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18/06/2012 by

What CMOs Can Learn From Dutch Football?

Glory for the Dutch football team at the 2010 World Cup. Orange even topped the global BrandZ top 100 list. But during Euro 2012 glory became retreat, surrender and shame. What can CMOs learn from the Dutch football team?

The basics of human beings are cooperation and democracy. And the same goes for modern brands in the social era: it’s about the ability to adapt to new environments and trends.

So there are 2 options for CMOs: Innovate or die.

And this is where Dutch head coach (AKA CMO) Bert van Marwijk and his staff failed completely during Euro 2012. He refused to innovate after the 2010 World Cup.

He did not see new trends and new behaviors. He fully neglected to innovate his strategy, architecture, systems, processes, staff, game plans and players.

Also the product marketing teams reporting into Bert missed out on all major trends and forgot to benchmark the competition, which led to introudction of outdated products (AKA players).

But success from the past and holistic promises (AKA distractive, selfish, one-way advertising) could not live up to the performances of his team (AKA brand).

Van Marwijk is the old rigid CMO, the one that thinks he can neglect what’s out there. He should have embraced innovation and social CRM, not only count on his outdated systems and messaging.

Van Marwijk did not think beyond campaigns and refused to think in long term programs. He did not add any innovation or meaningfulness to the brand and people’s lives. And there is only one place for him to go next: a museum or Madame Tussauds.

So I do hope that CMOs will learn from this example. Previous glory and victory do not give guarantees for future success.

Do keep thinking beyond campaigns, keep embracing innovation and keep refreshing your most value asset called your brand.

It can happen in just 2 years. And put a blanket of shame across our whole nation: reputation damage that might hunt us for years.


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Igor Beuker
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