While the majority of this issue we are looking forward to the future of marketing, the turn of the year is also a time for reflection, and I thought I’d take a step back through 2019, our second year and share some of the highlights.

Topic pick: Employee Engagement

This popular topic was kicked off by Margaret Molloy, Global Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Business Development at Siegel+Gale, who we interviewed backstage in our first issue of the year (The Brand New Thang Issue):

“At the top of the chart would be employee engagement. Employees are at the forefront of brands and have become the new influencers. Whether it is in-store or digital, when the customer experiences the brand, they are interacting with the work product of its employees. Dedicating ample time and resources to employee engagement is a necessity”

It was a topic we kept returning to, with some great stuff from pretty much all of our Rockstars that we’ve bundled together in The Employee Amplifier section, exploring the idea that our colleagues and employees don’t just make a direct contribution to brand reputation through the service they provide, but are the first line of amplification of your story into your industry. As Christine Bailey summarised:

In short, a word-of-mouth marketing engine for the digital age. Done badly, it can have the opposite effect. For example, implementing a social advocacy platform that gamifies content sharing (don‘t get me started….!)

This topic continues in this issue as Jane Scandurra prediction that Happy Customers = Happy Customers, so we start 2020 the same as we started 2019.

Popular pick

The data speaks on this one and it’s really tight, but our audience are clearly interested in our people features, the entertaining (as ever) interview with Amber Osborne (former CMO of Doghead Simulations) in ‘Tales from the Tour Bus’ very narrowly beat Five Favorite Influencer Mistakes by Dennis Shiao and our review of the state of marketing technology: Marketing Clouds: Lip-syncing Fake or Fab Four? with Cathy McKnight, Darren Garnaccia, John Kottcamp and David Aponovich.

Honorable mention to our backstage interview with David Howland, that was from 2018, but was still a hit in 2019.

Pick of the issues

If I look at the data, The Think About it Issue edges it, as it featured some very popular articles. These include  Backstage with Lynne Capozzi, CMO of Acquia, Nicholas Einstein’s research that suggesting that Email Marketers are Crushing it and John Andrews excellent commentary on retail; The 4 Ps Give Way to Simplicity Along The New Path to Purchase.

But, if I go with my head rather than the data, putting together our issue on diversity and inclusion (The People are People Issue) was important to me personally and the interview with multicultural marketing expert Sydni Craig-Hart for Tales from the Tour Bus was a joy, I had pages of notes and she shares so much positivity, experience and data that underlines the importance that everyone broadens their marketing perspectives.

Pick of the contributors

Of course, the old cliché is true, it’s like choosing between your children and we welcomed many new writers in 2019, like Lauren Bowden and Dennis Shiao, who write with a passion for this marketing craft. But these three, who have been with us throughout the year stand out for me:

  • Ted Rubin, leading social marketing strategist, influencer, keynote speaker, Photofy CMO/advisor, author, provocateur Tedhas been there from our first issue to now. He has been a huge supporter for what we are doing here, and his articles, laced with his straight-talking sets the tone (Read more from Ted).
  • As one of my content marketing heroes, everything that pops into my inbox for publication here from author, speaker and Chief Trouble maker at The Content Advisory Robert Rose is a gift, as he generously shares the good stuff.
  • Christine Bailey, CMO of Valitor and is a star of our Green Room series, supporting us from the start of this series, sharing her marketing wisdom on pretty much every topic we have thrown her way.

And no, I am not going to choose one!

Pick of the quotes

I could pick literally a hundred of these – but this from founder and CEO of Lately, Kate Bradley Chernis in our backstage Q&A resonated for me, as my day job is B2B marketing and our tribe of marketing often forget that marketing is human to human.

Imperfect marketing is the most powerful. Stop polishing and let it rip. Humans react to humans. So be one.

Pick of the words

Rachel Miller

Only one contender, the word of 2019 for Rockstar CMO: “wackadoos”

Thank you to Rachel Miller and her article: Ignore the Wackadoos, Create Community and Value through Meaningful Engagement.

Picking out the swimming pool filter

You know how rockstars have this reputation for throwing stuff from the hotel window into the pool? Hell, Keith Moon even parked his Rolls Royce in the deep end once. In tribute, we’ve been throwing all the crap, bullshit acronyms, empty fads and snake oil of marketing, week on week, straight into the Rockstar CMO swimming pool.

The Swimming Pool series is a surprise hit, born from a fun question in our backstage Q&A and after 22 articles there still seems to be no end of fake marketing trends, snake oil and bullshit that our rock stars want to be rid of.

My pick for this year, especially as it formed the topic of our very first podcast, was Personalization at Scale – inspired by J.Robert Slaughter, who’s conversation I have very much enjoyed this year.

Some hard decisions here, if you have a favorite I’ve missed, tweet it!

Happy New Year! And thank you for stopping by, all of us at Rockstar CMO hope you had a great 2019 and have a rocking 2020 and new decade.

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