Challenges CMOs Face: How to Deal with Turnover and Reduced Team Size

Challenges CMOs Face: How to Deal with Turnover and Reduced Team

CMOs have fewer direct reports than they did just a few short years ago. Despite these smaller teams, CMOs are still expected to do more with less. In this installment of our “Challenges CMOs Face” blog series, we’ll discuss how to build a “marketing dream team” and sync it with a long-term roadmap for marketing activities.

The CMO Survey reports that over the past three years, the number of people reporting to CMOs has decreased from 31 to 11.

That’s a 35% decrease in the number of people able to continuously re-evaluate marketing campaigns and channels. It also means fewer people to help CMOs get rid of programs that aren’t working, and to help you capitalize on programs that work well. Worst of all, that’s fewer people making sense of the data and insights needed to reinvent the way we market to current and potential customers.

The reduction in people power also affects a core component of your marketing strategy: content marketing. As content becomes more and more essential, the volume of content required is increasing. Consequently, marketing teams are now expected to produce more compelling content with fewer staff. Digital marketing is no longer an optional part of your marketing strategy. As your team develops personalized campaigns aligned to the buyer’s journey, every step will require fresh, compelling content that helps to inform and guide the customer to the next step toward purchase. Content is lifeblood for your digital marketing program, and it requires creative minds and reliable customer data to inform each piece. The fewer minds you have, the more challenges you will have to face and overcome.

A smaller staff also means inherently fewer skills. A digital marketing program contains many moving parts that each contain their own disciplines and skillsets. On any given campaign, you could need highly skilled people to produce editorial content, shoot video, storyboard podcasts, build social media presence, work with SEO or SEM, or design and build your marketing automation platform. What can you do to improve the functionality of a smaller team?

How to build the right marketing team

Step 1: Decide on the right structure

Today’s marketing teams need people fulfilling certain roles to nurture successful marketing programs. Ideally, you will need team members focused on:

  • Demand Generation. These people are responsible for the strategy to acquire new customers. They will need skills in inbound marketing, including search engine marketing, search engine optimization, graphic display, and social media.
  • Loyalty and Retention. This team is responsible for forming the strategy to cross-sell and upsell, as well as drive customer advocacy. These kinds of skills enrich your company’s efforts to gain customer loyalty that lasts a lifetime.
  • Campaign Execution. Once a marketing strategy is developed, you need a team that can execute. These are the power users of various technologies in the company’s martech stack. They take the strategy developed by the staff members responsible for Demand Generation and Loyalty and Retention – and they make the strategy a reality.

Step 2: Decide on how to measure the impact of each role

Each member of your team brings a certain level of human capital, but at the same time, you should be measuring performance in the most literal sense. Determine the key performance indicators for success in each role. Ideally, you should factor in the inherent element of risk that comes with trying new ideas and initiatives. So if a program “fails,” it might not be because of the person, but rather, a good idea that just didn’t work.

For each of the three structural elements of your team, here are some example key performance indicators to consider:

  • Web traffic increases over time.
  • Number of customers retained year to year.
  • Number of brand advocates (earned media).
  • New blog subscribers.
  • Blog post views.
  • Blog bounce rate.
  • Number of clicks from paid traffic campaigns.
  • Impact of search engine optimization.
  • Cost per click of paid traffic campaigns.
  • Average customer response times on social media.
  • Brand sentiment online and on social media.
  • Unique page visits.
  • Referral traffic from social media.
  • Reactions, shares and new followers on social media.

Step 3: Weed out poor performers, and promote who’s left

Yes, that’s blunt, but it’s the truth. Here’s the nicer version: Pay your people more than average market value for their skills. Then create a fantastic culture that defines your company’s values.

If you’re properly measuring the impact of each role, it will soon become abundantly clear who belongs, and who does not. Give those people an opportunity to be counseled. If it still doesn’t take, and they aren’t adhering to your clearly defined culture, it’s time for them to go. Anyone who is left will serve your company well and stick around for a long time.

Step 4: Align your team with a marketing strategy roadmap

There’s no better sounding board than your team to develop a marketing roadmap. Your team will not only help you define your day to day, but they can also help you lay the groundwork to support your innovative campaigns well into the future. Let them in on the strategic planning. They will feel valued, and happily give you their full effort.

External advisers and analysts can help you cut through all the shiny new trends in the marketing world and get to the meat of what your business really needs from a marketing strategy to thrive.

Tegrita provides the services and expertise your team needs to ensure it’s always working at peak performance.

We help you tailor your digital marketing capabilities to the needs of your business. We work collaboratively with you and your team to analyze your efforts, then establish agile marketing and sales processes that deliver the top-quality data you need for real-time decision making. We then help you create a 12- to 18-month digital marketing roadmap that ensures your team stays on track for long-term success.

Let’s get in touch to talk about how Tegrita can help your team stay on the cutting edge while delivering great results. to get started!

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Mike Geller has been working in the marketing technology industry for more than 10 years, with the last 8 being on the agency side. He started his career with direct marketing, using CRM data as a source for segmentation and analytics. Later, his experience grew to include marketing automation and Eloqua. Mike's area of expertise is developing creative solutions to solve complex business problems - enabling marketers to imagine and execute highly personalized campaigns.