Evan Greene, CMO of The Recording Academy: How Digital is Changing the Role of the CMO

The role of marketing is being transformed by the rapid emergence of digital, mobile and social channels, new competitive threats from direct-to-customer competitors, and the focus on the customer experience as the basis of competitive advantage.

“The CMO sits at the crossroad of digital evolution, data, customer experience, and the capability of communicating this to internal and external constituents,” said Trish Shortell, managing director at RSR Partners and a Director at the Brand Publishing Institute.

evangreencorrrectTo examine these fundamental issues in greater depth, Shortell will host a panel discussion, “The Changing Face of the M-suite,” at the DMA’s Strategic Summit on Oct. 17.  The panel will comprise five highly regarded CMOs, including Evan Greene, CMO of The Recording Academy, who, in the following interview, spoke to me about the changing role of the CMO in a digital world. Greene’s marketing team supports thousands of music creators and students with a wide range of music education, professional development, support, and recognition services, including the Grammy Awards.

To get insights into the changing role of the CMO in a digital world, I interviewed one of our panelists, Evan Greene, CMO of the Recording Academy. Evan’s marketing team supports hundreds of thousands of music creators and students with a wide range of music education, professional development, support, and recognition (the Grammy Awards) services.

Diorio: How have you seen the role of the CMO in the M-suite change?
Greene: In the past, our job was to drive creative and messaging to connect to an audience using media. Today, it’s a far more sophisticated market. You need to connect with a more specific target from a demographic and psychographic standpoint across a wider mix of channels and touch points. And you need to harness data to tailor your message to those targets.

At The Recording Academy, we target two primary audiences–music fans and music creators. Both segments have become more sophisticated and refined over time. For example, music creators have more specific interests in the technical and musical innovations of their peers who are evolving their craft, like, for example, how an artist/producer like Mark Ronson creates such extraordinary sounds. Relevance with music creators is the primary reason the Grammy Award has become such a meaningful industry recognition. Fans know that artists care more about the Grammy than any other award, and these artists care more because of what The Recording Academy means to the industry.

Diorio: The music industry, overall, has seen a massive change in formats, channels, digital touch points, and delivery models as it moved from an analog to digital world. How have you seen the expectations for your own role change in the eyes of your leadership in the past several years?
The music business model has shifted beyond what we could even have imagined 10 years ago. Everyone in the industry is continually adapting to the new paradigm. My role is to figure out how to evolve our content, which is the heart of communicating with your audience. What does it say? To whom? Is it authentic and relevant? For example, we live in an era where there is more music being created and available than at any other time in history, but fewer artists are able to make a living through music. So we spend a considerable amount of effort on advocacy on behalf of music creators to ensure they are recognized and fairly paid for their valuable contributions, with programs including Grammys in My District and Grammys on the Hill, as well as empowering the next generation of music makers via education programs with The Grammy Museum and Grammy Foundation.

Diorio: Do you see CMOs becoming more influential to overall business success?
Yes. But we do it by creating engagement, relevance, and credibility that generate loyalty and attention. Success in our business–in terms of audience and revenues–is a direct by-product of having a smart, authentic, and respectful two-way dialogue with the 11 million friends, fans, and followers that make up our core audience in the social ecosystem. This means having the right editorial messaging and content programs that relate to them in social media, on YouTube, or on grammy.com. My experience has been that if you get that right, the audience, marketing partners, and a wide range of new business opportunities will follow.

You can learn more about how marketers Redefining The Role Of Marketing To Adapt To A Digital World at our panel entitledThe Changing Face of the M-suite – at the DMA Strategic Summit on October 17th at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.StratSum16LockUpV2c

Evan Greene is the CMO of the Recording Academy which supports hundreds of thousands of music performers, songwriters, studio professionals and students with a wide range of music education, professional development, health and human services, and recognition programs – including the Grammy Awards.