Atmosphere Inspires Edition 010

Sam Colyer

Atmosphere Inspires is our regular curation of news and views from the digital sphere; the lead stories that are affecting you and your business. In this edition we’re looking at the how digital transformation is evolving the requirements of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), and how businesses are choosing to review and expand this role.

Stories catching our attention

Ford reshuffles senior management

Last week Ford announced a senior leadership reshuffle, notably was the expansion of Kumar Galhotra's role to CMO: duties will include developing digital services, emobility and autonomy. It's evident that Ford recognises the importance of having a well established and dedicated resource to develop their digital strategy: a key focus for Galhotra will be improving the distribution model using digital platforms.

Caesars Entertainment Corp brings in new talent

The fourth largest gaming company in the world Caesars Entertainment Corporation has announced that Chris Holdren will take up the CMO post, effective 1st November. Holdren already has a successful technology start-up behind him, so should be capable of meeting CEO Mark Frissora's aims of pursuing growth avenues and "further leveraging our recent investments in technology". The scope of a CMO role has expanded: growth opportunities should be pursued alongside the development and management of digital services, these are two intrinsically linked initiatives which shouldn't be decoupled.

What else is happening?

Hootsuite's CMO wants to colour outside of the box

Insightful interview with Hootsuite's CMO Penny Wilson and how she holds her strategic seat at the executive table. Wilson emphasises the importance of strategic thinking when it comes to growth and going digital, and how CMO's should be encouraged with "outside of the box" colouring. Whether it's thinking or colouring outside the box, it's imperative that both new and existing roles are given room to evolve, develop and diversify in parallel with digital developments.

The high expectations of a CMO

As predicted by technology researcher Gartner in 2012, the CMO role has evolved to spend more on tech than CIO's. Given the CMO link to digital transformation, it's not unexpected: Gartner says marketing chiefs now spend 27% of their budgets on technology. As the complex job description of a CMO expands and evolves to include digital developments, it appears that many companies are starting to grasp the importance of the role and are looking for new yet established talent to fulfil this critical position.

The challenges of a start up CMO

Whilst it's clear the CMO has become a key position in any business, Forbes looks at the challenges of being a startup CMO, where the sheer scope of the role can prove to be problematic. Of particular interest is the art of finding the balance between short and long term strategies. The immediate gratification of social media platforms and ways of working workshops are equally as important as considering long term thinking, it just takes a certain skill to maintain and exploit a successful equilibrium.

Aibo: Sit!

And now for something completely different. Often we focus on robots being developed to mimic humans, but Sony have just relaunched Aibo, their robot dog offering. Programmed to develop emotional bonds with adaptable behaviour patterns, the new and improved dog is also linked to an app allowing for photos and new tricks to be developed. For those city dwellers unable to own a dog this may well appeal, and walks in the park with no pesky waste bags may just be a deciding factor!

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