Leading the Renaissance – Marketing Leaders Role For Growth

The Ancient Greeks had two words for the concept of time. ‘Chronos’ was for time as we know it; the ‘chronological’ implications of ticking clocks and passing days. The second word ‘kairos’ connotes the right, significant point for action; the opportune moment when everything comes together.

Great commercial leaders have always known that in business (as in comedy), timing is everything. Marketers are now facing into a significant inflection point in history, in the economy and in our businesses. This is our moment; this is where the CMO or the smart marketer can make an impact and make a difference, to lead what happens next.

Across the last year many businesses have been led by financial caution. Understandably, the fear of uncertainty or the revenue decimation from lockdown implications have led to the CFO leading the decision-making in organisations. The button they inevitably pressed? ‘Pause.’

Some industries had revenue entirely obliterated. Others have faced complications. Some have thrived. The path moving forward for each of these will therefore be different. Nonetheless, whatever the impact on your particular industry, sector or business, there are opportunities (and challenges) ahead where the role of the marketing leader will be pivotal.

Marketing leaders are uniquely qualified to drive the engine of growth for organisations, accelerating flourishing and evolution. This is because of their essential ability to connect ‘what the consumer needs’ with ‘what the business can deliver,’ together with experience of being comfortable with the discomfort of uncertainty or change. They are also the person that can unite silos/departments inside an organisation with a customer-focus. All this means that it will be the smart marketers who drive the ability for companies to reshape businesses post-Covid.

And a reshaping will be needed, whatever your sector. We are all inevitably focused on concepts of recovery and rebuilding, but reshaping has to be considered.

While history and the heritage of brands always provide clues for the future, global organisations that are leading are not the ones looking in their rear-view mirror but instead acting fast to develop recombinant innovations (matching up different ideas from different places) or stepchanging convenience and experience with technological springboards.

Great marketers know some things never change; the core human needs and emotions, the importance of the 4Ps and the way that customers brains are wired. But the context in which they operate, and the opportunities ahead mean that those who aim for a ‘new normal’ will find themselves on the ‘reverse’ button.

This is the moment in time for marketers to be proud of what we do. This is our Kairos moment. Marketers have always been the changemakers, changing opinions, behaviours, and markets. We can now help shape businesses that are not just responsive (to changing times) but also responsible (in a world with a changing view of capitalism and the role of business).

That ‘pause’ button that’s been pressed for so many months needs to be replaced; great marketing leaders should help organisations have the courage to press ‘play’ now, to ignite ambition and support not just the recovery and a reshaping but something even more. It’s time for a renaissance; a rebirth of business which should happen alongside a recognition of what great marketing can achieve.

Let us seize this moment and progress with pride and a thrill of excitement. This is our moment. Our time to lead. Perhaps even pressing ‘play’ now is not enough. It is the CMO right now who can galvanise silos and unite the inside of the organisation behind a consumer-focused vision to give confidence in pressing ‘fast forward’ towards a new marketing renaissance.

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