EDITOR'S CUT

Time Keeps Slippin' Away

Time Keeps Slippin’ Away

Time is an interesting commodity.

When I was younger, it never seemed to move fast enough. There were exciting places to conquer…new experiences and adventures waiting just over the horizon if time could just speed up a hair.

Now, as I gain in years, I’d like to slow all that time down a hair…perhaps figure out a way to earn some of it back every now and then.

We cherish time, document it, celebrate it. Every year, at the stroke of midnight, we herald in a new year and sing the song based on a Scottish poem, Auld Lang Syne…a song for “the sake of old times”. We race to capture images of time and then hang those moments on our walls, scroll thru them on our phones in an effort to remember and, even recapture, the smallest clip of time. Why? Because we know and fully understand how spectacularly special time is…and it helps us reshape how we spend that time, hoping beyond all hope that we spend the time wisely.

So why is it when it comes to time at work, we seem perfectly OK with wasting it?

When we asked Chief Marketing Officers, charged by their bosses and boards to drive growth, how they believed their time should be spent to most effectively achieve growth goals, tasks like crafting growth strategies, shaping and defining the vision and evolution of the brand, and evolving campaigns and engagement strategies. But, instead of having the time to take on these critical tasks, CMOs were trapped in a time-drain cycle of budget reviews, attending meetings and rewriting stories…NOT creating new ones.

The time-drain doesn’t end with the CMO…in fact it gets more tedious when it comes to what marketing teams are spending the majority of time doing. When asked what CMOs wanted their teams to be focused on, top answers included personalizing campaigns to better connect with customers, finding opportunities to better listen to customer voice and identifying new opportunities to optimize operations. Instead, teams were spending the lion’s share of the day managing and manipulating spreadsheets.

How do we push past this time malaise and start to apply that same attitude toward time that we have in our personal lives to our work lives? When we interviewed growth drivers, many admitted that finding time and leveraging it well has required a new mindset…and some extra help from technology. These leaders are looking at tools like AI and machine learning to take on some of the busy work from content tagging to data management.

CMOs were also rethinking Marketing Operations roles, looking to deputize and empower Marketing Operational leaders to take on the task of budget management and operational oversight more completely, freeing time on the CMO’s docket to strategize and collaborate with cross-functional peers also invested in growth and value acceleration.

I don’t take this topic of time lightly. In fact, several months ago, the CMO Council Executive Director identified two intersecting issues: a need to identify new revenue opportunities to drive growth…and understanding what teams spent the majority of time doing. What we learned was that our editorial and program teams were spending hours and hours of time every week researching, aggregating and managing data points.

We were drowning in facts and statistic points on everything from marketing budgets in relation to sales revenue, millennial spend trends, staffing and allocation predictions…you name it, someone on the team has been researching it. What we also realized was that our files were filled with excel spreadsheets FULL of this stuff. Some of it we posted on our website, but only about 1/3 of the research was online, leaving a massive inventory of intelligence sitting in excel files.

That’s when the opportunity became clear…turn this glut of curated intelligence into a subscription service in an effort to transform our business. The CMO Council was never intended to survive on sponsorship support alone. With the subscription economy in full boom, it was time for the CMO Council to join the party.

Welcome the CMO Council’s Insight Center, an annual subscription is $99…so just about 25-cents/day. This is the new home for all of our editorial team’s research and curation. To be clear…this is NOT paying for a CMO Council membership and it is not access to CMO Council research and data points developed from our proprietary research (more on THAT in the coming months!) The Insight Center is access to time.

What? Huh? Time? OK, so I “might” be a “little” dramatic with that, but seriously, why waste your team’s time with researching industry events around the world. We’re doing it already, so why not just go to one spot instead of 1,000? Looking for the latest data point on AI to start your press release…chances are it is in the Insight Center. Trying to see who the new CMO of Rakuten is…yup…we’re on it.

For our team, their time is now helping further grow the business and isn’t landing as a line item on an excel doc. For our business, we are joining the subscription economy and using our time to reinvest into what the peer-powered network is all about: advancing the role of the CMO. And for me, I get to have a little time back to look at projects like chat bots and content concierge systems to see if we can make time just a little bit smarter.

 

Until next month!

Liz

@lizkmiller

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