To Be An Experience Business Requires Organizational And Cultural Shifts
DEIDiversityBoard and CEO AdvisoryCulture Analytics
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DEIDiversityBoard and CEO AdvisoryCulture Analytics
The CMO article, “To Be An Experience Business Requires Organizational And Cultural Shifts,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Norm Yustin about how businesses can reorganize themselves and transform their culture to build better customer experiences. The article is excerpted below. 

When Rishi Dave was hired to lead the digital transformation at Dun & Bradstreet three years ago, the new CMO knew that fully overhauling the marketing technology stack would be required to transform the 175-year-old company into a modern, data-driven enterprise. But that isn’t where he started. 


Top Of The Agenda 
Reorganizing around the digital experience is at the top of the agenda for companies across industries today. “Better customer experience underpins everything today, and that’s code for better, more seamless digital experiences,” said Norm Yustin, executive director with Russell Reynolds Associates. “It’s a significantly high priority today—all the way up to the board level.” 

In the recent past, such digital transformation occurred in pockets of the marketing organization. “Many times it was bottom-up, with some cool, young Millennial people doing skunkworks projects that might bubble up,” Yustin said. “Now it’s top-down, which has a significant impact on how quickly marketing organizations need to adapt organizationally and culturally in order to put the customer at the center of everything.” 


Build Functional Bridges 

CMOs charged with restructuring around the digital experience also need to form strategic alliances with their C-suite peers in a way they haven’t in the past. 

“Traditionally, organizational charges have been very linear,” Russell Reynolds’ Yustin said. 

Digital experience-driven companies should consider more circular org charts with the CMO, CFO, and COO (or CIO) surrounding the customer, Yustin advised. “CMOs can’t live in a bubble anymore,” he said. They need to figure out how to finance and operationalize their digital transformations, and that requires partnerships with other corporate functions. 


CMOs themselves will need a good grasp of technology. “They don’t need to be able to code,” Yustin said, “but they do need to have their finger on the pulse of technology.” 


Build Agile - Not Annual - Plans 

While CMOs will still need to deliver annual plans to their leadership teams, digital experience transformation requires a much more nimble approach. Marketing leaders must be willing and able to turn on a dime to deliver the kinds of digital experiences customers demand. When Amazon announced its new checkout-free retail stores late last year, every single retailer had to rethink its plans, Yustin said. “That’s not the kind of thing that can wait until next year.” 


Retailer and advertising pioneer John Wannamaker once famously said that he knew half of the money he spent on marketing was wasted—he just didn’t know which half. Modern marketers with access to new data and analytics tools can no longer plead such ignorance. “Great digital leaders can press a button and measure effectiveness,” Yustin said. “They do A/B testing. That capability is extremely attractive.” 

To read the full article​, click here.