My panel at ARF re:think

I had a short panel discussion at the ARF’s re:think conference on the gap between marketers and agencies.

This being a research conference, I expected questions regarding research methodology.  Fair enough.  The research clearly got some audience members feeling defensive – one exchange went like this:

Audience member: "What’s the purpose of advertising?"
Me: "Is this a trick question?"
Audience member: "No."
Me: "To drive sales."
Audience member: "How do you define sales?"
Me: "Is that a trick question?"
Audience member: "No.  The purpose of advertising isn’t to drive sales."

This is what’s wrong with advertising today.  More people need to be aware that they’re part of a business.

Making Customer-Centric Marketing Real

Yesterday, I gave the opening keynote at Forrester’s Marketing Forum.  The audience was engaged and in a great mood.  In a nutshell, here’s my message:

Customer centricity is easy to say – and hard to do.

We have some great bloggers here that have written recaps:

The most interesting side note from the session?  Six different people told me afterwards that they are familiar with the Wellesley dump.  It’s a small world after all.

UPDATE:  Got feedback on the scoring – I was the highest rated speaker of the event.  Good times!

Help Wanted: 21st Century Agency

Mindthegap I recently published a research piece on advertising agencies the marketers that hire them, called Help Wanted: 21st Century Agency.

Agencies – your clients need you now more than ever.  Technology change has driven consumer behavior to somewhere it’s never been before.  Marketers – most of you agree that agencies aren’t ready for the change and don’t even rate themselves very highly.

This issue has clearly struck a chord in the marketing industry – the piece was a cover story in last week’s Ad Age and this weeks AdWeek.  It was also picked up by ClickZ, iMedia, MediaPost, BtoB, eMarketer, and Marketing Vox.

So what to do?  One idea – pay Joseph Jaffe a visit and join the conversation.  We’ve been guest speakers at the same event twice already this year (and will make it a 3rd next week for the Ad Club of Boston).  Better yet – teleport over to Crayonville in SL and see what’s going on.

Happy 1st birthday to Being Peter Kim

Today’s the 1st birthday of this blog!

Whether you’re subscribed to the feed or visit the site, I appreciate being able to share thoughts with you on marketing, advertising and well, being Peter Kim.  I appreciate the comments and exchange of insights even more.

One of the things that’s really crystallized for me over the past year – why I blog.  Most of the stuff I post about is related to my research; the conversation here helps me crystallize thoughts.  Or sometimes it’s just to air out the maven in me.  It’s a way to think out loud – procrastinating, working, venting – sometimes a way to talk to myself in a socially acceptable manner.

Moreover, my blogging has led me to get involved more extensively in social computing.  I’m a photography hack but have shared more pictures from trips and on Flickr.  I’ve started uploading videos on YouTube.  Still trying to decide if I prefer to read my feeds in Thunderbird, Bloglines, or Google Reader.  I flew around on Second Life for a while but wasn’t really feeling it – my first life is a bit too demanding.  Similarly, my activity on social networks has declined – sorry to report that I’m a bit of a dull node.  I’ve also been tagging on and have become a novice Typepad hack (let me know if you have questions).

(I thought about sharing year-in-review stats and upcoming-year goals here but I’m not sure anyone would care.)

What’s funny is that I wrote this post on Thursday while sitting in Dulles, waiting for a flight.  I set the post to publish on Sunday (i.e. the one year mark) and on Friday I stumble across a chain of "why I blog" posts from David Armano, Sean Howard, and Kate Trgovac.  I sense a meme rising – or at least a derivative of some ad campaign’s tagline.

Looking forward to sharing Year 2 with you!  Thanks for reading. 

So you want to be a CMO?

[New year, new blog.  I’m cross-posting here from a blog I started called "Do You Have A Second?"  It’s a career-related blog; in my time as a manager, mentor, peer, and employee, I received my fair share of good and bad advice.  The name comes from the phrase that you often hear when someone wants to share a piece of candid feedback with you.]

Back in October, I was a privileged fly on the wall of Forrester’s CMO Leadership Board meeting in Chicago.  The guest speaker was Greg Welch
from Spencer Stuart, talking about what makes a good CMO.  Greg should
know – he handles some of the highest profile searches around.

Some things you may know already:

  • CMO tenure is way down
    – almost 23 months, about half of CEO tenure.
  • These are $1mm jobs that
    are really general manager roles that come with high stakes and
  • New chief marketers need to build bridges and prove that
    marketing delivers value, doesn’t just spend money.
  • A key question:
    does your marketing team look like your customer base?

CEOs are looking for a fit at the intersection of job (i.e.
responsibilities), organization (i.e. cultural elements), and personal
qualifications (i.e. competencies).  The top skills required for

  • Leadership – influence and impact.
  • A track record of results
    – no excuses.
  • General management and P&L experience.
  • Innovation

So how do you get there?

  • In the short term, create a list of your
    100 goals in life.
  • Develop a personal board of directors.
  • Gain
    experience with a blue chip company in an industry that you like.
  • Network now.
  • Get an international assignment.
  • Go through a sales rotation.
  • Participate in an acquisition.
  • Manage your career aggressively.
  • And
    finally (maybe the toughest one for this day and age) don’t change
    companies too frequently – loyalty counts.

Thinking through this advice, I feel it’s important to figure out
WHY you want to be a CMO.  If you like creating ads but don’t like
numbers, shoot for VP of Advertising and love your job.  If you enjoy
focusing on a single market, work towards managing a regionally-focused
subsidiary company.  If you have brilliant ideas but don’t want to
manage people…become a consultant!

Consumers Love To Hate Advertising

PicadillyI published a new research piece last week called "Consumers Love To Hate Advertising."  At first glance, this seems like a big "duh."  However, the research uncovers some deeper insights.

Forrester has tracked consumer attitudes toward advertising since September 2002.  Things look grim, fsho.  However, consumers aren’t just whining about ads anymore – they’re taking action:

Why?  Clutter, Interruption, And Irrelevance.  The same reasons Jaffe would never recommend a pre-roll ad.

So imagine the alternative: an ad-free world.  That would be synonymous with a content-free world.  Consumers will not pay to replace lost ad revenue.  85% of consumers told us so.  You think that cable is the answer?  Hello, product placement and branded entertainment.

Until integrated marketing becomes a reality, advertising will continue to be a necessary evil – which is why consumers love to hate it.

Here’s a mini-metafilter on sites carrying on a discussion sparked by the piece:

(Personally, I fall into those small minority percentage that likes ads.  My favorite?  Miller Lite’s Evil Beaver.  It’s funny how times change – 20 years ago, beer and shoe ads were the most creative.  These days everyone raves about computers and mp3 players.  The geek have inherited the earth.)

Mplanet – reinventing the marketing organization

My session at Mplanet was this morning.  It was well-received and  fun to share thoughts on the future of marketing.  It’s tough to blog about yourself, so I’ll point you to Josh Hallett’s post on my session.

[Photo courtesy Josh Hallett aka hyku on Flickr.  Despite the way it looks, I’m not doing the running man as part of my presentation.]

Update:  Robert Kingston has another post from the session here

Pew: Future Of The Internet II

Hey – did you catch this report from Pew?  It’s called The Future Of The Internet II and was released in late September, but was just recently brought to my attention.  The research inquired as to "how technology might evolve" and "the impact of this evolution."

Here are some of the thoughts I shared that were published in the report:

  • Scenario:  A global, low-cost network thrives.  I disagree:  "Profit motives will impede data flow.  Although interconnectivity will be much higher than ever imagined, networks will conform to the public utility model with stakeholders in generation, transmission, and distribution. Companies playing in each piece of the game will enact roadblocks to collect what they see as their fair share of tariff revenue."
  • Scenario:  The internet opens worldwide access to success.  I tentatively agree:  "I think this is feasible, but not in the timeframe. Government regulation will slow the pace of this change as political constituencies fight to keep revenue sources local."
  • Scenario:  Some Luddites/refuseniks will commit terror acts…  I agree: "WTO-type protests grow in scale and scope, driven by the increasing economic stratification in society. Some fringe groups or even cults emerge that isolate themselves from society, using virtual private networks."  Unfortunately, this is probably already happening.

If you have some time, download the report (it’s free) and let me know what you think!

Forrester’s Consumer Forum EMEA – Integrating Social Media

Pk_mtvfluxWe’re heading into the afternoon track sessions of Day 1 at the Forrester Consumer Marketing Forum EMEA – Integrating Social Media.  The sessions from this morning have been well-received and Michele Bouquet from our Amsterdam office is taking a different approach to live-blogging the event.  She’s taking the unanswered audience Q&A cards and following up with speakers to post answers to the blog.  I’d say this is a manifestation of the agility concept brought up by David Armano.

Who’s that on the left?  It’s me, of course.  Actually, it’s the avatar I created as part of MTV Flux, a social network started in the UK, with an emphasis on mobile and video.  After hearing Angel Gambino’s speech this morning, I was inspired to join the community.

BTW I think MTVe needs some more "ethnic" avatar options…

MIT’s Futures of Entertainment Conference

Totally bummed that I can’t make this one:  MIT’s Futures of Entertainment conference, November 17 & 18.  Looks like they’ve lined up great speakers focusing on great content.

Best of all, it’s free.

If you’re in the Boston area, I’d highly recommend you check this out – I’ve been keeping up with the C3 blog and it’s good stuff.

Being: Peter Kim