Our August Transformational CMO & Retail Assembly: Here’s What You Missed

  • By Josie Witaschek
  • in ,
  • on August 31, 2021

Last week, our Transformational CMO & Retail Virtual Assembly brought together C-Suite leaders to discuss the prevailing trends and challenges marketers & retailers are facing today. Participants discussed customer engagement, cause marketing, digital-first strategies, leading martech solutions, and more. Check out our event highlights below to get the full scoop!

Welcome Workshop

Day one kicked off with a welcome workshop featuring Santhi Ramesh on leveraging social media to fuel growth and customer engagement. Ramesh broke down social media strategies at each stage of the customer journey: 

  • Discovery: At this stage, uncovering your customers’ rituals is crucial. She suggests deploying a social listening plan for insight-driven social content – in Hershey’s case, these rituals pertained to the “eating experience”. 
  • Awareness: For Hershey’s awareness initiatives, Ramesh and her team developed a User Generated Content platform for recipe sharing across all markets. Not only did this boost awareness, but it uncovered insights on customer’s untraditional food interests and combinations.
  • Engagement: Creating a dialogue is vital for boosting engagement on social media. Ramesh shares that inviting customers to debate is a powerful way to connect with consumers in a meaningful way. 
  • Conversion: By using holistic full-funnel activation and Amazon advertising, her team was able to reach and convert customers.
  • Retention: Creating a community for brand loyalists, Hershey’s was able to increase sales with their existing customer base. Ramesh adds that her team bounced off new product ideas with this segmented group to better understand what consumers’ evolving needs and desires were. 

Santhi closed out the session with a final piece of advice: search for new ways to leverage social media at every stage of the consumer journey. And at each stage, you’re given the opportunity to gain insights to better understand and reach your customers.

Workshop Discussions

“Content remains constant,” says Harshavardhan Chauhan of Spencer’s Retail. With 70% of marketers actively investing in content marketing, the importance of community building and influencer marketing is only growing as time goes on. In this interactive discussion, our C-Suite attendees share their struggles with community building – Chauhan says that if you’re regularly sharing content, it becomes more likely to become “discoverable” for consumers through various platforms. He adds that it is crucial to find tools that assist with meta-data and meta-tagging. Chauhan concluded with a point on how community-led content has become a hot trend this year, and noted that it can be a powerful strategy for engagement.  

A Brand That Makes a Difference: Amy Wigler of PBS speaks on how it has become essential for brands to adopt a unique storytelling approach. She adds that it is important to strategize engagement-driven content, and the old saying rings true here: “promotion is demotion – the more you shout about something, the more consumers are turned away.” With engagement being the name of the game, her team has taken on these practices:

  • Create empathetic and aspirational messages for consumers
  • Share relevant content, and don’t over-promote
  • Capitalize on cultural trends like escapism, and build it into storytelling

Amy closed out her session with a final comment: marketing is around the utility you get from a brand, and always be a part of a larger conversation.

CMO Innovator Of The Year Award: Kevin Miller, CMO of Fresh Market, was awarded as our CMO Innovator of the Year! Miller’s team was dedicated to creating an emotional connection with their audience and wanted to meet them where they’ve been for the last year and a half: at home. This prompted them to create a gourmet food magazine featuring top culinary influencers and chefs, along with recipes and QR codes directing readers to their e-commerce platform. Using this “traditional” form of media, they were able to boost traffic to their site and built their subscriber base to 1,000,000+. Miller touched on how their e-commerce strategy changed with COVID-19 – they launched Instacart prior to COVID, but noticed the high demand for curbside pick-up and decided to roll that out immediately to meet their customers’ evolving needs. To refine this experience, they prioritized hiring the proper staff and digital equipment, owning the entire process internally. He stressed that big ideas are important, and it’s crucial to measure the impact, test, learn, and deliver on your promises for customers.

Revisiting Your Martech Strategy: Krish Dhokia, VP of Marketing at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation discussed tips on how to revamp your martech strategy. In order to have a successful martech strategy, it’s imperative to have a close relationship with IT, and run the team like it’s an IT group that does marketing relations. He adds that IT doesn’t want to be the last person to know about the initiatives because they may need to properly map data. So being inclusive from the onset, and including them in the conversation, is important for continued success. In martech, you have to be prepared to make decisions and take calculated risks. Always take action with the data and insights produced by your initiatives. He closes with this statement: “As hard as it may be, you have to prioritize your investments, because not everything you want to do is going to have the desired budget. Prioritize these initiatives by the level of importance, speed to market, and ROI.”

CMO & Retail Keynote Panel 

“The Balancing Act: What it Means to Be a Digital-First Business”

David Schweidel, a professor at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University led our Day 2 panel discussion on what it means to be a digital-first business. Panelists included Aldo Carrillo from Paramount Pictures, Hernan Tabah from Altria, Francesco Lagutaine from M&T Bank, and Naveen Seshadri from Foot Locker. The group shared their experiences and insights on what it means to adopt a digital-first mindset, and what the cookieless future means for marketers.

Some key takeaways:

  • Word of Mouth is crucial – people will always trust their peers over an influencer or advertisement.
  • Investing in the tools necessary for a responsive supply chain is imperative for building trust with consumers. It allows you to deliver on your promises! Focus your efforts on building a better supply chain based on data and digitization.
  • Digital-first is the way of the future, and it will ultimately create more customer value as time goes on
  • Companies that adopt an omnichannel approach are creating the most shareholder value, take Warby Parker for example. 
  • Focusing on customer behaviors & drawing actionable insights will take on new importance in the cookie-less future.
  • Human empathy is not something you can scale or something that can necessarily be augmented digitally. There is still a strong value in face-to-face interactions and relationship building in retail! 
  • The move from third party to first-party data is an adaptation of marketing – a positive evolution that marketers should prepare for. 

Check out what is new with our Solution Providers

Momentive    |    Moosylvania    |     Mavrck    |    Informatica

Until Next Time…

Don’t miss out on the next Transformational CMO & Retail Assembly. Go here to request an invite for the November 17-18 Assembly!

Leave a Reply

PUBLISHED BY Josie Witaschek

View all posts by Josie Witaschek

Related Posts

#MillenniumLive , Podcast

Listen to #MillenniumLive on Amazon Music!

2021 has been a year of milestones for our #MillenniumLive podcast – we released on Spotify, recorded our 100th episode, and we were joined by some of the most influential guests to date. Now we’re thrilled to announce that #MillenniumLive is available for listening on Amazon Music! Haven’t listened to our podcast before? Here’s the […]

#MillenniumLive , CIO , Data , Podcast

#MillenniumLive Episode: Getting Started on your Data Journey with Joe DosSantos from Qlik

This week #MillenniumLive welcomes back Joe DosSantos, the Chief Data & Analytics Officer at Qlik. Joe gives some insight on offensive vs defensive data strategies, the importance of data accessibility, and provides tips on starting your analytics journey. He emphasizes the importance of understanding what your data is, tagging it, organizing it, and making it […]

Healthcare

Experiential Retail: A Post Pandemic Guide

Contributed by our partners at AnyRoad Brick-and-mortar retailers saw significant reductions in foot traffic last year while e-commerce sales peaked in Q4 2020, but a natural balance is slowly returning as the pandemic subsides and competition among retailers is tougher than ever. As things open up, some brands (such as Home Depot, Williams Sonoma, etc.) […]

CISO

Transformational CISO Leader, Rinki Sethi, Keynotes Our November Assembly!

On November 8th, The Millennium Alliance Transformational CISO Assembly kicks off with a keynote address from Rinki Sethi, current Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Twitter. Rinki is an award-winning leader and executive with experience leading and developing innovative online security infrastructure for Fortune 500 companies like IBM, PG&E, Walmart.com, and eBay. She is recognized […]

Lovin’ Digital Diary?

Premium content to our readers interested in all things business.

Check Us Out!

Millennium Membership offers Fortune 1000 C-Level executives, leading public sector/government officials, and thought leaders across a variety of disciplines unique and exclusive opportunities to meet their peers, understand industry developments, and receive introductions to new technology and service advancements to help grow their career and overall company value.

About Millenium Alliance Next

About Digital Diary

Created to provide premium content to our readers interested in all things business.

Launched in 2017, Digital Diary was created to provide premium content to our readers interested in all things business. With our blogs catered to deliver the top news stories, trends, and interviews from across all industries.

Read all story Next

Millennium Alliance Membership

Learn More Next

What does it mean to be a Millennium Member? In the midst of the constant disruption across all industries, our members are given the tools they need to digitally transform their organizations and become the best leaders they can be. Millennium Members are provided the exclusive opportunity to attend our 40+ intimate in person and virtual Assemblies, take part in industry-leading Executive Education sessions conducted by the nation’s leading academic institutions, business leaders, and technology providers and receive industry leading content through our Digital Diary Platform as well as the rapidly growing #MillenniumLive Podcast Series.