Are We Transforming Yet?

It’s the 2 year anniversary of Pause + Reflect. From the start, our goal has been to shine a light on important themes in modern marketing that aren’t talked about—or reflected on—enough. This edition is no different, except we’ll close with something extra—a birthday present of sorts for our beloved subscribers (i.e. you).

Now on to our theme …

Transformation, digital or otherwise, continues to be top of mind for many marketing leaders. Most of us now recognize there’s more to it than a shiny new tech stack. A lot more. But what, exactly, are the dimensions that should be considered? And which one should you start with as you embark on your transformative journey? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • First, why does transformation matter? This question brings to mind a favourite quote from Basecamp’s Jason Fried: “Your company better be your best product since it’s the product you use to make everything else you do.” Replace  “company” with “department” and the appeal becomes clear—great modern marketing requires a great modern marketing department.
  • So what does the playing field look like for leaders contemplating big changes? Coca Cola Asia’s transformation czar Mariano Bosaz sees four dimensions that must be considered: experience, operational, business and cultural.

  • The interplay between culture and operations is particularly important. Why? A recent survey of 270 corporate leaders found that the biggest barriers facing change and innovation initiatives are politics and turf wars.
  • The importance of culture is further borne out by the results of a recent CapGemini survey in which 60% of respondents cited culture as the biggest barrier to successful transformation.
  • What can CMOs do to affect positive cultural change? Here’s a good place to begin: “create an open environment in which making mistakes is acceptable”.
  • Speaking of getting started, our own Peter Petralia has this advice for marketing leaders contemplating bold changes: “Don’t be paralyzed by what you don’t know. Be okay with incremental success. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” (Podcast)
  • Which leads us to our birthday present. We know how overwhelming all of this stuff can be. And how difficult it is to know where and how to begin. So we’ve created a free tool to help marketing leaders get over this hurdle and get going. It’s called Starting Point and we’d like to invite you to try out the beta release.

Issue #52
Sep 3, 2018

Further Reading