10 Characteristics of the Evolving CMO
Discussions centered on the future of marketing often times end with mixed sentiment.
The result concludes countless paths up the mountain and breadcrumbs are everywhere. In terms of prioritization, perhaps the path of least resistance can be chosen by first determining the end goal. But what is the end goal? Is it to generate leads? Build client loyalty? Humanize the brand? Increase engagement on the company website?
- Christopher Kenton, SVP of the CMO Council sees the purpose of marketing in two specific expressions: Reducing shareholder risk while maximizing customer lifetime value. He connects both by comparing two sides of a coin. Each side is completely different but the value and purpose of the coin is the same.
- Joseph Alba, Distinguished Professor Chair, Department of Marketing at University of Florida states that the goal is, “To obtain a competitive advantage by meeting consumer wants and needs more effectively than competing firms.” I like this statement – it’s specific enough to understand what marketers are striving to achieve, but open-ended enough to allow for varied strategies. So it seems that even the final goals can vary. In this diverse line of business filled with so many twists, turns, shortcuts, and scenic routes, the direction provided by the CMO has never been more vital. The Future CMO in turn, requires a healthy mix of these 10 qualities:
- Visionary: Looking into the crystal ball to find the edge in the marketplace and communicate short and long term goals
- Strong Ego: Creativity is important but confidence to rise above the cynics is critical to implement your vision
- Risk Taker: Differentiation is needed for success. Taking risks, being fearless of failure, and learning from actions is how innovation occurs. Acting and failing today is often more valuable than delaying and missing an opportunity tomorrow. We learn from our failures, inaction isn’t as quite as forgiving
- Simplistic: “Less is more” but not always easier. Simplification is difficult but in today’s market, there is no other way
- “Ear to the Ground” Mentality: Representing the voice of the customer – the CMO must understand their wants and needs to tailor the best strategy for the ever-changing, culturally diverse, global customer
- Ace of all Trades: As we continue to see IT and Marketing converge, the CMO needs to understand what makes other departments tick and speak their language. By 2017, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO and needs to be an expert outside of Marketing
- Tech-Savvy: Speed kills and understanding the technical landscape allows the CMO to not only develop a strategy, but also see the project through from end to end – rather than handing it off to the CIO
- Data Driven: Big Data has taken business by storm and is the ultimate treasure chest of information. Transforming it into Smart Data is the key that unlocks the gold
- Revenue Focused: Bells and whistles are great, so are fancy commercials but at the end of the day, nothing is more important than increasing revenue. Understanding the value of each initiative is a critical piece toward becoming a best run business
- Cross Departmental Liaison: “Marketing is the connective tissue between sales and product teams with the voice of the customer at the center” said Nick Besbeas, VP of Marketing at LinkedIn. Each team is critical in its own way, but to provide the best experience for the customer, the CMO needs to ensure integration
Transformational Marketing is often easier said than done. Managing the dynamic between creativity and motivational leadership while also immersing in the technical side and dissecting detailed analytics is no simple task. Listen to this discussion with SAP’s Madhur Aggarwal, Global Marketing VP of Strategy, and Oliver Conze, VP of Product Management as they walk through their experiences and a unique, cloud-based solution (for marketing leaders) to the ubiquitous challenge regarding the future of marketing. In fact, a multi-billion dollar consumer products company had this to say after recent implementation, “With the SAP Customer Insight dashboards, we have empowered our marketing leaders to take charge and stay on top of business performance – no more hassels with spreadsheets and presentations.” In essence, it’s the simplified solution to connect vision, voice of the customer, and valued pipeline – in real time.
Listen to the Interview Here
Watch the SAP Customer Insight for Marketing Video