The answers to a company’s biggest problems are often simple. In fact, the solution is often to simplify. To simplify your life, I’ve collected a few articles that I found interesting for CMOs recently. You can share articles with me that you enjoy on Twitter at @erinclaire and @Bazaarvoice.

Better, Simpler, Cheaper: The Formula That Makes Tesco Great
by Sir Terry Leahy for Fast Company

While he was CEO of Tesco, Terry (who was knighted for his leadership ability) and team adopted a new guiding policy: “Better, Simpler, Cheaper.” The pledge meant any company change must make the store better for customers, while simplifying the process for Tesco and making it cost less. They also adopted an “ABC Rule” for simplifying staff processes: “Simple is Achievable, brings Benefit and is Clear.” Terry shares his story with tips for duplicating Tesco’s success.

Innovation Isn’t About New Products, It’s About Changing Behavior
by Thomas Koulopoulos for Fast Company

The most market-changing innovations of late haven’t been about products, says Thomas. They’ve been about changing behaviors. Google search, iTunes, Facebook – these innovations changed the way people do things. And innovating around behavior will be as important going forward as product innovation was before it.

Think of the way the Facebook community reacts to every major change the network makes: loudly and negatively. And yet, as time passes, users adopt and accept the new technology. Tomorrow’s innovators must learn to quickly read the market, introduce change, and embrace the unavoidable resistance to that change – on a continuous basis.

The Summer of the CMO
by Anoop Sahgal for CMO.com

Good summary of the themes that all CMOs seem to be talking about – I wholeheartedly concur with Anoop’s list of hot topics. Themes around creating durable, high-preference brands; putting the consumer at the center of all strategies; innovating better using of the plethora of data we now have at our fingertips; and leveraging the array of social tools now available to us. Hint: they’re all related.

Trends: The Battle For CMO Mind Share
by R “Ray” Wang for Insider Associates

Everybody wants a piece of us. Marketing and advertising budgets are increasing – and represent “the new land grab” for startups and agencies alike. As we shift our spend from analog to digital, we’re becoming tech savvier, and look to use digital to track and improve our campaigns. Agencies are investing in tech as a core competency and partnering with systems integrators. It’s a brave new digital world, and we’re driving it. Ray shares some great insights on what it takes to capture our attention.

Forget Supermoms – It’s All About The Smart Moms: Survey
by Jennifer Rooney for Forbes

This article may not specifically discuss marketing, but as an executive and a mom, I’ve been intently following the “supermom” discussions sparked by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and former senior adviser to Hilary Clinton, Anne-Marie Slaughter. This wonderful article shares new research that finds today’s mothers feeling less pressured to play supermom. Over half (65%) reject the notion, saying it’s more important that their kids develop “a true picture of the people they are, including their flaws.” I love it. And I agree!

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