In their book Analytics at Work; Smarter Decisions, Better Results authors Tom Davenport, Jeanne G Harris and Robert Morison describe a 5-stage process to becoming an Analytical Competitor.
In this series of articles, I am going to describe my interpretation of what it means for CMOs to become analytical marketers, based on my personal experience and drawing on a variety of other sources as well.
BEFORE YOU START
In his books, Jim Collins often cites the importance of leadership and building an effective core team. I would suggest that the following characteristics are vital for such a team:
- What are we doing that is great and should continue to do / improve?
- What are we doing that is bad and we should stop doing?
- What are we not yet doing that we should be?
- What should we never start doing?
PROJECT PHASE ONE, STEP TWO - PLANNING: WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE?
Thinking about the future, especially a future that you hope will be more than a simple extrapolation of the past, is never easy. I would suggest that you need to set a three to five year time frame and think about where you can truly be either the world's only provider (unique competitive differentiation), best (unrivaled capability to deliver) or the world's cheapest. If you are not one of these three you need to take a long, hard look at your business model. Put some numbers around this future; try to quantify it in a way that makes it feels real and not just an aspiration.
PROJECT PHASE ONE, STEP THREE - PLANNING: THE ACTION PLAN
Then consider what (new or improved) capabilities you will need to have in place in order for the future vision to be achieved. Think about how those capabilities will be delivered: Will they need new processes, systems or skills? Finally put down some milestones about what needs to be done, by when and by whom. Especially give some thought to the first 90 days; it's always hardest to take those first faltering steps and get some momentum built up.
In the next article, I will talk about Phase two: The kick-off project.