CMOs typically have one eye on the future while making sure their organizations are meeting near-term goals. Keeping it all organized and focused requires creativity.
According to writer Bob Isherwood and Alan Schulman, chief creative officer at Deloitte Digital “Fostering a creative culture means coming up with more ideas faster, becoming more agile,” says Schulman. “CMOs can create a more collaborative environment that allows people with many different skills sets to share and test new ideas. It means going beyond creative communications groups to other areas that can solve broader business problems.”
With pressure to show results and act as a translator within the C-suite, modern CMOs are under increasing amounts of strain, says the report. Not only do they have to work within the business to connect marketing to results in ever-detailed ways, they also have to keep pace with changing consumer purchasing and media habits. Keeping it all straight, in the words of Ben Gaddis, president of Austin, Tex., independent agency T3, requires “an irrational vision.”
“CMOs have to have a vision not only about what the customer experience should look like now, but how it should be three years out, or even ten years out,” Gaddis says. “Customer expectations are changing rapidly, and CMOs are required to not only understand those expectations, they have to meet them.”
Learning to live in those two worlds requires CMOs to not only be creative themselves, but to also have an ability to enable a process for creative thinking and innovation to serve the business both now and in the future, Gaddis says. As such, it is up to them to build a culture to deliver results today while working to achieve bigger future goals.
“Inspirational leaders can create a calling for their people, then build an environment to help them reach it,” says advertising veteran Bob Isherwood.
Isherwood, Dean of the Young Creative Academy at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity goes on to say, in his report, that
In the marketing world, creativity comes in many forms, a big idea for an ad campaign, an original product design, a groundbreaking mobile app, or a new business model. It can result from months, sometimes years, of careful strategizing, or it can materialize spontaneously during a brainstorming session.
And while creativity is often associated with art designers, copywriters, video producers, graphic illustrators, and other “creative” types, it can be a crucial element in every marketing function, from social media and user design to event planning and customer experience.
Isherwood discusses how CMOs can inspire creativity and design environments in which it can thrive:
Mr. Isherwood’s participation in this article is solely for educational purposes based on his knowledge of the subject, and the views expressed by him are solely his own.