CMO dilemmas. Pandemic crisis as a transformation’s opportunity for CMO

A statement that has often been repeated during the last weeks is that a global pandemic situation is significantly accelerating digital transformation. This is an important and accurate statement. It is worth considering why this is happening and what potential lies in this phenomenon for marketing directors. It is mostly explained by the “transformational triangle” model, which assumes that the most critical factor of transformation is the experience of people. Importantly, it is about both the consumer experience (which is the most talked-about), but also the company’s employees and partners. These three areas are a strategic transformation catalyst, while after them, the operational layer should be added (e.g. technologies or logistics). Meanwhile, most companies in the world begin their transformations with the implementation of the operational layer, e.g. considering how specific technologies will help achieve savings in operations.

The triangle model explains well the phenomenon of rapidly accelerating transformation in the era of the global crisis. At the same time, it emphasizes the role of marketing in this process. In the pandemic situation in which we find ourselves, the experiences of consumers, employees as well as partners of companies are rapidly and profoundly transforming, which is what causes natural acceleration of transformation processes.

Each of us also experiences fundamental changes in how we work, and it is already clear that they will largely be permanent changes. Also, how partner companies cooperate is undergoing profound transformations, as exemplified by creative pitches conducted entirely online.

The current situation creates an opportunity to restore the transformation of the direction “from people to technology”, and in this process CMO always plays a much more significant role, building the company’s growth and his/her career.

These findings are confirmed by the Publicis Groupe ‘Business Transformation Predictor Study’. Marketing is in the top three answers across all the countries, to the question where transformation can have the most tangible and observable impact in an organization. In Poland, it took first place with 86% of responses!

In Publicis Groupe’s research, Marketing Directors indicate that the most helpful factors in building their transformational role are the CEO understanding the specifics of the marketing area, formal status and position in the company (e.g. a board member), but also trusted partners (consultants) specialized in modern marketing.