Pity the CMO
Back in the 1990s when we started our careers, the role of the CMO was simple. Advertising, packaging and maybe some in-store posters. Then it became all about creating holistic brand worlds, mythical planets where above-the-line became through-the-line and designers and admen rubbed shoulders for the first time.
Shortly after CMOs went direct and carpet-bombed a nation with rarely read letters and brochures. But then digital happened, and websites were born.‘Mobile’ went from something you used to describe an aged relative recovering from a fall, to a marketing channel. The digital procession picked up pace now, as new media at first challenged and then destroyed the stranglehold of old media.
As a result of this mounting responsibility, Go-To-Market was invented, a straitjacket with which the CMO could control the process of bringing a product to market on time. While it brought order to the life of the CMO, something had changed. No longer the subject matter expert, they became the manager that sat atop this process. But there’s more. Unchecked, the digital ‘transformation’ was gathering pace.
Lowest common denominator production techniques, marginal media inventory, pay-by-results digital media, conversion funnels, social media listening, digital analytics, programmatic advertising buys, AI-created ads...it’s all still building. One smart layer on another, perched precariously on the shoulders of the CMO. Somewhere along the way, they also picked up PR, comms and Publish Affairs. Pity the poor CMO.
It was into this world that we launched the Bridge
We believed that if we assembled a team of the very best practitioners spread along this marketing continuum, we would find clients who would hire our services to bolster theirs. If we could provide a world-class marketing services business with an enlightened point of view, CEOs and CMOs would bolster, jump-start or even replace their existing teams using our teams. But also decided from the first day that we were going to build a business that
saw the world differently, and that only by creating a properly diverse team, would we
come up with properly diverse thinkers. You can read more about that HERE.
We never know our model would be as successful as it has been. Today we service
a wide range of clients with our wide range of consultants. We are in our second set of
offices, having outgrown our first. We are cautious that despite the recession and the Covid pandemic, there are a vast number of clients in the world who are over-paying for poor marketing services support. We believe we can provide a better, faster, more modern approach, that will pay directly into their bottom line.
They say that architects always live in houses that are falling down around their ears. Certainly, it has taken us, a group of business, marketing and brand professionals, two years to figure out what exactly what are we selling. But now we know, there’s no stopping us.
Will Harris is one of the co-founders of Bridge F61. His career began agency-side where he worked on a succession of brilliant brands, including Orange, Tesco, Stella Artois and Pepsi.
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Business, marketing, brand, GTM and digital strategy by a team who are faster, more accountable and more commercial than the old guard.