A CMO’s Guide to Brand Marketing

Tabata Gomez never imagined becoming CMO of a $15 billion global industrial powerhouse. Since studying international relations and wanting to be the Secretary General of the United Nations in school, Tabata has led countless global marketing teams to success as the Chief Marketing Officer at Stanley Black & Decker

We asked Tabata about her secret to building a successful marketing strategy during our 2021 Vision: The Strategy Summit. Get the key takeaways below and watch Tabata’s session for the full explanation. 

Customer-Centric Marketing, and Why It Matters

The one thing that’s always on Tabata’s mind is customer experience. 

“It doesn’t matter what industry you work in,” states Tabata. “In today’s world, every customer is focused on convenience—and COVID has exacerbated this.”

According to Tabata, customers are going to purchase brands’ products whenever, wherever, and however they choose—and brands have to always be there for customers if they don’t want to lose them. How? By understanding their customers as individuals and delivering personalized messaging accordingly:

“Frictionless end-to-end customer experience needs to happen. You are not going to succeed as a business if you don’t figure out how to provide this for your customers.”

– Tabata Gomez

To create this seamless experience, Tabata advises brands to think about ways they can better understand their customers’ needs in an ever-changing landscape. “You don’t have to do it all at once,” she says, “but map out what your ideal scenario is, and then work your way through it.”

Creating Content That Resonates

Along the same vein, creating successful content comes down to putting the customer at the center. It’s not about the content you like—it’s about the content your customers like and connect with.

Tabata elaborates: 

“Ensure you understand your brand segmentation. Really get to know your customers. Know who they are, what they like, what makes them tick, what they aspire to be, what motivates them, what they dislike. Because if you know this, whatever content you develop is going to be right on for them—it’s going to be meeting their needs.”

She also encourages brands to conduct A/B testing on different types of content to determine what works best and immediately implement that. “If possible, set aside some dollars in your budget to pilot new things,” she says, “[You] have to be open to try new things, because that’s how [you] learn.” Her motto for her team is, “if we’re going to fail, we fail quickly and we fail cheaply. Then, we learn from the failures and move on.” 

Finally, with the exponentially growing demand for content in today’s omnichannel experience, a clear content strategy is crucial. Customers have countless avenues for engaging with brands, and every customer touchpoint—whether it’s e-commerce, email marketing, or social media—requires targeted and individualized content. According to Tabata, having a clear, unified content strategy ensures your brand’s communications cut through the noise. 

Related Content: How to Obtain the Most Value From Your Brand’s Content

Balancing Short- and Long-Term Goals 

How does Tabata ensure her team’s marketing strategy has a strong impact on the bottom line while also achieving business longevity? 

While the bottom line is important, Tabata believes brands need to create a holistic, integrated marketing strategy that includes both the short-term and long-term needs of the company. This means balancing investments in business growth that yield immediate ROI with investments in foundational platforms and technology required for long-term success. If brands don’t do this, “they end up with a technology debt that could end up costing millions,” says Tabata.  

Harnessing Digital Transformation

In today’s technology-dominant world, digital transformation should be part of every brand’s long-term plan. For Tabata, the key is starting with whichever platform demonstrates the most immediate need and will have the most impact upfront. For example, when Stanley Black & Decker’s power tool business skyrocketed from customers building DIY home projects, they focused their digital transformation efforts on that sector. 

One of Tabata’s major goals for Stanley Black & Decker is to globalize its tech stack and make it more enterprise-focused. Because of the company’s initial rapid growth, they currently have several business sectors that are not aligned. To solve this, Tabata says her team is working with different partners to build an end-to-end digital ecosystem. They hope to adopt technology that drives and connects their end-user data, which will enable her team to better leverage insights and analytics to meet their customers’ evolving needs. 

To learn more about how to create the best marketing strategy for your brand, watch Tabata’s full speaker session and check out all the other presentations from The Strategy Summit on-demand.

A CMO’s Guide to Brand Marketing is written by Sophia Li for

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