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A Back To School Lesson For CMOs

Steve Olenski
Master Principal Sales Architect

Last week I told CMOs what they need to know about back-to-school shoppers

This week, it's a lesson that transcends all CMOs, be they B2C or B2B. 

Let's get started.

You in the back, sit up straight. I see you back there. I realize it's your first day back to school and I realize you've been chief marketing officer'ing for a while now and you thought you were done with school and all that. But the fact is all of us — CMOs or not, should always be learning. 

So seeing this is back-to-school season for many around the country and world, I figured what better time for a lesson. Perhaps this lesson is more of a reminder for some. That's fine. Call it what you want. But the fact remains this is something we all need to be aware of. 

You Have My Word On It

So what is the "this" I am referring to? 

Well it is more than likely referred to as Old School these days. In fact I KNOW it's referred to it that way because I use that term when describing word of mouth marketing and advertising. 

Yes Mr. and Mrs. CMO it seems that despite all the digital advances and the mobile dominant world we find ourselves in - where texting, snapping, pinning, Tweeting and the like have become the norm — a good, old-fashioned human-to-human conversation still has its place. 

These are via Adweek via research from Engagement Labs:

The above charts are part of a larger infographic which can be seen here but I wanted to pull these two sections out to call out the undeniable impact word-of-mouth still has in our world today. The first two percentages say it all. From 2008 to 2015 the amount of face-to-face conversations between consumer and brands has only decreased by 5 percentage points. 

Given the aforementioned mobile/digital/techno/automated world we live in, how can this be possible? 

Well while you're thinking about this, consider two more findings from the research:

  1. Consumer word of mouth (WOM) conversations drive at least six trillion dollars in annual purchases in the U.S.
  2. Two-thirds of consumer WOM conversations are occurring face-to-face in the offline world.

Integration Rules

"People are not having conversations that are strictly online or offline, but rather, their conversations are blending the digital and the analog."

That is culled directly from the research findings and it speaks directly to the need for integrated marketing. Brands need to be able to combine the offline with the online. And to do that you need the right technology and platform. That's why you, right now, need to download The CMO Solution Guide to Leveraging New Technology and Marketing Platforms.

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