She has extensive experience in real estate, where she ended up by chance. In CMO Insights, Emma Johansson, CMO at Hifab, shares her future predictions, how Hifab thinks about its marketing department, and much more.
After a detour to the agency side, where she worked as a project manager and COO for a year, Emma is since April last year, CMO and communications manager at Hifab. This consulting company offers independent advice and real estate and civil engineering project management. It is her first role as CMO, and in the future, she says that CMOs need to become more flexible and operational. She develops her reasoning:
– The days you set a plan for the coming year in October and then primarily ensured that your team and agencies executed on it are gone. Today, marketing managers need to be more dynamic and quick-footed and have a close dialogue with their stakeholders in the business. At the same time, balancing the strategic and operational is essential. There are significant changes in many industries, and now I have a B2B perspective, but that in itself requires that both the marketing manager and the marketing plan have the flexibility and the ability to quickly adapt to the needs of the market and the own business.
B2B should learn from B2C
Regarding marketing development, Emma admits that she finds it exciting from a broader perspective. For example, when talking about the impact of AI. Emma believes that companies in B2B should learn and be inspired a lot by B2C, which is often further ahead:
– I am confident that knowledge sharing and transparency will spread even more in 2023. It has long been a matter of course in B2C, and now B2B is starting to catch up. Regarding my industry, real estate and community building, many significant issues are linked to the sustainability transition and challenges related to the economy. Here there is a lot of exciting content to download for your marketing and communication. For us, it is vital to find our expression and not try to imitate competitors and industry colleagues. Here we like to be inspired by B2C, especially when it comes to the visuals but also around different types of content concepts.
– The line between employer branding and marketing will blur. Going forward, the message, tonality and content must be adapted to both areas.
“Generic, stock-filled movie clips with nice
messages, we are done with that by now, right?
If we look in the rearview mirror, then? AI, video content, and personalization are just a few of the phenomena that have recently gained an increasing place on the marketing map. When asked what Emma took with her from 2022, moving content is particularly prominent:
– It has undoubtedly not escaped anyone's notice that all flows overflowed with good and less good video content. The algorithms like video. However, in 2023 we will have to find a better balance and create more quality regarding this format. Video can be compelling, but it takes a lot from everyone involved to make it good. It can be helpful to dare to feel one's capacity and shape content in the best format. And generic, stock-filled movie clips with nice messages, we are done with that by now, right?
Tips for future CMOs
What about her best decision of the last year then?
– I managed to shake off old truths and dared to trust my gut feeling more. An example of that: A classic is to spend several hundred hours designing a communication strategy, visual identity or the like. And the vast majority of companies during that time risk losing frequency while not keeping up to date with what actually creates engagement, reach, ROI or whatever you measure. Together with my colleagues, I have chosen to work more agile instead, where we tested ourselves. This has enabled us to maintain a high rate of development and receive ongoing feedback on what works and what doesn't - while we have managed to keep the frequency in our marketing and communication.
Finally, Emma shares tips for future CMOs:
– Do! Perform! It is crucial to get started and perform and test your progress quickly. Keep track of statistics, dare to trust your instincts, read and stay up to date, and be inspired by trends but remember to continue with what you know works for your target group. And make sure that what you do in marketing and communication-related efforts is closely connected to the business and operations. In many industries, perhaps especially B2B, the marketing department has often tended to "run its race". It can certainly work in some respects, but eventually, the messages will ring hollow if there is nothing to back them up with. We need to share our knowledge, prove it and above all, repeat.