3 Danish CMOs present the skills marketing needs
The future of marketing will be driven by data. This was the rather surprising result of our interviews with the heads of marketing at Maersk Line, Carlsberg Danmark and Secunia. Having expected our interviewees to talk about marketing automation, analysis, business intelligence or social media, their strong focus on data astounded us. Find out which skills they believe that marketing professionals of the future need to have, and get three important take-aways that will help any marketing professional.
- By: Peter Anders Franch
- Published: 05-08-2014
One consequence of this is that the marketing organisation has considerably improved its technological skills and moved closer to the IT department. What’s more, marketing has also taken over more of the processes traditionally run by sales.
Consumers are demanding moreConsumers are becoming increasingly more demanding and expecting even more from the companies and brands they are engaged with. And technology is helping them. It has decreased their tolerance for poor products and services and made it easier for them to give bad reviews or to take their business to the competition.
The consumer is also starting to take the initiative to communicate with a company or brand. Now that they’re able to shield themselves from advertising, push messages and spam, they can choose when and how they want to engage with a company.
This means that the consumer will no longer be satisfied with mediocre service. Companies that manage to create a unique and consumer-oriented strategy will be the companies that achieve the greatest success.
All of this means that the successful marketing organisation of the future will look very different. At Increase, we believe that the marketing department of the future will consist of new roles.
Content Marketing is key
For example, content Marketing will be a key element in the marketing team. Large organisations, such as Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, LEGO, Maersk and others are already using it. Small and medium-sized companies are also starting to use it to various degrees. Why? Quite simply, because it works. You can convince your potential customers by giving them expertise instead of sending commercial and pushy messages.
We’re seeing lots of our customers starting to use blogs, personalisation, marketing automation and the social media.
Agile marketing employees
They’ve realised that it’s about changing and keeping up. In line with most other jobs, as a marketing professional, you have to stay up to date and agile so you can face changes. At the moment, most marketing departments, regardless of where in the world they are located, are at various stages of a transformation process. And their work is starting to look very different.
The ideal marketing department
We‘ve therefore decided to ask some of Denmark’s most distinguished heads of marketing about what their ideal marketing team would look like.
We gave all of our interviewees the following scenario and question:
You’re the marketing director of a company with 100 employees. You’re responsible for hiring people for five roles for your B2B marketing organisation. Your task is to brand and sell your company in the best possible way.
Which five roles do you choose and why?
- Hans Christian Bothmann, Marketing Director at Secunia
- Kristian Sengeløv, Brand Manager at Carlsberg Danmark
- Christian Nakskov, General Manager, Marketing Channels at Maersk Line
The alert reader will note that these companies are B2B and B2C. We decided to use companies from both segments to give a broader and more inspiring perspective. Our objective is to inspire not to provide hard and fast answers.
So read on to find out how some of the brightest minds in the Danish marketing world view the marketing employees of the future.
Christian Nakskov, General Manager, Marketing Channels, Maersk Line
All the titles I’ve chosen are characterised by being in English. This is because, for example, when we look for applicants for social media positions, we get applications from all over the world. This is globalisation at work. Applicants no longer just come from Denmark.
Let’s look at the different roles selected for my organisation.
Customer Insights Analyst
I’ve chosen this role because any marketing department needs to start out with customer insights. You need people who can work with data mining, who can analyse large quantities of data and code and turn them into intelligible customer insights.
Content has become increasingly important. The content developed by the content creator is based on the insights he or she receives from the customer insights analyst. The content creator needs to develop creative and relevant content that can be used across all marketing channels. It’s important this goes beyond social media. Of course, social media is part of the mix, but the individual in this role needs to be able to find the good story, take ownership of it and communicate it through all marketing channels.
Crowd Sourcing Manager
Today this role is known as Social Media Manager. The crowd sourcing manager has the primary responsibility for engaging and connecting with customers and stakeholders.
It’s important the person in this role can engage and activate customers and stakeholders across marketing channels. For example, this might be through twitter, blogs or offline at events or similar. The person has to be able to build up a customer network and a crowd and give them value.
The crowd sourcing manager has to take marketing and make it part of the core business. This means taking it to customer service and facilitating knowledge sharing between customers. For example, our customers often don’t utilise their containers 100% today. The customer who transports 500 tractor engines from Shanghai to Rotterdam only uses around 75% of each container. If they were able to sell this extra space to another customer who had a more manageable product, such as let’s say trouser buttons, we’d have two customers who gained greater value by working with us. This would allow us to create a completely new service.
When I started in marketing back in ´98, I naturally used the channels, tools and media that were available back then. But we weren’t able to measure the effect of what we did.
Today the marketing world looks quite different. The new platforms and all the marketing channels have created marketing value. But behind each channel there is a related platform. The platform integrator has to facilitate integration and synergy between the different platforms.
For example, this could be the integration between our CRM system, customer service system, marketing system and our social media tool. This kind of integration would also improve our segmentation and give our lead generation and customer service a boost.
Once again, you’d be able to offer the customer a different type of service and offer them real value.
It’s one thing for marketing to create lots of good initiatives with good intentions, but something else entirely to get it executed. And the bottom line is that unless it’s integrated and anchored on the front-line, it doesn’t matter. This is the task of the commercial integrator. This person has to hand over the initiatives and plans to sales or to customer service. In principle, they can also be handed over to the individual business unit or directly to the customer.
In B2B, marketing is the brain behind sales. I realise that may sound a bit impertinent, but if marketing can use the data and insights they have, they’ll own the overview. But this is no use if the individual sales person doesn’t acknowledge this. A commercial integrator is needed here to anchor the initiatives.
Our current marketing department has many of the roles described here. But we call them something different. We have customer insights, the creative development team (who own content) and channels, of which I’m head. But that said, I think that marketing has become much more IT driven. We are more dependent on technology. The systems you decide to work with are what make all the difference. A system can make or break your work. If it’s not properly integrated, it can have enormous consequences. This will be even more pronounced in the future. It’s not just about how customers use technology, but also about how it’s used by marketing.
When I compared how it used to be back when I started in marketing with now, there’s been a fantastic change. Marketing has become far more measurable. I started out in the agency world and back them when you had an idea, you put it down on paper and executed it. Very often you were fumbling around in the dark, hoping that it would have an effect. Many people might look back on this time with nostalgic affection, not me. Personally, it’s much more satisfying to be able to document your results.
This also brings the additional benefit of moving the internal discussion from the general argument about whether or not marketing has any useful purpose, to a focus on future ROI.
Imagine a 100m race at the Olympics where you don’t have the technology to decide who wins, so the race ends with, ”We believe it was…”. This will never work; you simply have to know. How fast and what was the difference in time? That’s why, from a marketing perspective, there’s huge satisfaction to be gained from being able to document the value you add. There’s still quite a distance from theory to practice but the figures give us results. This is a great positive development that I appreciate. It makes everything more professional.
Customers today are far more resistant to the initiatives we create. They are also more sceptical. I can see that we use less ”push” marketing where we send out emails, ads, direct mails and so on to customers and instead we think about ”trigger-based marketing” – interesting content that the customer selects on our channels.
We have 1.3 million followers on our social media, 1.5 unique users of maerskline.com and 200,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter. Our focus is therefore exclusively on converting that interest into real business opportunities.
The most important, and in fact the essence, of what you do in marketing is to engage individuals. It doesn’t matter if you work with B2B or B2C, you’re still trying to convince people.
I come from the B2B world where we work with containers and shipping solutions, but our customers are driven by human needs. So even though you can document the world’s best business case, you won’t get far unless you engage with the person you do business with. In B2B many people mistakenly think that you are talking to another company and that the customer makes purely rational decisions. You might be able to produce reams of convincing calculations, but if the person is not with you, and if we don’t understand that we have to address their personal needs, the probability that we win the customer decreases significantly.
|About Maersk Group|
Maersk Group has four core businesses which include Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Maersk Oil and Maersk Drilling. Through these companies and several others, the group employs roughly 89,000 people, and generated 47 billion US dollars in revenue in 2013.
Hans Christian Bothmann, Marketing Director, Secunia
The basic premise for marketing is that we have to be the business development department. This has always been my greatest focus, regardless of which company I’ve worked for. It also means that we continually focus on optimising the organisation in line with the company’s vision and changes.
There are four areas I’d focus on in my team:
Online inbound & web marketing
Over the past 12-18 months, we’ve upgraded our online marketing competences. In this part of the team, one person has the main responsibility for the direction, priorities and execution, as well as the strategic part. Another person is responsible for the website and front-end part, with a focus on UX and UI including landing pages, and someone else is specialised in online marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), PPC, display, link building and affiliate marketing.
Our social media marketing is driven by the content marketing function, but remains a natural part of online. On the online marketing side, we also use freelance graphic resources and content support. This makes up a hybrid team focused on online lead generation.
We also have a back-end web focus. Our webmaster ensures that our website is anchored with its underlying database. This person also manages the technical part of marketing automation, for example, form and CRM integration from web to our marketing automation platform, lead scoring model updates and our unsubscribe functionality etc.
This is focused on dialogue marketing, email marketing and nurturing marketing campaigns – both lead generation and lead maturing. This person has to be strong in content communication and works very closely with online inbound marketing. Events and conference marketing are also part of this function.
The person in this role has competences in what I call marketing automation front-end. That means the person has to be able to create campaigns, develop flows and be able to work across the various marketing channels with the content in use.
The webinar part is a central content machine for us and the person in this role has to also manage the marketing campaign part of this. He or she is not necessarily 100% content creating – but more promoting. Their focus is to attract potential and existing customers to the webinar platform, so they can be exposed to our content in a credible and authentic way.
In general, the dialogue marketing person has to be able to think out of the box and come up with creative use of content that is driven by relevance for the recipient. It needs to have clear messages and no disrupting noise, so we can start to interact actively with the target group.
PR & Content
This person manages PR and is influential in the media and with interest groups. This means that the person has to be content creating, develop the right value propositions, position Secunia and our products and solutions, write blog posts, whitepapers and reports etc. It’s critical that the person is professionally and linguistically strong with a good eye for what works and what doesn’t, both with journalists but also with the target group of a company’s decision makers.
The person in this role is focused on sales enablement and the relationship with industry analysts. They’re based in marketing but have a double perspective – towards sales and towards product management. Towards sales, the person is a content creator with regard to analysing the competition and market situation. They make deductions from analyses that can be used as value propositions and also have responsibility for ensuring that the messages and differentiation we create are externally credible.
The production of materials and tools has to be able to be used in both marketing and sales. Towards product management, the person is a bridge between the product road map, product launch and, in particular, the product qualities and how these can be made relevant to our target groups.
These are the four areas we are currently focusing on. But in the long-term, I’d like to employ a marketing opportunity manager.
This would be a person who is owned by marketing but who works closely with the sales organisation. When marketing generates leads and qualifies and validates them, the opportunity manager would have an important task. The person would follow up on the leads that are passed on to sales. And then follow them all the way to their successful conclusion.
In short, the opportunity manager would be the bridge between sales and marketing. He or she would have to be able to accompany the most important leads and help sales create more conversions.
Pipeline control is the most important task for this person. A gap can often appear between sales and marketing. What is sales and what is marketing? The opportunity manager has to facilitate this gap and restore the balance between sales and marketing. In doing so, they help sales accelerate progress through the pipeline.
As you have probably realised, I consider online lead generation, content marketing, dialogue marketing, nurture marketing and the resulting marketing activities driven by pipeline insights to be the central focus areas.
My role is to find profiles for the team who can work together but who also have enough experience to function autonomously. They have to have a solid drive and self-starter qualities so they can execute and finish projects. They also need to be profiles that can get stuck into the details but still see the bigger perspectives. That’s why I see these roles as important for the marketing organisation.
This is different from earlier, when you could to a much greater degree get by with marketing project managers. Today we’re more focused on finding marketing professionals with domain expertise.
My focus is to create synergy between our activities. That’s why the interplay between inbound and outbound marketing, combined with content is of particular importance for lead generation. This will also be reflected in our brand and communication credibility.
Secunia is recognised industry-wide as a pioneer and global player within the IT security ecosystem, in the niche of Vulnerability Management.
Kristian Sengeløv, Brand Manager, Carlsberg Danmark
I believe that the marketing department should define the strategy for the rest of the company. In the ideal world, marketing has the skills and resources to outline where we need to go and the challenges we have to address in the market place. Sales should then support these initiatives, as well as excel in their execution. The best ideas will fizzle out without the right execution.
This is perhaps not true all the time, but that’s how it would be in my ideal world. Marketing feeds the strategic ideas.
My marketing world is based in B2C, and this becomes clear in my choice of roles.
The customer and consumer have to take centre stage, which is why marketing takes its starting point here.
Consumer Insights Manager
The first role I’ve defined is a person who works with consumer insights. In my world, you have to meet the needs that arise in the market. If you don’t do this, you are creating marketing that will fall on deaf ears and the initiatives you carry out become meaningless.
I’ve called the person in this role, the Consumer Insights Manager.
Shopper Insights Manager
The next role I’ve defined is similar to the one above as it’s still about insights. I’ve chosen to call this role Shopper Insights Manager.
The person in this position has to help to turn marketing in the direction demanded by customers in the market. He or she has to decode the behaviour shown in the shopping situation. The shopper insights manager makes it much easier for the execution team to supply relevant solutions.
The third role is Brand Manager. Preferably several. The brand manager has to be the director of his or her respective brands. This should be understood to mean that the person has to have a broad knowledge of which products and budgets to work with.
In the same way, they have to understand what’s needed in the different channels. The person doesn’t have to be a specialist in all fields, but they have to be able to navigate their way through all aspects of the product that they’re responsible for.
Then my department would have an Innovation Manager. The person shares a commercial responsibility with the consumer insights manager.
All innovation is consumer driven, and this person is responsible for defining which directions and trends should be followed in the market. What’s the next big thing in our industry? This is the commercial side of what an innovation manager has to do.
However, this person also needs to be able to put on a supply chain hat and be the bridge between the commercial part of the business and the production part.
Basically, this team has been put together as they’ve got the competences the marketing department needs to define a direction that avoids the pitfall of the creative team – or the brand manager in particular – getting great ideas that are difficult to execute in the market, or coming up with initiatives that are not at all what the market needs.
Very often lots of ideas and strategies look great on a PowerPoint, but don’t work in the real world because they haven’t been properly thought through.
My organisation has been created from an outside-in perspective.
A consumer insights manager will go in-depth with qualitative data and consumer tests of new products, including extensive qualitative studies. The person will look at ROI from the marketing perspective, to measure campaign effects.
The other part is the shopper part. In my view, this will be based on scanner data from grocery shopping so that the data registered is used for analysis. There would be lots of household data, which we could analyse, but mainly scanner data.
Many organisations have had a tendency towards silo thinking. The focus has been on the individual role and the individual department, which means sales and marketing haven’t always been moving in the same strategic direction.
I believe that we’ve seen more direction in the past few years. The right form of direction. Previously, we saw that lots of customers in supermarkets came up with great ideas. Then we’ve had to stop and evaluate whether there is a broad demand in our marketing. In recent years, we’ve become an even more consumer-driven FMCG company.
|About Carlsberg Denmark|
Carlsberg Denmark is a subsidary of Carlsberg Group, the world’s fourth largest brewery group.Carlsberg Danmark produces and markets some of Denmark’s biggest brands in beer, water and soft drinks, including Tuborg, Carlsberg and Coca-Cola.
Analysis and conclusion
What’s interesting for all interviewees is that they’ve emphasised the importance of content and insights. Hans Christian Bothmann from Secunia has two roles working directly with content – PR and the content manager, as well as the person who is responsible for sales enablement and analyst relations. Christian Nakskov from Maersk also has a content owner/creator.
And this makes sense. Especially in light of studies that show:
- 77% of B2C companies have acquired a customer through Facebook – Brandpoint
- 41% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through Facebook – Brandpoint
- 61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content – Custom Content Council
- 78% of consumers believe that companies providing custom content are interested in building good relationships – TMG Custom Media
- Blogs give websites 97% more indexed links – Content+
- 9 in 10 organizations market with content – Content Marketing Institute
- Online presence is a must for businesses, as 93% of online research starts with a search engine, and 68% of consumers check out companies on social networking sites before buying – Brandpoint
- 90% of B2C marketers are using content marketing, compared with 86% last year. 34% of B2C marketers consider themselves effective at content marketing—up from 32% last year – CMO
Christian Nakskov makes an important point: Today consumers are bombarded with information from a wide variety of different marketing channels. This is overwhelming and unsurprisingly leads to them becoming resistant. There’s lots of content out there and you won’t be successful by trying to shout loudest or by spamming potential customers with content. You’ll achieve success with content marketing if you give your customers and potential customers content they can use. You have to add value.
Kristian Sengeløv from Carlsberg Denmark points out the importance of being able to understand your consumers and your market. He has created two roles that analyse the market – the consumer insights manager and the shopper insights manager. These individuals are able to meet customer needs and execute solutions that support these needs.
Take Away #1: You have to get on the content marketing wave. Content has to be the driving force. It has to be relevant and based on the consumer and customer insights. ”Content is king, context is god.”
Hans Christian Bothmann also talks about marketing automation and has one role directly working with this, in the form of an Outbound marketer. Although Christian Nakskov does not address it directly, he points out the importance of having someone who can integrate the different platforms, the platform integrator.
Take Away #2: Marketing automation. It is critical to be able to establish online lead generation and ensure systems can communicate across the different channels. This will give you and your marketing an overview of your entire market with all possible insights.
Analysis and insights
Everyone we spoke to talked about the importance of analysis, insights and platforms. It’s clear that they all see marketing taking a greater ownership of and responsibility for data. Kristian Sengeløv also sees the marketing department as the definer of the strategic lines.
Both Christian Nakskov and Kristian Sengeløv realize the importance of having one person anchor the analyses and strategies. Christian Nakskov calls this person the commercial integrator while Kristian Sengeløv takes a more B2C slant calling the role the shopper insights manager.
Take Away #3: Analyses and insights are rich in data. The marketing organisation of the future has to have one person who can take all the data and transform it into intelligible analyses that marketing can use to create relevant content.
So what can we conclude from our interviews with some of Denmark’s strongest brands? We can conclude that content is enormously important. Platforms, technology and consumer insights are significant.
This places new demands on the marketing department. It has to bring in new competences. The role of the traditional marketing coordinator is fast disappearing. In its place, there’s a focus on ownership of projects, data and technology with new roles such as online inbound & web marketing, customer insights analyst, platform integrator and consumer insights manager, to name just a few.
This leaves us with the impression that companies and marketing have to brand themselves to be able to stand out in the digital world. We hear about consumers and business consumers who are always online and willing to search, ask, interact, complain, buy and pay using their digital devices and smartphones.
Unsurprisingly, this move towards the digital makes new demands on content and insights in the customer database.
The ’always online’ premise
As indicated in the interviews above, marketing is becoming more interactive and reacting to the fact that people are more online than ever before. And as all of our interviewees pointed out, marketing has to start with the consumer, lead, customer or potential customer. An effective, relevant and engaging experience has to be supplied to the company’s audience.
You can achieve this if you analyse and use the insights that can be gained from your potential and existing customers. Who are they? Which channels do they use? And what type of content do they need right now?
It’s apparent that Hans Christian Bothmann, Christian Nakskov and Kristian Sengeløv are all focused on supplying content and products that are far more personalised for their audience. They want to supply a personal service that matches the consumer’s needs, both in the digital and real world.
Of course, this makes the job of the platform integrator more demanding as he or she has to juggle platforms across marketing channels and give the company’s audience a good and relevant experience.
On the downside, you might see the negative effect this can cause. Customers will come to expect a more personalised experience. Then marketing has to be even more thorough in its work.
That’s why marketing departments have to live up to the famous Walt Disney quote:
”If you can dream it, you can do it.”
We should always strive to supply relevant and personalised content. This is the conclusion that our talks with three of Denmark’s sharpest marketing professionals have given us.