Insights from the Chief Marketing Officer

Insights from the Chief Marketing Officer

What are the things that keep you awake at night?

The answer is “quite a bit” if you are a Chief Marketing Officer working in the tumultuous business environment that exists today.

52% of the 362 participating marketers in IBM’s 2021 Global Survey on the state of marketing said that they are not prepared for the degree of complexity they anticipate to experience over the next five years.

This information is based on the findings of the survey. In that case, what kinds of problems are going to keep CMOs up at night? Take a look at these five examples of them:

1. Managing Your Presence on Social Media

According to Jeff Hayzlett, a former chief marketing officer of Kodak, social media is forcing chief marketing officers to “face the truths about business. When we first started out, we had complete control over how we wanted clients to interact with us. Customers now have the ability to talk and publish and blog and share whatever they like. They are in complete control of the situation at all times thanks to social media.

Hayzlett continues by stating that some companies have been hesitant to join social media out of apprehension that they would lose control over their brand. He claims that the interests of business have never been in control, even from the beginning. He emphasizes how important it is for corporations to become “radically open.”

According to Hayzlett, chief marketing officers (CMOs) may achieve this goal by using a strategy that he refers to as the “4 E’s,” which stands for “engage, educate, excite, and evangelize.” Companies have a responsibility to be honest with themselves about “who you are, what you are, and what you aspire to be.” Gain control by relinquishing some of that power.

2. Merging Channel Gaps

The inability of marketers to successfully connect internet and conventional channels is a continuing problem. According to the findings of the IBM survey, just 65% of respondents are reporting and evaluating the data on their website’s visitors.

Only a third of these businesses make use of this information to target one-to-one offers or communications via digital channels. Fewer than one in five businesses create one-to-one offers via conventional distribution channels using data collected online.

According to the findings of the survey, just 34% of marketing firms have an advanced strategy for spending resources and engaging clients across different channels. When asked what the most significant obstacle will be for them over the next three to five years, 45% of the respondents pointed to the expanding number of available channels and devices. More than half of those questioned are increasing their expenditure in an effort to find a solution to this problem.

Seventy one percent agree that integration across owned, earned, and paid media is critical, but only twenty nine percent say that they are successful at really addressing it.

The report continues by stating that marketers need to map out a “engagement of customers across all channels and business functions, define metrics and analytics that meet the rigor required at the executive level, and identify quick wins that showcase the success of cross-channel marketing in business terms so that they can then expand to other areas.”

The most important takeaway from this analysis is that “integration is required to deliver on the promise of digital.

3. Accepting and Adopting New Technologies

In a recent post on the Customer Think blog, Lorena Harris, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Vantiv, said that forward-thinking marketing and sales automation solutions are on the cusp of becoming ubiquitous. These technologies will generate a deluge of data, which will place an even greater emphasis on the process of monitoring and evaluating each and every marketing function.

According to her, “the corporate marketing function will witness a radical transformation in structure over the course of this decade.”

During a webinar hosted by Marketo, Harris presents an overview of a Marketing Maturity Journey that may be accomplished with the help of marketing automation technologies. According to the findings, the use of marketing automation systems may result in an improvement in revenue target goal achievement of anywhere from sixty percent to one hundred percent. These tools are as follows:

  • Demand Generation: methods include the generation of content, integration of CRM systems, and scoring of leads
  • Multi-channel program delivery, lead scoring and nurturing, alignment of sales and marketing, and linkage to a third party system are all components of integrated marketing.
  • A continual focus on analytics and the optimization of sales and marketing resources is at the heart of Revenue Performance Management.

CMOs now have the ability to empower their employees in a way that is both more cost-effective and more scalable than it has ever been before thanks to the growth of cloud-based marketing tools.

Teams have a broad number of alternatives available to them, and they may choose from things like customer relationship management (CRM), lead nurturing, paid search management, A/B landing page testing, social media management, and analytics.

And if they don’t take use of the technology, their days may be numbered since their rivals will undoubtedly employ the technology.

4. Managing the Metrics and Return on Investment

In his presentation at the most recent CMO Exchange, Steven Cook, a former chief marketing officer of Samsung and a member of the Advisory Board of the CMO Council, recommends, “It’s time to increase the CMO standard.” He is of the opinion that we have arrived at the “tipping point” necessary to build a new and more effective role for CMOs.

According to Cook, the conventional function of the CMO is giving way to that of a Commercial Growth Accelerator, which is characterized by the following five important attributes:

  • Association (People Engagement)
  • Status or renown (Authentic, Transparent)
  • Relevant Reimaging (Compelling Value Proposition)
  • The Financial Result and Revenue (Metrics that matter)
  • Real Time (Responsive and agile)

Tim Suther, CMO of Acxiom, makes the assertion that savvy marketers use “narrowcasting” in a blog post written by Cook and published on They “increasingly put the consumer first and let the channel and product choices follow,” which means that they prioritize the customer more and more.

They generate actionable insights not just with large amounts of data, but also with superior data that is rooted in the intersection of the knowledge that they and their most significant partners hold.

When CMOs have access to greater data, they are in a position to make more informed choices. In order for them to do this task effectively, they need to:

  • Gather information about customers from a wide range of sources, including those located inside the company as well as those located outside the company.
  • Data about customers should be shared across the firm.
  • Educate each and every employee on the importance of the consumer.
  • Determine objective measures of success.
  • Establish an established protocol for the evaluation of marketing performance.
  • Based on the data, make updates and improvements to the marketing activities.
  • Make use of the data to tailor your marketing efforts to certain audiences.

It is no longer possible to disregard the data in any way. The chief marketing officer who is most likely to be successful in the future will be the one who makes effective use of data not just to innovate but also to form a more meaningful connection with customers.

5. Being a Force for Change

It is quite clear that change itself is the preeminent challenge that CMOs must face. As was indicated earlier, 52 percent of marketers surveyed for IBM’s research on the state of marketing said they do not feel adequately prepared for the increased levels of complexity they anticipate seeing in the years ahead.

In order to successfully navigate the increasingly complicated terrain and to effectively lead real change, the CMOs of the future will need to become more nimble. Change is occurring in every aspect of business, from giving customers more agency to moving toward a mobile-first society. The rate of change is only going to pick up speed as time goes on.

The CMO’s responsibilities have expanded in recent years to include those of Chief Change Identifier, Chief Change Agent, and Chief Change Manager. The capability of the chief marketing officer (CMO) to capitalize on change in order to more effectively meet the ever-evolving needs and requirements of consumers is going to be an essential component of the successful company of the future.

The only constant is change itself. Whether you are prepared or not, a new revolution has begun.

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