ARE YOU READY FOR THE THREE-DIMENSIONAL CMO?
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SOCIAL SCIENCEBRILLIANT DESIGN
The new breed of marketer to emerge during the Renaissance period also helped other marketers understand that it was no longersufcient to study consumers in a focus group the way one might study a group of test tubes in a biology lab. Understanding
the science of how people really think, interact with each other and ideas, and why they do what they do, was transformed into alegitimate business skill. These are the essence of the social sciences: psychology; anthropology; sociology; and political science.
Method Cleaning Products of San Francisco jolted SC Johnson by injecting political science into cleaning products, of all things.
Starbucks used the anthropology of why and when people gather to challenge every tea shop in Asia, kaffeehaus in Northern
Europe, café in the Mediterranean, and diner in America. And Ralph Lauren mastered the psychology of self-transformation andself-identity. His imagined worlds have become the real world that we’ve voluntary chosen to live in.
Brilliant design of experiences and product gave birth to insurgent companies that toppled the largest, best-administeredcompanies on earth. With the exception of Sony and a few others, companies largely relegated design to the bottom of theirlists of priorities. Many CMOs didn’t even have a sense of style themselves, yet nonetheless burdened the product teams andmarketers with their dull sensibilities. Now Dyson is the most potent brand in vacuums, expanding rapidly into new areas oncebereft of intelligent design. Clif Bar is challenging One a Day Multivitamins through innovative designs for delivering nutrition in
new and exciting ways. CamelBak and Dakine have taught JanSport and L.L.Bean to think differently about what people want to
carry on their backs.But no longer can a marketer possess just one of those traits to thrive. Now you need all three: quantitative methods, socialsciences, and brilliant design savvy. The digital world is a measurable and attributable one that demands ever-more sophisticatedways to measure return on ad spend, as my iCrossing colleague Doug Bryan discussed in awhite paperon why CMOs needto care about media mix modeling and attribution conversion. And as we all know now, consumers are using social media andconsumer-generated content to empower themselves far more than ever before, which is why no CMO can succeed without abackground in social science. But appealing to numbers and our social natures won’t differentiate your brand. If Apple has taughtus anything, it’s that brilliant design differentiates. Not fancy design. Not complicated design. But brilliant design – which can
come in the form of a simple Google home page or an elegantly laid out shopping oor.
What was the catalyst for the rise of three dimensional marketing? I can think of a few:
Remember, Steve Jobs once worked for Atari, and went on to build the most revolutionary handheld game platform ever with the
Jeff Bezos emerged from Wall Street with a revolutionary concept of a marketing empire built on a foundation of applied
mathematics. Almost overnight, at Amazon he revolutionized the process of measuring consumer behavior.With Bezos, measuring consumer behavior was old school – anticipating consumer behavior was new school. Amazon emblazoneda path that changed the fundamental quantitative methods required to be a leading retailer with algorithms that "learned" yourtastes based on what you bought, expressed intent to buy, or gifted to others. It was genius, and everyone from the mighty
Walmart to Sears confronted a new reality. Bezos was the rst large-scale "Pixel Marketer."
The barriers to entry to every industry are lower. Anyone with an idea can bring it to life. Venture capital is moresophisticated and daring, fueled by cheap money. So, no oligopoly is safe from insurgents.
Consumers have changed dramatically. People are better informed, more discriminating, and more ckle than ever. So
new skills are needed to sell them in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer models.
The talent and ambition of people both young and old has changed. If you don’t reward talented people with opportunity
and challenge, they’ll leave your company and bring a ght to your doorstep you won’t soon forget.