The Chief Customer Officer Role in Media, With Robert Bridge of Telegraph Media Group – CB39


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Episode Overview

Media is a business vertical that is beginning to engage CX leaders.  The New York Times has a leader of Customer Experience (who we will soon be interviewing), and I was pleased to see that the UK is also embracing this role. Robert Bridge is the Chief Customer Officer of Telegraph Media Company — a role which he came to after many years building up to this role from digital roles across multiple industries, including Yahoo.

We discussed the importance of clarifying what the role means and how Robert was a part of defining his role and responsibilities and how his role got expanded as part of the interviewing process. We also discussed how his CCO role is an expansion of a tradtional CMO role and why the company wanted to expand his role.

About Robert

Robert Bridge Jeanne BlissFrom his LinkedIn:

Strategic marketing leader with proven history of team development, brand building, revenue growth, vision, innovation and customer-focused marketing solutions for B2C and B2B audiences. Extensive experience of working within fast-paced environments for both large corporations and start-ups in EMEA and the US. 15+ years working in the digital industry.

How Robert assessed the work to be done

Robert initially thought he would have 90 days, but ultimately realized he had to get it done in 45. During this time he really made a science of understanding the customers and looking at the data from multiple angles. Specifically, he looked at data to:

  • Connect all facets of the business
  • Find the core of the opportunity or problem within the business
  • Connect to brand and subscription to understand where exactly pain points and revenue issues might crop up

At the same time as this data collection/analysis was happening, Robert was working to define the brand: defining what it meant and what the business should stand for. This is where we discuss how his CCO role is kind of similar to a traditional CMO role, but an expanded one. Robert worked hard to understand, define, and ultimately explain the various customer segments. This work had not been done before at Telegraph. 

One-Company Leadership

Robert saw these other leaders as key partners:

  • Chief Commercial Officer
  • Chief Content Officer
  • Chief Technical Officer

There were others, of course, but those were the “big three” off the bat. He needed to engage with them and make sure they were all on the same page and not working from silos. The key, of course, was more effective communication. They needed a process around communicating ideas to each other and making sure said process was consistent. But Robert knew none of it would really matter unless he had a 45-day “win,” so he set about building the road map.

Building the road map

Robert focused on a few key areas: namely, the subscription model (what would be gated and what would not?). That was the most revenue-facing idea of his road map. He also worked to bring traditional UX and UI employees into the customer/client fold, for an array of different perspectives. The subscription model and segmentation rolled out in November 2016 and has been considered a success so far. This is a crucial moment because it allows Robert to model, for the other execs, what exactly CX does and what transformation looks like. He can tie his first few months to a win, roll out, and road map.

The Pay It Forward Question

What do you know now that you wish you knew then? 

Robert’s answers:

  • Be a marketer in this role and embrace the broader amount of work it encompasses (I believe all of us in this field are marketers of hope, as an aside)
  • The learning curve is very steep, so be prepared
  • It’s a bit more intense than traditional marketing when you take on and define this kind of work
  • There is a huge cultural component to creating a customer-driven growth engine; it’s not simply about metrics/numbers, but also people
  • What your team does and how it “wins” needs to be defined early on
  • Be patient with yourself (good life advice in general, yes?)

Be back Thursday with a new post. In the meantime, enjoy this interview with Robert!

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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