Today’s CMOs must be culturally connected and understand what’s important to the brand and consumers in the current marketplace.
As more and more consumer data is being collected the importance of ascertaining what is and is not relevant has become as much art as science. Marketing professionals at every level are being tasked with making sense of mountains of information and helping their companies and customers create action plans based on the latest interpretation. As the industry evolves, so too do the skills required to succeed. In this second part of a three-part series, Michael J Pallerino discusses how Expedia’s marketing department is relying more than ever on science to hone their focus.
Aman Bhutani, Senior VP of Expedia Worldwide Engineering at Expedia, is one of those CMOs that believe marketing is becoming more technical and data-oriented. He says that today’s marketers continue to adopt more scientific methodologies in their campaigns.
“You have an observation, you test the hypothesis, and then you do what the data tells you to do,” Bhutani says. “That has led to a huge acceleration in human progress in the last 200 years. As things become increasingly measurable, it is easier to apply this scientific method to a growing number of activities. Marketing is ripe for this because so much of it has now moved to what we call variable channels.”
For example, ten years ago, Bhutani says few believed that ad spend on the internet would make up such a huge portion of marketing spend for so many companies. Today, that spend is measurable at an extreme level. “Marketing leaders have to realize that creativity and content is always going to be important, but they really need to understand analytics and make decisions based on data,” he says. “If it doesn’t make sense, then continue to dig until it does.”
Because today’s customers expect more, the way that businesses respond could be the new competitive differentiator. This is helping today’s CMO and marketing teams evolve. The new breed of CMO is analytical and must possess a strong focus on results. “It’s about understanding the market, customer segmentation, purchase drivers, competitive position, third party dependencies, etc.,” says Carlos Tribino, Giftcards.com CMO. “He must analyze, test and address.”
Today’s CMOs also must be culturally connected and understand what’s important to the brand and consumers in the current marketplace. “You have to constantly research and study the consumer, business and technology trends,” Tribino says. “You must be innovative and willing to take calculated and educated risks, analyze the results, and allow yourself to fail on occasion in order to open up high-growth opportunities. Challenge the status quo.”