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Challenges CMO’s Face: Becoming a strategic, growth-driving CMO

By February 25, 2018Marketing Strategy

CMOs are expected to drive growth, so why are so many of them stuck reviewing budgets and plans, developing content, and attending meetings? In this installment of our “Challenges CMOs Face” blog series, we’ll review why and how CMOs should shift their roles to accelerate business growth.

Think about your most recent week as a CMO. How did you spend your time? Were you crafting growth strategies? Refining the definition of your brand? Executing marketing campaigns? If your typical business week is spent doing those things, that’s awesome. Unfortunately, you might be an exception.

CMOs and marketing leaders know they need to spend more time developing the strategies their company needs to foster ongoing growth. They need to shape their company’s brand so it is recognizable for all the right reasons, and they need to develop and execute stellar marketing campaigns to get the word out and bring the customers in. Yet according to a CMO Council report, “The CMO Shift to Gaining Business Lift,” nearly half of the CMOs surveyed reported their days are spent “reviewing budgets, plans, content and campaign elements.” Another 42% spend their time attending meetings, while 37% are “evolving the brand narrative.”

As a result of these unbalanced efforts, CMOs neglect the following:

Finding ways to keep customers. Shout out to your inbound marketing experts who know that delighting customers is one of the most important “stops” on the customer journey. It’s what ensures your company retains customers, makes them loyal, and turns them into brand advocates. If you don’t spend time engaging current customers, you risk growth loss.

Optimizing marketing procedures. Is your team agile enough to adapt the marketing plan if there’s a shift in customer behavior? And how would you become aware of a shift? If your marketing best practices are set in stone, you might be completely unaware until its too late – negative feedback or a loss in business.

Embracing new ways to monetize. Keeping up with new methods of monetization, particularly on social media, will allow you to capitalize on ways to resonate with your customers while meeting them where they tend to hang out online.

The CMO Council report asks: “How can marketers shift to optimize business lift?” Here are the answers from the report:

Let’s break these answers down:

“Accept the role of growth driver and shift the CMO to a revenue-centric vision.”

I often speak with CMOs who believe there is no way to measure the impact of marketing campaigns. They just know they “work.” This is a very outdated way of thinking. We might have been able to get away with such a statement when we relied on billboards, newspaper ads, and even TV commercials, but now, people consume information much differently, and it is HIGHLY measurable. To be a growth driver, you must commit to a marketing strategy that allows you to clearly measure the impact of your campaigns, and you must tie your efforts securely to sales and revenue.

How to make it happen:

  • Create a digital marketing strategy roadmap with the help of your team.
  • Align that plan with the proper marketing automation technology that delivers the data and insights you need to achieve your goals.
  • Ensure your team, your marketing plan roadmap and technology work in sync to quickly help you assess what’s working and change course when it’s not working.

Shifting your role as CMO into the role of a growth driver takes time, dedication, and the right mix of internal and external expertise. Complementing your team’s already stellar talent with external capability will give you a definite edge.

“Regain control and shape customer experience.”

If you are busy reviewing content, then who shapes the customer experience? Is it Sales? IT? Ideally, it is a combination of all applicable departments, collaborating to design and execute a stellar customer experience. CMOs are uniquely positioned to head up such cross-departmental collaborations.

How to make it happen:

  • Gather customer data and insights that identify pain points and prevailing trends.
  • Through these insights, work with your cross-departmental team to anticipate customer needs and create seamless interactions.
  • Ensure your team cultivates each phase of the customer journey.

“Realign technology vision as an innovation driver.”

Your martech stack should make CMO life easier, but that takes planning and ongoing analysis. You need a fully integrated system that allows you to quickly pivot when initiatives aren’t working and capitalize when they are. Further, your system needs to quickly provide you with the data you need to create innovative initiatives that serve customers.

How to make it happen:

  • Reassess your current technology. Make sure you have the tools you need to achieve your goals – not just a bunch of trendy, shiny objects that don’t serve your needs.
  • Make sure your tools can integrate online and offline data, and instantly provide you with customer feedback and insights.
  • Ensure your technology gives you the deep-dive customer insights you need to come up with creative new campaigns.

An industry partner can give you a balanced and unbiased assessment of your existing processes, then help you take your marketing program to the next level. This kind of evaluation can help you optimize processes and align data, all to deliver a maximum return on investment that generates growth.

Tegrita can help you assess current efforts, then build an ideal digital marketing strategy roadmap.

To get you started, we’ve put tougher a Strategic Roadmapping Playbook to outline the process and provide some of the templates that we use when we work with clients like you. Click here to get your own Roadmap Toolkit.

Contact us today to discuss your needs and find out how we can help.

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Brandi Starr

Chief Operating Officer | Managing Consultant at Tegrita
Brandi Starr is a true Modern Marketing Maven; she believes marketing magic happens at the intersection of strategy, creativity, and technology. As Chief Operating Officer at Tegrita Brandi helps companies of varying sizes to attract, convert, close, and retain customers using technology. Brandi is the Co-Author of CMO to CRO, The Revenue Takeover by The Next Generation Executive and the host of the Revenue Rehab podcast.