Four Chief Marketers Dish on Challenges and Opportunities Within Their Businesses

Posted on by Kaylee Hultgren

What are the greatest challenges to your business from a marketing perspective, and what solutions are you implementing to meet them? CM asked four CMOs, leading marketing departments at a tech company, a wellness brand, a sports league and a media hub, to share their thoughts this week on the above. We learned that differentiation from competitors, leading with empathy and collaboration, and crafting immersive content to keep pace with younger audiences’ appetites are among the solutions making headway for their brands. Following is what CMOs from Qualcomm, Boardroom, Cheribundi and the Drone Racing League had to say. 

Qualcomm CMO, Don McGuire:

Our innovation cycle is very quick—almost every six months across many product and technology categories. Things are moving so fast and so it’s really challenging to keep up with the concentric circles of influence on our brand. So, we have to be nimble and flexible because the feedback loop isn’t linear anymore. There’s also so much divisiveness and so much polarization that threading the needle has become very difficult.

A big challenge right now for brands and marketers is how to lead through an era of psychology, attitudes and behaviors. If you lean too far one way, you alienate a part of your potential audience, and if you lean too much the other way you alienate another percentage of your potential audience. If you stay too neutral, you alienate everybody. Right now, we’re living in a time where we need to lead—and lead with empathy. We need to bring people together. Brands that lead with empathy, drive collaboration, cohesion and goodness will win with customers and consumers. I really feel like you can you can dive into a conversation from a pragmatic, logic-based and empathetic way by creating dialog around a core issue to the problem everyone can agree on without getting extreme on in either side.

Right now, we’re driving marketing initiatives and brand awareness for two brands, one more on the B2B side and the other on the B2C side—Qualcomm and Snapdragon. Qualcomm is our company name and we have a long and rich history working within the technology sector. Snapdragon really has a life and personality of its own and has much higher end-consumer awareness globally.

About a year ago, we decided to separate the marketing initiatives around these two brands to better communicate the core aspects to targeted audiences, while still intertwining the brands where it appropriate. Through this initiative we have seen significant traction. Our campaign to educate technology enthusiasts about Snapdragon’s premium technology capabilities, Snapdragon Insiders, has grown from 0 to 5.9 million in a year, while we are seeing more awareness about Qualcomm’s full offerings among a more targeted B2B crowd.

For more from McGuire, here’s a conversation from when he first landed the role of CMO.

Drone Racing League CMO, Anne Marie Gianutsos:

Gen Z wants competition so fast it happens in an instant. The days of sitting through hours-long, slow-paced games are mostly gone. That’s why drone racing is so well-positioned as a global mainstream sport—it’s thrilling action in the blink of an eye. In the Drone Racing League, the world’s best pilots race high-speed drones through spectacular courses during minute-long heats. We stream immersive videos captured from a camera on the drone, so fans tuning in genuinely feel like they’re flying. We cut this content for quick mashups on social, which is especially loved by our nearly five million TikTok fans.

For more from Gianutsos, enjoy this Marketers on Fire piece with the chief marketer.

Cheribundi CMO, Rob Willey:

The greatest challenge and most important responsibility of marketing is to inform innovation and creatively bring products to market that consumers want. It is our job to be the voice of the consumer and the reflection of culture to create real differentiation. In categories like wellness, there is so much marketing noise that we address those challenges by partnering with creators who used (and loved) our products far before we paid them to do so. Not only do they showcase the true benefits of tart cherry juice, they inform our innovation to make the next big thing in sports nutrition.

Boardroom and 35V CMO, Sarah Flynn:

The greatest challenge in the media industry as a whole is that for legacy brands, there’s not a lot of growth and innovation opportunity; for more niche or newer media platforms, the challenge is breaking through the noise and gaining, first, eyeballs, and secondly, a dedicated audience.

Boardroom lives in a niche between sports, business and entertainment media, which is an incredible spot to occupy but necessitates that we always understand where our point of view and our voice differentiates from other outlets’ coverage. As a newer media brand, keeping that voice and continuing to cultivate our dedicated audience is what is going to help us grow and cut through the aforementioned noise.

For more from Sarah Flynn, check out our Brands on Fire piece.


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