Stakeholder Insights marketing research firm interviewed 15 St. Louis area senior marketing professionals (CMOs) to map their lifelong customer journey with the American Marketing Association. What is their awareness of AMA? What professional marketing organizations do they and their staff belong to? What professional development activities do their companies sponsor to help marketers keep up with innovations in the field, particularly in digital communications?
The St. Louis Chapter Board of the AMA https://www.ama-stl.org/ hoped that in-depth telephone interviews with area CMOs could reveal what value and benefits the St. Louis AMA Chapter can provide to senior marketing leaders as well as beginning and mid-career practitioners.
We marketers took our own medicine by listening to our customers.
CMOs from a range of industries and companies (BJC, Centene, Express Scripts, Graybar, Cortex Innovation Community, UMSL, Washington University, et.al.) told us:
-Most of their organizations don’t have mandated, formalized professional development programs for marketing staff. National and regional conference attendance and ad hoc courses within their own organizations are most typical.
CMOs perceive that staff training and development opportunities vary by years of experience:
–Entry level staff most need to gain big picture, strategic understanding of the marketing field. Writing and story-telling skills, interpersonal, relationship-building skills and etiquette tips are important for young team members to learn in their first 3-5 years of professional practice.
–Mid-level staff (10-20 years in) need to learn about people selection (hiring) and management of staff, also to keep up with best marketing practices, digital marketing approaches and to be able to plan and manage integrated marketing projects.
–All staff (including CMOs by deduction) need to learn or refresh their skills in at least one of these areas: digital communications and digital marketing best practices, customer relationship management, customer segmentation and journey mapping, best practices in B2B content marketing, integrated marketing and/or market research.
St. Louis AMA Chapter response and customer service plan
On Oct. 3 St. Louis AMA hosted a kickoff breakfast in Clayton to thank survey respondents and other area CMOs for contributing to this assessment. We asked attendees, “Are you interested in moving forward to form an Executive Circle CMO group in St. Louis?” They answered “yes.”
A post-breakfast survey confirmed CMO preference for these activities that AMA can facilitate:
-Networking with peers and sharing best marketing practices and challenges
-Networking and discussing the challenges we face in marketing the St. Louis region to outsiders
Several CMOs suggested that we marketers can together tackle a local marketing problem often lamented but insufficiently addressed: helping local residents (particularly those who grew up here) recognize and talk up the benefits of living in the St. Louis region, to themselves and to the rest of the world.
Stay tuned for St. Louis AMA Chapter news of our CMOs’ work on this challenge. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on joining the St. Louis AMA CMO Executive Circle group and attending our next meeting in January 2018.