In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
Marketing’s contribution to business is increasingly being valued by organisations and is helping to drive product innovation at the Commonwealth Bank, its CMO, claims.
In an interview for this week’s episode of Marketing Dividends, presented by the AANA, Vittoria Shortt said a sign of marketing’s growing corporate value is the fact that marketers are increasingly sitting on the leadership teams of the business at different levels.
“The second real metric for me is that we’re seeing a lot of our marketing talent go into other areas of the business,” she said. “Marketers are going into product, they’re going into the digital channels and I think that’s a wonderful sign when your marketing talent is sought after across the business.”
Shortt said customers’ expectations of brands are increasing, pulling marketing right into the heart of business. CBA’s response is to innovate through technology as well as shift from mass communications to one-to-one engagement, interacting with customers when and where they want, she explained.
An example of how marketing and product development teams have worked together over the last 12 months is CBA’s cardless cash initiative, which Shortt claimed represented a first-time capability in the market that chalked up $1 million worth of transactions in its first three weeks.
“We knew we’d got our messaging right and clear and delivered the right tools to help bankers explain it to customers,” she said.
Shortt said the role of marketing is to keep demonstrating the value it can bring to the business.
“It’s really about how marketing teams are harnessing the changes that are going on; [and] how they’re harnessing the new tools, particularly digital and data,” she said. “And then showing the businesses the insights that they can really bring to help drive business value.”
Shortt was appointed CBA’s chief marketing officer in September 2013.