EXCLUSIVE: CMOs And Their Failure to Innovate

Recently, MMW was interested in learning more about what the results of Deloitte’s Business Confidence Report means for today and tomorrow’s CMOs in terms of innovation and bold leadership.

To gain further insight, we connected with Jonathan Copulsky, CMO of Deloitte Consulting, for more details on why marketers and brands need to align their investments, priorities and incentives across the entire company in order to meet their innovation objectives.

Below are excerpts from our exclusive interview with Jonathan.

MMW: How do the results of the Business Confidence Report align with what’s going on with the latest mobile marketing trends?

Jonathan: Our Business Confidence Report found business leaders believe that the rapid pace at which technology changes is negatively affecting their company’s speed of growth. It comes as no surprise that this same group of leaders is also not prioritizing investments in technology.

Mobile marketers who are falling short in their mobile revenue efforts also are usually behind on the latest tech innovations in the space – like location-based advertising. Failing to invest properly in the latest tech will simultaneously result in a failure of mobile marketing campaigns.

For the first time in mobile marketing, audience analytics and limiting fraud with a guaranteed audience have started driving transformation. However, it’s important for mobile marketers to consider how they are approaching these strategies. The Business Confidence Report found that most leaders (59 percent of CXOs and 65 percent of CXOWs) are approaching innovation as a series of incremental, evolutionary developments to enhance or improve business, rather than emphasizing a more revolutionary approach.

To reach an expanding audience, limit ad fraud, and realize mobile marketing’s potential, CMOs need to invest in multiple types of innovation. Only 26 percent of CXOs and 24 percent of CXOWs say they are selecting organizational and operational models to innovate, while only 26 percent of CXOs and 20 percent of CXOWs say they select business processes. As mobile marketers look to innovate with APIs and automation, it becomes a question of how they are implementing those initiatives into their business.

MMW: How do mobile marketers improve their ability to innovate and become bolder marketers?

Jonathan: Innovation and bold leadership go hand-in-hand. On the leadership front, nearly all Business Confidence Report survey respondents (97 percent of CXOs and 98 percent of CXOWs) agreed that bold leadership is necessary to achieve breakthrough performance.

Interestingly – or even ironically – many of those same leaders (91 percent of CXOs and 92 percent of CXOWs) do not feel that they personally are exemplifying all bold leadership traits or that their organization cultivates it by encouraging risk taking.

Mobile marketers can no longer be bold by simply being systematic. Now, to be innovative, mobile marketers have to be bold with their strategies.

MMW: What steps do CMOs and CMOWs need to take to adapt to the pace of growth in their marketing plans?

Jonathan: Having the ability to adapt to constantly changing and rapidly growing organizations is critical for C-suite leaders. The upside in adaptation for mobile marketers is that they have a better opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t and to continually get smarter about what they do.

The challenge in mobile marketing is a significant one given the increased role of technology in the discipline. Our research shows that about half of the business leaders who believe the pace of technology change is negatively impacting their growth are not prioritizing investments in technology. That feels like an inherent contradiction to me.

Also, the tools used in the science of marketing have changed dramatically. For example, the increased use of analytics and marketing automation, as well as leveraging big data, are different than they were two years ago, let alone 10. Therefore, in order to innovate and keep up with the pace of change, executives also need to work at faster clock speeds.

MMW: What do marketers need to do to better prioritize innovation and implement a comprehensive approach to their mobile campaigns?

Jonathan: We are seeing organizations promote innovation through hiring and training of employees – which is a good first step. However, we are not seeing as many looking outside their walls to partner with others (roughly 1/3 of CXOs and CXOWs say they’re doing this).

Effective marketers understand that great, innovative ideas and capabilities can sometimes come from outside their own walls or can come from combining the expertise of their own people with new ideas or approaches from elsewhere – other individuals or organizations, business models, geographies or industries.

Even within their own walls, a mere quarter of survey respondents indicated they are prioritizing innovation outside of the “core” in areas such as staff, organizational models, business processes and pricing. There is an opportunity to look at talent models, business models, and incentives to change the emphasis around innovation.

MMW:  How can CMOs better market their company to its current and potential talent base?

Jonathan:  One of the key themes in the 2016 Business Confidence Report was that the leaders who were surveyed believe there is likely to be a substantial “brain drain” of their top talent.

The survey results revealed that the top two reasons leaders believed that their best managers could leave for another company were the desire to work with more advanced technologies (54 percent of CXOs and 60 percent of CXOWs) or to work for a more innovative company (52 percent of CXOs and 57 percent of CXOWs). For mobile marketing efforts focused on talent, it’s essential to emphasize innovation with the organization’s approach to technology – especially as it relates to the mobile marketing strategy. This could help an organization attract and retain the talent who are seeking those innovative and tech-centric experiences.

MMW: If the Business Confidence Report had one takeaway for mobile marketers, what would that be?

Jonathan: While it’s clear that innovation is a top priority for almost every business leader, it is especially true for mobile marketers. Combining the surplus of ads on mobile sites, apps and social media platforms with consumers always being ‘on,’ mobile marketers are always competing for consumers’ attention. In order to capture that attention, mobile marketers need to be innovative and build innovation as a formal discipline in their organization.

Overall, this year’s survey stresses that risk taking and bold leadership, along with a more comprehensive approach to innovation and technology, can go a long way toward achieving business priorities for mobile marketers.