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Welcome to the first in a series of guest posts, where we have invited industry opinion leaders to share their thoughts on a variety of topics facing the rapidly evolving marketing function. We hope you find these informative and thought provoking and encourage conversation around the topics. Enjoy this conversation with Antonio Lucio, CMO of HP, and stay tuned for the next post in the series.

Q1: How do you see the role of the CMO changing over the next 2 years?

Antonio Lucio: There are things that will change and things that will remain the same. What will remain constant is the role of marketing which in my book is to develop brands that will stand the test of time. The brand needs to be built on purpose. They have a meaningful impact on people’s lives. They build strong emotional connections based on tangible proof points. They behave with integrity of words and actions. And they are constantly reinventing themselves in search of that purpose. What has changed is the blessing and the curse of information. On one hand, we have never had more opportunities to engage with our customers to build those brands that stand the test of time. On the other hand, the amount of information available has become a challenge in itself. Transforming big data into big and meaningful insights and to do it at the speed of culture is perhaps the greatest challenge we face as marketers.

Q2: How do you see the relationship between creative and analytics teams evolving in the near term?

Antonio Lucio: There is no question that creative and analytics teams will be much more tightly integrated than ever before.  That has to happen both organizationally and in how we manage the marketing cycle from creative development to measurement and optimization.   What we’ve seen here at HP is that as we’ve moved aggressively into digital and into a programmatic approach to buying, the depth and quality of our marketing response data has exploded.  And it’s real time.  Our biggest challenge is how to set ourselves up to leverage that insight.  One thing we’ve done that is quickly yielding results is directly wiring insights from media response data into our creative agencies at the beginning of the creative cycle. We take a media journey approach to this with hard data on how our customers responded to past campaigns in addition to data that we are able to pull out of our programmatic buying platforms.  That drives creation of the right creative and the right assets that we know will work with our customer.We are also building a specialized media analytics function co-located with our regional marketing teams to drive insight real time into our campaigns.  That most often takes the form of A,B,C testing of both executional approaches and creative that drives quick turn revisions.  As this capability scales we expect creative execution to evolve real time based on what’s working in the market.  Lots to do here but it is clear that the old cycle of creative development, execution and evaluation that often spanned many months will be replaced by a real time iterative capability with creative and analytics teams that work hand in glove.

Q3: What does your CMO dashboard look like? What KPIs do you watch every day?

Antonio Lucio: My CMO dashboard is built around three categories of metrics.  We call it the 4x4x4 dashboard.  The first and most important set of metrics is our overall business goals. These include the revenue, share and unit metrics that marketing contributes to as part of the overall company P&L.  These are shared with the Business Unit leaders within HP at the global, regional and country level.  I hold my team accountable for jointly owning those metrics with the business everyday and it is what I see most often.  Our second category of metrics is brand metrics.  These are built against a simple customer journey framework that starts with awareness and moves through purchase to bonding and loyalty.  Those metrics form the basis for how we set goals for our campaigns and track them over time.  It is also an important tool for driving an analytic proof case for the value of marketing within the business.  Demonstrating the direct connection of awareness and consideration driven by marketing to business results or showing how a loyal customer who is bonded with HP drives pricing power in the market helps us make the right investment decisions for marketing within HP.  The third category is marketing metrics that focus on spend optimization, engagement and in the commercial space, our ability to drive leads into the funnel.  These are the metrics that our regional and country marketing teams use every day to evaluate and optimize execution in real time.

Q4: How much confidence do you have in your marketing data? What are your hurdles to 100% confidence?

Antonio Lucio: I don’t think we will ever have 100% confidence in our marketing data.  Things are moving too fast. The measurement systems that evaluate marketing lag how customers behave and how the marketing industry operate.  Rewind just a few years, Facebook was not ad supported, media was still mostly bought over the phone, LinkedIn was still in its infancy and Snapchat didn’t exist.  We have to get comfortable with an ever evolving set of marketing data that we use as inputs into how we make decisions.  Triangulation across data sources and analytic tools along with good marketing judgment and a healthy sense of urgency is how we need to operate in my opinion.

Here at HP we use a mix of ROI analytics, survey research and ad response data to understand marketing effectiveness and push our teams to move quickly based on those insights.  I would not say that I am 100% confident in any one of those sources, they all have their flaws.  We encourage our teams to understand all their marketing data and reinforce that moving quickly with 80% confidence and good judgment is better than not moving quickly enough because we are not 100% confident.

Q5: With the explosion of MarTech, it can be hard to stay current. How do you educate yourself and stay on top of industry developments?

Antonio Lucio: I have three sources of information. I combined the Media and Analytics functions into one team. This will enable us to leverage our data sources and programmatic buying. This team keep me informed of industry trends in media and analytics. I also reach out to people that I know in the industry that provide me with unfiltered unapologetic points of view about key trends in Martech: People like Joe Marchese in media and Opher Kahane in analytics. I am also a Twitter addict and I will read daily at least one or two posts on the topic.

Q6: For the next generation of CMOs, what are your 3 key areas of advice?

Antonio Lucio: 

1. They need to have a deep understanding of analytics: the math, the math, the math. Our discipline has become as much a science as an art.

2. Balancing analytical skills with a broad set of interests in the humanities is key. Marketing is about establishing human connections through empathy. Take the time to find the human truth.

3. Cultivate resiliency. Life will throw you curve balls. Resilience is the ability to pick yourself up, learn, adapt and move forward with experience and conviction. In a constantly evolving and changing world, there is no more important leadership trait than resilience.

About Antonio J. Lucio, Global Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Hewlett Packard

Antonio Lucio is the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at HP Inc. As CMO, Antonio leads the global marketing organization, including branding, demand generation, strategic events and global communications for one of the world’s most valuable brands. He has more than 25 years of global marketing and brand management experience. Prior to joining HP, he spent eight years at Visa, most recently as Global Chief Marketing and Communication officer, responsible for the design and implementation of all global brand & product marketing platforms and corporate communications. Antonio helped guide Visa through their IPO, and created the company’s first-ever global positioning and brand identity system.Antonio has held marketing leadership and innovation roles at some of the world’s most successful consumer packaged goods companies, including PepsiCo Inc., Kraft General Foods, RJR Foods International, and Procter & Gamble. He earned a B.A. in history from Louisiana State University. He was born in Spain, raised in Puerto Rico, and currently resides in San Francisco. He is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.