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Recently, we had an opportunity to interview Steven Holstein, the former Chief Marketing Officer of Guardian. He’s the current principal at S Squared Solutions, helping companies with strategy, marketing and business development. In this seven-part series, you’ll see how he sees the role of CMO evolving with trends in the Digital Age. This is Part 1 of 7 with Holstein.

Q. What trends do you see reshaping the role of the CMO in financial services?

A. “There are several big trends that are absolutely reshaping not only the way financial services operate, but in particular the marketing discipline. The CMO of the future is really having to play a much broader role across the organization, primarily because two of the biggest major trends that are changing the way the CMO does business.

[The first is] access to information, this whole concept of big data, or what I like to call big insight. It changes really the overall decision-making on what products and what markets [you focus on] and how you go to market. It’s data that now you can harness of your regression models and your databases which of course help you figure out what the customer of the future is and what distribution methodology you need to use going forward.

The second big trend is really, call it digital, call it social media, and call it mobile. [It’s] the ability to really put tools in place that complement your current distribution methodology, but tools in place that actually become much more efficient and effective. In the digital world, obviously [this means] having a robust website out there [and] really having it be productive for you … and have it be your front door to your organization. 

In social media, it started with branding, but now it’s how do you enable your sales force to use social media for client acquisition, client management and in some instances recruiting your proprietary sales force. 

In the mobile space it’s how do you enable your sales force as never before to be that much more effective in either prospecting or servicing your current customers.

All of this from the marketing position requires the head of marketing to really be engaged with the rest of the organization in the C suite whether it be in the IT organization, the legal compliance organization and of course in distribution partnership.”