This week the adtech community came together once again at Adexchanger’s Industry Preview to discuss the progress the industry made over the last year and what’s to come for the year ahead. Kicking off the day were two (female!) CMOs from leading brands Pandora (the jewelry retailer) and Del Monte foods in a session on the new realities of retailers.
Moderated by Forrester’s principal analyst and adtech guru, Joanna O’Connell, the session dove into the evolving role of the CMO and how these brands were driving growth and innovation. Bibie Wu from Del Monte Foods asks herself two questions: how can we grow brand value and how can we grow company sales? Not only are they looking to find ways to “get out of the can” – their motto on product innovation and relevance to their consumer, but they are doing very interesting things internally to align that innovation within the marketing function.
The most eye-opening insight was that they have the R&D department report into the marketing function. Connecting the CMO to the R&D group will help drive innovation and adoption of new product lines but bringing the voice of the customer into the ring and leveraging the data they have to fuel innovation.
Charisse Hughes from Pandora spoke about the art and science of advertising and how we’ve gotten so far into the data and science, we’ve lost the art of the storytelling. To that end, they launched a TV campaign during a typical ‘non-buying’ season for jewelry to get back some of the good will at the brand story level – infusing more brand awareness messaging and ‘warm fuzzies’ to keep their brand top of mind with consumers when thinking about a purchase.
Hughes also mentioned that their data has shown that 80% of transactions still occur in store, while 80% of engagement is done in digital. So they are finding the balance between staying relevant when their demand is outpacing their strategy.
At a data and tech conference, it was refreshing to see brands getting back to the core of what they do best – connect with consumers and tell a story. Data and tech will empower these stories to be shared at the right moments, to the right people, but it’s great to see the role of the CMO is still in tact in the retail vertical.