Published October 17, 2019
CMO Conference October 2019 Recap
On Monday 14th & Tuesday 15th October 2019, the Inspired CMO conference was held at Denham Grove, Uxbridge.
The CMO Conference is an industry-driven learning experience for high-level marketing executives, with 100 delegates coming together for an agenda of thought-provoking masterclasses and valuable networking opportunities. A programme of pre-qualified, one-to-one meetings provided executives with an opportunity to discuss their latest challenges with solution providers and establish new business partnerships.
Denham Grove is a luxury venue set in 48 acres of beautiful parkland. Combining elegant vintage styling with modern facilities, Denham Grove offered a beautiful countryside setting in the heart of Buckinghamshire.
The evening before the CMO Conference, guests enjoyed a three-course dinner and networking drinks in Denham Grove’s Princess Suite. The attendees were divided among eight tables, each with a dedicated topic chosen to inspire an interactive roundtable discussion.
Riccardo Weber, Director of Customer Care, Marketing and Product Development at Prysmian Group, led a conversation on how to bring the voice of the customer into a business to drive customer focus and product development.
A discussion led by Josie Jakub, Director of Marketing EMEA at NetDocuments, focused on whether marketers are scared to address the topic of GDPR in marketing.
Philippa Baldwin, CMO at 111Skin, hosted a roundtable discussion on marketing communications, inviting the guests at her table to debate the benefits of in-house versus an agency.
A conversation on marketing and sustainability took place on the table led by Bethany Morris, Head of Marketing UK at Robeco, with insightful shared ideas for how this can be achieved.
Matthew Zweck, Director of Global Partnerships at AEG, and Keith Povey, EMEA Marketing Director at Optiv Inc., both discussed the topic of ‘dirty marketing’ at their tables, with attendees sharing ideas on what not to do in situations where there appears to be no choice.
Sue-Lin Lord, Director of Marketing UK at Serco, hosted a conversation on how to utilise user-centred design and customer-centricity in marketing.
A discussion on validating the effectiveness of marketing strategy in fulfilling business growth requirements took place at the final table, led by Winnie Palmer of Morphosis Consultancy.
The evening was filled with enthusiastic conversation and provided a worthwhile networking opportunity for all that attended.
“The most valuable part of the conference for me, without a doubt, has been the networking,” said Samantha Fay, Senior Vice President of Global Brand Strategy at Guinness World Records. “I’ve met some people in industries that I’ve never really thought about before and it’s sparked some great conversations.”
The next morning, attendees returned for the CMO Conference to the Princess Suite for an inspiring opening panel discussion: ‘The Customer is King’. The panel was moderated by Martin Moll, former European Marketing Director at Nissan, who gave an entertaining introduction to the topic and announced that he would be challenging the long-standing idea that the customer is king.
As Martin put forward the idea that the phrase should instead be “the customer is kink” – an obstacle or flaw in the plan – he introduced three panellists to share their insights and ideas: Christine Bailey, Chief Marketing Officer at Valitor; Lucy Murphy, Chief Marketing and BD Officer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; and Simon Brecker, Global Brand Director at Ellesse.
The panel discussed what might be fundamentally wrong with the idea that the customer is king, and shared their thoughts on the new business models that are based solely on offering customers routes out. Other points for discussion included the increasing focus on data and metrics; the ways that customers have become more distrustful of companies; the biggest obstacles that each panellist faces within their business; and whether the size of a company has an effect on customer-centricity.
A short networking break followed, before a keynote presentation titled ‘Are You Ready to Kill the PDF?’ was delivered by Karla Rivershaw, Head of Marketing at Turtl. Discussing the reasons that PDFs may not deliver the consistently good experience that customers expect, Karla shared an insight into the ways that digital content maturity is set to evolve and what marketers can do about it.
An inspiring and informative programme of masterclasses followed throughout the day. The Inspired CMO conference included workshops for both B2B and B2C topics, allowing executives to choose which sessions would be most valuable to their businesses.
A masterclass on ‘Creating End-to-End World-Class Customer Experience’ was hosted by Roger Binks, Customer Experience Director at Intu. Roger shared an interesting insight into customer loyalty and discussed the ways he creates, manages and sustains customer experience within his role at Intu.
Samantha Fay, Senior Vice President of Global Brand Strategy at Guinness World Records, led an informative session on ‘How to Define and Maintain a Unique Brand Voice on Social Media’. Telling the story of Guinness World Records’ social evolution, this masterclass discussed how to define a social voice and how to adapt content to fit different platforms.
A thought-provoking discussion on ‘Transforming B2B Marketing through Artificial Intelligence’ was led by Amit Sharma, Global Head of Marketing Strategy, Operations and Strategic Alliances at TATA Communications. This session shared some of the ways AI and machine learning can be used in marketing processes to unlock huge value for businesses.
A networking break took place after each masterclass session, allowing executives to enjoy refreshments, talk to their peers and view expo stands from relevant vendors. Discussions on the workshop topics and other shared ideas contributed to a lively and engaging atmosphere, where marketers were keen to learn more from each other and build on new professional relationships.
Pre-arranged meetings also took place during the networking breaks, bringing together senior marketing executives with vendors that could provide solutions to their latest business challenges.
“I have been introduced to some really good companies who I could partner with for my day-to-day job,” said Jai Thattil, Global Head of Marketing 5G at Nokia. “We want to extend our objectives to include some of these elements.”
All executives were interviewed before the event in order to identify the key challenges in their latest projects. This profiling helped to qualify their meetings with vendors, leading to valuable discussions and meaningful new partnerships.
“It’s always challenging to meet delegates of a high level,” said Tom Evans of Dotdigital. “Having them all together in the same place and having a diary full of meetings is incredibly valuable. I’ve already had several very valuable conversations that have led to next steps.”
Georgios Chiotis, Brand and Marketing Director at Scape, led an insightful discussion on ‘The Future of Gen Z and Millennial Audiences’ for B2C marketing executives. Establishing the differences between the two groups, Georgios defined the five pillars of youth marketing and left delegates with three key takeaways to futureproof their marketing initiatives.
A B2B masterclass on ‘The Truth about Audience Centric Marketing Transformation’ was delivered by Jai Thattil, Global Head of Marketing 5G at Nokia. Jai gave an insight into Nokia’s marketing journey and shared his thoughts on the ways organisations can become more buyer-centric.
Attendees continued their conversations over lunch in the Denham Grove restaurant, before the afternoon programme of masterclasses and business meetings began.
Jane Maber, Head of Brand at the Stroke Association, shared an insight into the ways the Stroke Association is building a brand-led culture in her inspiring workshop, ‘Branding from the Inside Out’.
A masterclass on ‘Data-Driven Marketing That Works’ was delivered by Kimberly Moss, Chief Marketing Officer at Natilik. This informative discussion included a run-through of a practical workflow that executives could use within their own organisations.
Dév Sahani, Global Head of CX Data and Analytics at Nissan Motor Corporation, hosted a session on ‘The Cross Fertilisation of Marketing and Customer Experience’, looking at the ways Nissan is actively working on innovation by bringing ingenuity into vehicle engineering, development and production, as well as into sales and services.
In a workshop titled ‘How to Build Successful Design Teams’, Julie Kennedy, User Experience Director at Saint-Gobain, shared her tips on leadership and how to put together an inspired, motivated design team that works effectively.
The final B2C masterclass of the day was led by Toni Allen, EMEA Marketing Director at BSI Group, titled ‘The CMO Challenge: Brand Relevancy in a Rapidly Changing World’. Toni discussed her experiences in managing the Kitemark, one of the world’s oldest certification marks and brands.
B2B marketing executives attended a final session with Leor Franks, CMO at Augusta Ventures. In ‘Cutting Through the Noise with a Challenger Brand’, Leor demonstrated some of the ways a brand can stand out in a crowded market without a large budget.
All of the masterclasses topics were very well received, prompting enthusiastic discussions and lively Q&A sessions after each session.
“Today has been a really inspiring day and we’re getting a lot of insights from other brands,” said Georgios Chiotis, Brand and Marketing Director at Scape. “I cannot wait to go back and put all of this into action.”
As the conference drew to a close, executives returned to the Princess Suite for a closing summary introduced by the conference moderators, Martin Moll and Winnie Palmer, with a recap of all of the key topics explored throughout the day.
An emotional closing speech was delivered by Jason Awatar, Director at Inspired Business Media, who suffered a stroke while speaking on stage at a conference in 2017. Sharing his experiences of stroke rehabilitation and encouraging people to look after their own health, Jason aims to raise awareness of stroke to 1 million workplace professionals by the end of 2020. Attendees reacted positively to the simple idea of providing blood pressure monitors within the workplace, and many left the CMO Conference feeling inspired to not only improve their business but also their health.