Why Mozilla’s CMO treats marketing as a business within the business

Marketing should run like a business within a business if you want to engage everyone, says Mozilla CMO Jascha Kaykas-Wolff.

Mozilla

With the twin objectives of adding more engaged users to its Firefox web browser and managing a forthcoming brand refresh, the marketing team at not-for-profit internet company Mozilla, owner of the Firefox web browser, have adopted agile practices to scale for growth.

Speaking to Marketing Week at Web Summit in Lisbon, Mozilla CMO Jascha Kaykas-Wolff explains why he runs his department like a business, how agile marketing will become the norm and why consumers care about social purpose.

How do you view the role of your marketing team?

Marketing is a horizontal service inside an organisation. We’re responsible for understanding everything that’s happening across the whole business. So you have to think about marketing as a business within the business.

You have to create an infrastructure first and that has to be defined in a way that will let you scale. Generally the things you do on a daily basis, if they’re effective, can help you find linear growth as a business, but they’re never going to help you find asymmetrical growth. You therefore have to find real points of leverage and I think technology is that for marketers.

But if you’re going to make an investment in technology or marketing programmes you have to present it as a business case, because that’s the language of the boardroom.

You are a big advocate of agile marketing, do you think this will become the norm across the industry?

Five years ago social media exploded. We started to hear about sub-disciplines in marketing like social marketing and we brought in social marketing experts. What we now see is that marketing into these channels is really just marketing and it just happens to be in social channels.

Introducing agile as a preface to marketing is useful right now because it’s a new process being run inside our organisations, but I don’t think that will be the case over the next five years. I don’t think marketing teams are going to be effective in the future unless they’re using agile practices. So I don’t think we’ll be calling them agile practices, it will just be marketing.

You have to create an infrastructure first and that has to be defined in a way that will let you scale.

How do you work with agencies?

First we identify what we think are the biggest business problems we have to solve. So, for example, we need to help more people find Firefox. We set up a durable team whose responsibility is only to focus on helping more people find Firefox. However, if that group doesn’t have enough resources we will add an agency, so we look at agency resources primarily as augmentation to our durable teams.

The other way we think about agencies is when our functional teams, like our communications team, need to scale. In order for them to have reach all over the world we have to augment with agencies.

Is marketing a not-for-profit business different to your previous roles at companies like Microsoft or Yahoo?

The biggest dynamic change for me has been recognising that while growth is still important, it’s growth as long as it’s in support of our users. As a not-for-profit marketing organisation we want to develop trust with our customers and because of that we’re going to make different decisions about the technology we use.

For example, we use programmatic buying, it’s our biggest direct marketing spend. However, we set up the relationships with the agencies and the technology differently so we make sure that the programmatic tool isn’t going to collect our users’ data and make it available across their demand side platforms. We also won’t use practices like retargeting.

We can still be very effective as marketers, but we’re going to make decisions about the types of technology we use that are more focused on building trust with our customers than raw growth.

Does social purpose matter to consumers?

After interviewing thousands of people we believe there’s a fairly large group of people – we’re calling them conscious choosers – who care about the purpose of the brand, they care about security and privacy and have more of a millennial mindset.

If the internet population is 3.4 billion, we think 20-22% – more than 850 million people – care about these things and they’re a younger group of people. As marketers we’re going to have to care about trust. It’s not the norm yet, but it’s becoming more of a trend.

We need to be more focused on creating better customer value and being smart about the way we operate. We need to think about marketing like a business to make sure we have the processes in place to navigate the different channels and technologies in a much more meaningful way.

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