Chief Sanity Officer? Maybe Ad Age Is Onto Something
CMO, CEO and CSO — chief sanity officer. At first, it seems as though Ad Age’s Simon Dumenco is joking about brands needing chief sanity officers. But maybe he’s onto something. The pace of change is getting crazy for companies, to the point that project managers may want the sanity officer position filled, too.
Hear Dumenco out — yesterday, on the same day that his column published in Ad Age, the Washington Examiner published an article with this headline: “Top Intel Dem Mark Warner Expects Bipartisan Support for Social Media Regulations.”
Maybe brands could expect their social media teams to handle that, or legal, or the CMO alone. But if the CMO is only handling fires, who forms the big picture ideas?
Enter, Dumenco’s idea:
“It's become painfully (stabbingly) clear that many tech companies and ‘disruptive’ startups — and even established companies trying to compete with the newbies — could use a new sort of CCO: a chief consistency officer.
“If that's too subtle and/or too suggestive of other CCOs who might already be on board, how about a CDJCAO (chief don't-jerk-customers-around officer). Or a CLNDUCNO (chief let's-not-drive-users-completely-nuts officer). Or maybe let's keep it super direct: CSO (chief sanity officer).”
Ah. So Dumenco’s onto something else here. The pace of change is disrupting customers’ lives, too.
So maybe the CSO’s job would be to smooth out the bumps for customers and keep the customer experience seamless? Dumenco points out Snapchat sure could’ve used one for its redesign that cost it 3 million active users.
The "Media Guy" columnist further makes examples of Tesla, MoviePass and, no surprise, Facebook. (We covered how Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg famously said the social media platform could handle its own video metrics oversight — until advertiser outcry changed that tune. Now there’s the data controversy spurring change and there may be more to come from Congress.)
And while Dumenco’s right that change is necessary, failures happen and chaos can result, he doesn’t think the confusion should. (Just think of the process surrounding adding in a martech tool, alone.) For the sake of customers, give them a good experience and don’t make them hate you and become a statistic (“churn”). Hire a CSO, he says:
“Somebody has to argue for consistency.
“Somebody has to advocate for what consumers actually want.
“And somebody has to truly grasp the perilously fine line between iterating and irritating.
“CSO: When can you start?”
Do you think he’s right? Or do you think existing positions cover that? What do you think, marketers? Do you need a CSO?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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