Chief Conversation Officer and the marketing function

An interesting discussion about the Chief Conversation Officer concept at minute 13:50 of Across the Sound Podcast #10.

My colleague David Jones weighed into the discussion about whether the Chief Conversation Officer should be separated from the marketing function. David suggests that the Chief Marketing Officer should be the Chief Conversation Officer if he’s on his game.

David argues that the goal of corporations should be to create conversations with every tool they have at their disposal. However, they have not yet let go of an old marketing model that needlessly promotes a functional barrier between marketing departments and PR departments.

David believes that this reluctance to adopt a new model is grounded in a fear of losing control. The new media – blogs, wikis and, to a lesser extent podcasts – give control of brands to consumers. Smart companies are embracing this. David points to the example of the iPod as a consumer-owned brand. And he praises Apple for interacting with consumers to evolve the product.

Steve Rubel reflects on his own experience of senior marketers in large corporations. He finds that they all want to push for dialogue with consumers. However, their companies cannot adapt to the dialogue. He sees them as being “trapped in a monologue world.” He likens them to the leaders of the Soviet Union before it fell – dominated by the truths of earlier great leaders and unable to embrace to the realities of the world around them.

An interesting exchange worth listening to.