Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Creative Reviews: the most important meeting a CMO should have


I have two one hour creative review meetings with my marketing organization every week. I see every piece of creative, copy and agency brief before it goes into market. Yes, every piece. Across all formats. Why? Two reasons:
  1. Customer experience ownership
  2. Visibility and coaching of all levels in my organization
These are my favorite meetings of the week. And they are the hardest. I have to be on. I have to be focused. I have to be present. Most importantly, I have to put the view of our customer first.

My ask: items should be ready for publication and decision. Litmus test: would you stand behind publishing the item in market that day?

My team is empowered. They don’t come to creative review until they believe what they are bringing is ready to execute. That means there are countless meetings and prep that happen before these sessions. And it means what comes in the room is good. If the time has not been spent on the upfront process, it is blatantly obvious.

The other benefit is that I not only see the thought process and presentation of my direct reports but I get important exposure to their teams. My marketing ‘feet on the street.’ It’s great for me because I get to coach and see the talent in the broader organization. And it’s great for the broader team as they get that 1:1 time with their leader.

Some would say this approach is micromanaging. I say it’s a must for any CMO or VP. You get what you expect. And the best way to lead is by example.

Doing it! Defining customer experience, my way.

November 7th, 2014… Seth’s blog and a conversation with Bill Carmody. I write better than I speak. Words pour out on pages in 5 minutes or less when I’m inspired. The universe was telling me that the only thing holding me back was… me. The difference between me and Seth or me and Bill? They were writing and sharing. I wasn’t.

Almost 6 months later, here I am flying the friendly skies writing my first blog post. A list of ideas in my notebook. All around the customer experience. That innate ability to know what your customers want. Connect with them on a human level. And deliver an experience that surprises and delights.

How do I define customers? Customers are anyone you interact with where you deliver an experience, professionally and personally. In marketing, customers are not only the people that buy our product, but as important, our sales teams. After all, what marketing creates has to help the sales team connect better with customers.