CANNES—Core marketing skills alone won’t guarantee success in today’s corporate world. What helps to drive business growth is cross-training within an organization and understanding how best to communicate with people like CFO’s, according to Deloitte Digital CMO Alicia Hatch.
“Finding those new things in marketing is one of the most incredible hotbeds of innovation,” Hatch says in this interview with Beet.TV at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
When it comes to hiring, Hatch feels that it’s important to look beyond just marketing skills. “It’s much more about mindset and attitude and openness and agility and ability to adapt and think creatively. Because marketing is changing constantly. I love to bring in all kinds of disciplines, unique perspectives as well together.”
Once hires are made, cross-training is a top priority because it helps to create empathy and an understanding of the roles of others.
“We work as a hive and we have to work very quickly, and unless you really understand where the other person is coming from you can’t be efficient,” Hatch says. “We do very light rotations, but in real life you’ve got to test out everybody else’s job. Test drive the skill and the role. And I’m finding that we’re able to develop more hybrid marketers that way.”
Ultimately, Deloitte will still have its share of specialists, “but it makes everybody better and it helps them to be more dimensionalized as marketers and I find it raises the tide of innovation overall.”
Asked by interviewer Joanna O’Connell, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, how to “instill a sense of understanding of, and empathy with, the inner mind of the CFO” and help others understand the importance of “the language of business,” Hatch says language is everything.
“In marketing we have a glossary problem. We’re literally speaking Russian to English speakers or Mandarin to French speakers. People do not understand what we’re talking about in the C-Suite or in the boardroom at all.”
Hatch pushes her teams to “translate metrics by using the actual native understanding that they do have, which is audience. How do you speak to your audience? Think of them as another audience that you’re trying to communicate with. You have to speak in their language and not yours.”
Marketing has gone from being a cost center to a growth driver and a predictable one., according to Hatch. Moreover, marketing is on the frontline of innovation because “it’s the novel use of products and services as observed by consumers or the businesses that consume whatever it is you’re doing that drive innovation far better than anything else we can build in the R&D department in isolation.”
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