How CMOs Can Become ‘Indispensable’ Growth Drivers

By Stacey Danheiser

You may have heard that Coca-Cola’s Global CMO, Marcos de Quinto, is retiring this year, and they are not backfilling his position. Instead, they are consolidating marketing, customer and commercial leadership strategy under a new leader—the Chief Growth Officer.

As a lifelong marketer, I’ll admit that this news stings a bit. But I’m not surprised. Trends have not been favorable for CMOs in the past several years due to digital disruption and the expectation that CMO’s need to be more growth-oriented, innovative and tech savvy than they’ve ever been.

According to this recent Accenture report, CEOs are most likely to fire the CMO first if growth targets are not met. This seems logical when you consider that CMOs—more so than any other C-suite position—are supposed to have an end-to-end view of the customer, identify trends, and make strategic recommendations to outsmart and surpass the competition.

This requires CMOs to step out of their traditional marketing functions and take on a broader role in creating relevant and memorable interactions at all touch points throughout the entire customer lifecycle. If they fail to do this, they risk losing customers, business revenue—and even their jobs.

Clearly, today’s CMOs are expected to fulfill a more challenging role than ever before. But, at the same time, they are being presented with the opportunity to step up and to lead the charge in building strategies and processes to drive ‘customer obsession’ across the organization.

Today’s marketers need to be aligned with the customer

Customers are completing up to 70% of the buying process alone online before they contact your organization. This means that CMOs and the entire marketing department are now responsible for helping buyers navigate piles of information before they contact a sales person.

It also means that your marketing team better be aligned with how customers make decisions, what messages will resonate, and what type of content will help. But we all know that marketers are not spending enough time to figure this out. In fact, companies are only spending 4% of their marketing budget to conduct market research versus 30% on creating new content.

The result? Only 25% of CMOs are confident as to how to delight their customers. And over half feel that a large portion of their marketing budgets are wasted and not delivering the results the business expects.

As a marketer, you may be constantly collecting customer data but it really amounts to nothing if you’re not able to track it back to the individual customer as they flit across multiple channels. Nailing the customer identity is the key to creating positive and effective customer engagements.

The big question is…

Is your marketing team driving innovation and growth?

Besides being data-driven, CMOs need to focus on accelerating growth for their organization by adopting innovative approaches. If you aren’t there yet, you can start doing it by:

  1. Nurturing a learning mindset

Marketing is a fast-paced field. Unless you are spending enough time and resources to constantly educate yourself and your team, it’s difficult to survive, let alone thrive Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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