WASHINGTON—The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in a telecommunications firm must constantly adapt to a rapidly changing business landscape. The CMO of today must be ready to re-brand the firm, utilize social media, and learn to integrate multiple new digital technologies into the marketing strategy, according to a recent forum for CMOs.
The Argyle Executive Forum held its 2013 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum in Washington D.C., on March 7 for telecommunications CMOs.
In the one day conference, participants discussed digital marketing as a means to understand customers and to drive the branding and customer engagement. It also discussed the changing role of CMOs.
“The constantly changing business communications environment, with its increasing number of communication channels from which consumers actively engage with brands, presents marketing professionals with never before seen challenges,” said a participant at the Forum.
“Any brand that forgets to continually evolve with creativity and innovation will die. That innovation may be technological [like] in the case of Apple, for example, or can be innovation in design,” said Stuart Foster, vice president of Marketing at Hilton Worldwide Luxury Brands, at the Forum.
Executive level marketing and communications professionals from domestically and Internationally based Fortune 500 companies and organizations based in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region participated in the conference.
In attendance, for example, were marketing professionals from PenFed, which describes itself as “a non-profit financial institution that offers banking and financial services to Pentagon employees, Army and Air Force personnel, and their families.”
Also attending was Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (“Shentel”), a holding company that through its operating subsidiaries, provides cable, television ,and voice data services primarily to its customers in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and surrounding areas, according to its website.
“Transforming a marketing organization from a particular conventional media advertising organization to a data driven analytic target marketing organization, I believe, is the central challenge,” said Thomas S. O’Toole, senior vice president, chief operating officer, Miles Plus Holdings of United Airlines in an Argyle Forum video.
In an afternoon panel discussion titled, “Key Elements of an Exceptional Brand,” moderator Donald MacNeil, chief marketing officer at XO Communications, facilitated a discussion on core brand ethos and how to communicate brand message with consumers and publics.
“Something that we call True Waldorf Service, we’ve actually branded to create a culture inside of the company and inside of our properties, to make that aspect of our product … so important, and so forefront in everything that we do,” explained Foster.
He said that the Waldorf Astoria has dropped the old white glove concept of service, and is now focusing on creating memorable customer experiences, built around a genuine well defined service culture taught to every member of their organization.
Barbara Shipley, Director of Brand Integration at AARP, joked in the discussion about how AARP struggles to remain relevant as an organization in which it was once thought of as a rite of passage to become a member. Now AARP finds itself constantly evaluating and reassessing how to remain a needed resource in the lives of its 37 million members, said Shipley.
“For us, brand is like a story. It’s the promise that we make,” said Shipley.
Organizations such as the Argyle Executive Forum and the Washington, D.C., chapter of the American Association of Marketing (AMADC) offer marketing professionals a means to network, exchange ideas, and understand the prevailing thoughts in the marketing industry.
AMADC recently announced the launch of a new mobile website created for its members in collaboration with FiddleFly to provide mobile access for its members, putting into practice a communication approach that many of its members have already adopted to connect with their customers.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.