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“Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) often focus on content marketing and finding the right mechanisms to reach customers, but spend less time on the value of that content to the targeted audience. We do not spend enough time listening and developing a real content strategy upfront. Instead, we quickly jump in and grab whatever content is easily accessible,” says Shonodeep Modak, Chief Marketing Officer, Industrial Solutions at GE. “If we had not invested time in listening research last year, we would have gone down the wrong path. That information and insight is now fueling our entire content strategy and messaging in 2017. We CMOs need to spend more time listening before we start talking,” he adds.

Modak is a keynote speaker at the marcus evans Marketing Leadership Forum 2017, taking place in Malibu, California, October 5-6.

How is technology changing buying behaviors and the marketing function?

Technology is helping us manage performance better and providing better metrics. That is key for marketers, to know how things are progressing. Technology also gives us the ability to engage with our audience beyond just emails, and influence people in ways we could not have done before.

Why is seamless brand communication even more challenging today?

There are so many mediums to engage customers on. As a B2B industrial company, most of our consumers are not actually our customers who made the decision to buy a circuit breaker. Most likely it was the building contractor who purchased it but the consumer is now involved in the lifecycle of ownership. This makes it even tougher for us. When building a brand, you need to be able to influence the buyer as well as the ownership experience. Not only do you have multiple sets of audiences to influence, but also multiple mediums across the customer journey.

What opportunities has the digital age brought for reaching and engaging customers more effectively?

For us, it is the ability to listen to what our customers are asking for before we even build our audience, content or campaigns. First you have to listen. In the past you would hire a market research team and conduct interviews. Now we can get the information much more quickly from industry forums and discussion groups. We also use the power of social listening in dialogues with our customers in real time. This allows us to get feedback and ask questions.

How should CMOs modernize the marketing organization? What structure works best?

CMOs have to consider where they are in the organizational structure. We went through a major transformation where we shifted from very product focused to being customer and segment focused. We realigned business units around the customer. That was bigger and broader than just marketing. We spent time talking to team members who had technical and product expertise to get their input on how to engage with customers. In many cases, it is not the product. A circuit breaker or electrical distribution box is not a “sexy” item. But what is important to people is that the products keep them safe and alive. We are turning that mindset and enhancing the capabilities and skills of our team in terms of the buyer journey and what media can influence it.

In our change transformation, we also reduced the number of product marketers and increased segment marketers who are focused on the customer.

What strategies for leading a successful transformation could you share?

I have built a handful of marketing teams in my career, and in this transformation I made sure not to shake up the team dramatically, especially since our market relied upon the current team to help generate revenue. Over time, we have shifted our marketing spend from just promotions and coupons into more thoughtful content marketing, as well as campaigns that are driving demand. We are working with our customers who make the buying decisions versus just at the transaction table.

We have also worked on marketing processes. The team was very decentralized, with people in different regions. I pulled the team together and we have found many synergies and best practices. That gets everyone engaged and excited. 

The last thing is to make sure to measure the changes being made. Every month our teams get together to look at all the activities we have engaged in, to identify gaps and discuss what we can do better.

Ahead of the marcus evans Marketing Leadership Forum 2017, read here an interview with Shonodeep Modak discussing strategies for leading a successful transformation of the marketing organization

Shonodeep Modak

Chief Marketing Officer, Industrial Solutions


Modernizing the Marketing Organization 

About the Marketing Leadership Forum 2017

The Marketing Leadership Forum allows you to meet and do business with the US’s leading Marketing, Digital, Content Development professionals in the most cost-effective way. Taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village, California, October 5-6, the key presentation topics include: modernizing a global marketing organization, reinvigorating an established brand, and keeping the customer at the heart of the marketing strategy

Copyright © 2017 Marcus Evans. All rights reserved.

Speakers Include:

Chief Marketing Officer Stream

  • David Jaye, Chief Marketing Officer / Chief Digital Officer, IBM
  • Kim Metcalf-Kupres, Chief Marketing Officer, Johnson Controls
  • Christine Nashick, Chief Marketing Officer, DHL Express
  • Shonodeep Modak, Chief Marketing Officer, GE Industrial Solutions

Digital Marketing Stream

  • Ashish Jajoo, Head Global Digital Marketing and Social Media, Mylan, Inc.
  • Dave Savoy, Director, Digital Marketing and Strategy, Farmer’s Insurance
  • Derek Schoen , Director of Media Innovation – Marketing Strategy, MGM Resorts International
  • Karen O’Brien, Vice President, Global Social Media, Brand and Engagement, Western Union

Content Strategy Stream

  • Ted Hutcheson, Vice President, Global Creative and Content, Ashley Furniture Industries
  • Tara L. Finney, Assistant Vice President, Content Marketing Strategist, T. Rowe Price
  • Josslyn Mikow, Senior Content Strategist, eBay, Inc.
  • Michael Burns, Director, Web Content Strategy, Nationwide Insurance

Customer Engagement Stream

  • Ryan Lauder, Director, Customer Engagement, Taylor-Made Adidas Golf
  • Holly Butka, Director, Global Customer Engagement, Monsanto Company
  • Laura Hahn, Director, Customer Insight and Engagement, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

     and more...

October 5 - 6, 2017

Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village, California

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