Velocidi’s Salon Series, a quarterly series that aims to address the top-of-mind issues for CMOs, included a talk led this week by Margaret Molloy. Our topic was The First 100 Days: Insights and Lessons featuring Maryam Banikarim, CMO of Gannett Co. Inc. with about 50 other executive audience members. Maryam talked candidly about the challenges she faced as she transitioned a 100 year culture into the digital age. After Maryam’s talk, we broke into subgroups and talked about digital challenges CMOs face going into 2012.
Here were the leadership take aways from Maryam on the onboarding process:
- No silver leadership bullets in leadership. Frequently expectations are for a new CMO to be the savior or offer up a ‘silver bullet’ strategy. As emphasized in Jim Collin’s latest book, it usually is a series of smaller steps that get a company to success (ala Southwest Airlines succeeding in a tough competitive environment.)
- Emphasis of building the right team, either externally or internally – you are only as good as your team, and as hard as it is, those that are not ready for change need to exit the organization. Select the hungry, driven people.
- Be relentless when selling executive level change in a culture that is not geared for change.
- As a CMO, be direct, authentic, honest, speak your mind, and keep building organizational bridges
- Move the conversation forward – use phases like ‘We’re all in this together’.
Digital take aways from our sub group break out session:
- Lead by example on the digital front – all marketing leaders should be running ‘experiments’ or ‘tests’ (some called it fail fast, I’m looking more optimistically!) with multiple digital technologies – some marketing teams have been mandated to tweet and/or blog.
- Community is important to gain acceptance – build internal constituents from the C-Suite (ie CEO) and also keep an eye on how the external community is perceiving your brand on the digital front.
- Tie digital technologies to business impact – important to show business progress on all levels.
Another GREAT session by @MargaretMolloy and the @Velocidi team!