen “at the speed of business.”
  2. Hire Math Men, not Mad Men. Programmatic buying has changed the way we must think about marketing spend. According to Garg, “Developers will need to find ways to enable the advance purchase of media, make offline media available for programmatic buying, and make more data available to brands.”
  3. Publish or perish. We’ve all heard this phrase in the academic world, especially in conjunction with scientific journals. In the decade of the CMO, Garg says the phrase means, “Brands must distribute authentic content in a variety of formats and across fragmented channels, while measuring engagement and nurturing word-of-mouth advocates.” Easy peasy?
  4. Mass personalization is not an oxymoron. My colleague Ashley Leone wrote about how distasteful it is to Millennials to receive marketing messages about things that don’t interest them. According to Garg, “Technology needs to deliver a comprehensive view of each consumer, predict preferences, and leverage contextual data – like current location or preferred device – to effectively tailor each piece of marketing.” He didn’t say this, but it sounds to me that concern about personalization being creepy has been replaced by concern about personalization being comprehensive.
  5. Close the deal. Alec Baldwin said it best in Glengarry Glen Ross – “ABC –Always be closing.” Garg’s wisdom says that “Software must bridge datasets to predict the value of each potential sales lead, surface relevant and timely insights, and help marketers build revenue as well as relationships.”

Want to learn more? Mr. Garg takes the challenge out of that task by sharing his amazing content online at www.foundationcapital.com/decadeofthecmo. Need help overcoming the challenges? Contact us to see how our Proprietary Intelligence model helps turn the key(s) to success.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2015/10/28/decade-of-the-cmo/
Debora Haskel


Debora Haskel

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