As I was sitting with a few CMOs near the end of our first Geneva CMO CLUB Dinner last night, Eduardo Barriga, CMO of OM Pharma asked me the differences between CMOs in the US and CMOs in Europe. After our first three dinners in Europe this week in London, Paris, and Geneva, I thought about that question and here are a few observations:
1) Everyone is thinking about social media and leveraging social marketing for engaging with customers and consumers where they share and spend their time. There is a view from the CMOs in Europe that I spoke with that the US is a bit further ahead on understanding and leveraging Facebook, Twitter, and other custom community sites. As I talked about our April CMO CLUB summit in NYC a number of European CMOs are interested in attending to learn more about this critical topic.
2) Of the 25+ CMOs I spoke with this week, almost everyone has to think about marketing in multiple countries so the issue of central branding with local customer engagement is top of mind. In many cases the CMOs have to think about unique competitors in each country and develop segmentation analysis and campaigns to the tactical country level.
3) It may have been the unique mix of CMOs at our first European dinners this week but there is a real interest in true paradigm shifts in thinking during the discussions vs. case studies or conversations on more traditional marketing approaches. Hugues Pietrini, head of marketing for Orangina Schweppes said, “If I’m going to spend an evening out of my busy schedule then give me really creative, unexpected conversations and insights”. I loved that comment. Unexpected conversations with peers.
4) A significant interest in meeting and sharing ideas with CMOs in the US. Before the dinners I didn’t have this perspective. As we roll out the weekly poll question and share “Insights from CMOs Podcasts”, a truly global conversation will be of real value to CMOs in the club.
5) CMOs in Europe and the US are both worried and thinking about continued advancement of ROI/Metrics to not only measure success and performance but for day to day monitoring and changing of marketing mix.
6) CMOs in Europe and US are both tired of attending events with marketing 101 pitches and a follow up barrage of emails and calls after events to sell them something.
I learned a number of things this week that I plan on incorporating into CMO CLUB globally.
1) More out of the box, paradigm shifts framework for CMO roundtable conversations at dinners.
2) The club format, mix of larger and smaller CMOs, and roundtable approach will grow quickly in Europe. This is extremely rewarding for me.
3) The value for true global sharing of ideas of CMOs around the world will only make the club more exciting and valuable to members.
4) The development of subgroups within the club will include not only city chapters but global groups of CMOs sharing the same specific problems, expertise and interests.
The dinners this week were a huge success and I want to thank Jeffrey Merrihue for helping lead the European expansion of the club. We really do have something special here. Onward and upward.