CMOs need to advocate and foster entrepreneurship inside their companies (i.e., “intrapreneurship”) to win in the marketplace. The marketing function in many companies can feed the innovation engine by connecting product, sales and customer conversations together into fresh marketplace-based insights that can validate the need for change. One thing entrepreneurs can be really good at is spotting an important and unsolved problem and developing a solution to address it. When we come off that spirit, we put our companies at risk.
As Scott Brinker from chiefmartec.com and ION Interactive puts it in a recent CMO.com article, “When everyone within the marketing organization has some connection to innovation and intrapreneurial thinking, the organization wins.” He goes on to advise that CMOs and others need to foster and adopt agile approaches that fit their organization. Larger companies could have an innovation lab to develop and test things. Any size company could move away from rigid, top-down planning and develop frameworks for inclusive participation. The agile methodology is driven by experimentation, rapid testing and agile sprints.
Brinker will talk about this and other change drives in marketing at BIA/Kelsey’s NEXT conference. In his keynote address he’ll talk about “hacking marketing” and “developing agile practices” to keep your marketing function entrepreneurial. Scott will argue that CMOs and others in the marketing function will be seeing some much change in channels and practices that unless they adopt agile methodologies, they risk irrelevancy on a fast timeline. And more than just a keynote, Scott will hang-out for an interactive pop-up session to help attendees figure out how they can apply some of his principles in their own organizations.