Three themes we’re hearing from CMO’s

06 Apr 2020

Are you like me? Undergoing the dual experience of never having been further away and yet never having felt closer to family, friends and business colleagues.

I also have a sense of never having read more but right now, not feeling as informed as I’d like to be, especially when it comes to business.

Business colleagues I’ve spoken to have said the same.

In this spirit I thought I’d share what we’ve been hearing over the last few weeks from AAR’s clients, colleagues and friends in the marketing community. And if none of this is news to you, at least you’ll know you’re not alone.

I’ve drawn out three themes around which CMO’s have been sharing their perspective with us:

  1. We (CMO’s) are not ignoring you, our agencies, we’ve just been focussed on our people, and how we keep the lights on for our businesses, if not for now because we can’t trade, then for that time in the future when we are able to. So, don’t be offended if we don’t return your call immediately, or reply to your email or text within 24 hours, we know you’re doing what you can to support our business and brands.
  2. Now is the time for agencies to show their creativity and the impact it can have on our brands and businesses. If McLaren can pivot from manufacturing Formula 1 racing cars to producing ventilators in a matter of a few days, or Burberry can change its production line to produce gowns and masks for the NHS, what can the creative industry do to help. This isn’t just about comms or advertising, though there has been some brilliant work produced. Think out of the box, embrace the beautiful constraint and apply the brilliance within your agencies to help us.
  3. The marketing text books, marketing commentators and award-winning case studies all promote the idea that if brands spend their way through a recession (a generalist comment but we all recognise the sentiment) your brand and business will be stronger as a result, on the other side. No one disputes the theory, but to borrow from former world champion boxer Mike Tyson, ‘Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth’ and right now it feels like business has been dealt repeated body blow punches, and some!

These are three themes that we’ve been hearing in our conversations with CMO’s, and if any or all of them are familiar, then take something from the fact that you’re not alone in having the same challenges.

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Paul Phillips


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