Explaining color to the CMO ~ Chief Marketing Officer

Content and image ©Paul Bradley Smith

We have all been there.  On a conference call with a marketing team who thinks they know the path to the perfect message for their brand, yet they are unable to see pink in a blind world.  These are just a few challenges we face with many marketing teams;  resistance to change, internal egos, pride, miscommunication and being colorblind to the vast world of opportunity that surrounds us.

These challenges lead us to the path of explaining how to see color in a blind world.  Social entrepreneurship defined as, “the process of pursuing suitable solutions to social problems or challenges we see working with many marketing teams is the inspiration in creating positive change.

How would you explain vibrant pink to a colorblind CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) or marketing team?

For starters we need to answer a few questions before we are able to understand this bright vibrant color.

  • Is our brand simple?
  • Does our brand portray the message needed to get across for our products or services?
  • Do our internal ideas create value for our products or services?
  • Should we outsource creativity to someone who is more creative?
  • Do we really know what our competitors are doing?
  • Have we done a complete audit of our competition? (ie) 360 degree competitive marketing analysis
  • Does our brand message promote future growth?  (ie) Is there future demand
  • Is our digital architecture up to date and able to distribute our message?

These are just a few questions which need answered and analyzed before we find the root of understanding how to see the color pink in a blind world.  A proper marketing strategy creates positive change allowing us to see color.

Many of these challenges facing change stem from uncertainty due to the ability to speak up and be heard from the fear of failure the negativity by those on your team, customers or clients.  As Mahatma Gandhi wrote “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Without risk, there is no reward.  Seek and you will find the right message for your brand by answering these questions, analyzing the facts and implementing a sound strategy allowing you to paint color on a dark canvas.

As Robert Frost wrote “Freedom lies in being bold.”  Are we bold enough to help your (CMO) Chief Marketing Officer see color? This would include implementing a sound marketing strategy which can create ubiquity in your brand, where it is seen; here, there and everywhere.

In a collective effort, Susan Wolff (a well known artist from Santa Barbara, CA) and I, defined how one could possibly see pink in a colorblind world, “It is soft as silk, stands out like braille yet sweet like watermelon.”

As marketers we must ask ourselves; is our brand soft enough to carry out our message, bold enough to stand out like braille, and sweet enough to make others become strong advocates of your brand creating a ubiquitous synergy of strong followers of bright pink flowers to smell if you are blind, and see if you have sight.

A special thanks to Steven Kohn @stevekrohn for posting this message on Facebook “How would you explain “pink” to someone who is colorblind? This placed a spark in my creative mind to write with the collective effort of Susan Wolff defining how we would explain “pink” to someone who is colorblind.  Also, to Dorie Clark @dorieclark a frequent contributor to (HBR) Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the American Management Association’s has given me courage to write about passionate topics.  Dorie Clark sees value of reinventing yourself.  In addition, a very special thanks to Lori Ruff who gave me the inspiration via tweeter @loriruff which ignited the spark.  An example of social entrepreneurship in a collaborative effort to make positive change.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

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  1. Great article Paul. The questions you pose to CMO’s are spot on. The process of outlining color to the blind is deftly written. James Bass – http://www.socialdoctor.com

  2. Outstanding article Paul!
    Jim Stanford – http://www.settlepou.com

  3. I like so much the term social enterpreneur, Paul, which through your words becomes too inspiring, as well. At the same time apart from explaining it, as you mention, you put it into practice. How nice to read that kind of articles!

  4. Wonderful article Paul…enjoying your quotes, as I find you are a wordsmith…
    expressing yourself to the point, and adding creativity. Thank You…JUST also
    checked your Flicker photos, you are most talented…

  5. rose:

    Very inspiring,lovely quotes thank you Paul i probably read more of your work…
    “We are fashioned and shaped by what we loved”..

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