Cashiers, Conversationalists and CMOs.


There are two factions in online marketing these days: Cashiers and Conversationalists. 


Cashiers care about the sale. They have the small dashboard that tracks click-to-sale and spits out an ROI calculations. Cashiers can’t wait to wake up in the morning to see the new numbers. They are in to usability testing, shopping cart abandonment, media optimization and other measures but their interest and energy pretty much stops at the sale. The buck stops there.


Conversationalists are a daintier.  They immerse themselves in the process.  They want to make friends.  (Like the kid with the runny nose in grade school, sometimes they just walk right up to you and ask “Do you want be my friend?”)  In my world, conversationalists are actually more likely to find truths and insights about their products and win in the long term.  All the pop marketing gurus today are into the conversation. They are not technologists, thank God, so they are easy to listen to and learn from but their failing is that they’re a little too caught up in the sausage making, not the sausage tasting.


For a CMO it’s great to have both types of people on staff.  A Yin and Yang thing. Cashiers are imperative for sales now. Conversationalists care about future sales, and loyalty and sale predisposition. But it’s hard to take predisposition to the bank. Good CMOs have a brand plan in place that gives direction to the factions.  A brand plan is informed by the work and findings of both factions, but it drives them.  A brand plan helps Cashiers and Conversationalist organize “claim and proof” in a way that creates Return on Strategy near and long term. Peace!