The Insight

June 12, 2020

The C in CMO does not stand for ‘Chief’

By iresearch
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The C in CMO does not stand for ‘Chief’

Since no one else wants to say this, I will just go ahead and put it out there:

More and more CMOs are getting frustrated at their jobs.

This is not for the fact that they do not love their jobs, but for the fact that the job has been dulled down to the extent which they were not even expecting.

No matter what fancy title they are given – from Chief Digital Officer to Chief Marketing Officer itself – that does nothing to change the scope of power which they should be given, but do not get.

The fun fact here is that no one will change this narrative if they do not take the bull by the horns themselves. Looking inwards, and at clients which we (at iResearch Services) have worked with in the past, here are some insights on making the CMO role great again.

C for What?

If you are a CMO and you still believe that the C in that title stands predominantly for ‘chief,’ that is the place where you have been getting it all wrong. Of course, chief is one of the things the C stands for, but it is last on the list.

If you will make the desired impact in that role while also enjoying your work, I have detailed a couple of other things which the letter stands for below:

1. Collaborating

Marketing is an all-encompassing term that should address the entire company as a whole, not just the product or service which such a company is offering. This means you, as a CMO, need to have an idea of what is going on in different departments of the company if you are to present your marketing campaigns in a wholesome manner.

Collaborations will also ensure you can get more done in lesser time than before.

For example, being in talks with the CIO of the same company will speed up the deployment of marketing campaigns and processes.

Many CIOs feel sidelined in the marketing process since they are usually only considered when it is time to choose and deploy the marketing platform, never before. This can make them unspirited towards the whole campaign which in turn affects your results.

If they were kept in the loop from the start, though, they will have a better understanding of your goal(s) and concept(s), be able to offer actionable advice and work with you to make better results happen.

Speaking of collaborations, integrating the sales team into your processes is also important.

We have worked with enough companies to know that there is usually a separation culture between the sales and marketing teams, which should not be so. While marketing is at the top and middle of the funnels, sales occupy a larger share of the base of the funnel.

Leveraging data from the sales team, the marketing department can also slim fit and adjust its strategies so much that they bring a better ROI to the table.

Now that I mention ROIs…

2. Convince

If you cannot convince the company of your importance, best believe that they will just see you as filling yet another vital role for them, and nothing more.

CMOs need to understand that the board of directors, CEO, CFOs or such other executives are not against them. It might just be that you are not communicating with them in the kind of language which they like to hear.

When launching a marketing campaign, we tend to do so in line with the company’s overall goals, mission, and vision. If that is true, then we have to consider the revenue model of the company too. Thus, just feeding them results and stats on how many impressions we have created for them/ reach of their campaign will not cut it.

If that is what you have been doing in the CMO role, now is the time to step up your game.

Switch to collecting the metrics and reports that will lighten up the room whenever you speak. Learn the language that these executives like to listen to, and factor that into your marketing too. That done, you will find out that they will listen to what you have to say even more.

Besides listening to what you have to say, convincing is the best way to getting what you need.

We have seen a lot of CMOs with great plans and detailed roadmaps to improved success, but they are not being given the kind of resources they need to make it happen. If you have been able to convince the board of your importance, they will gladly fund you to become even more important.

Afterall, that works for them too.

3. Contribute

Marketing is not just about running ads, putting up commercials and creating awareness. Sometimes, marketing is in the little things you do – from treating customers right to participating in the neighborhood fundraiser.

As the CMO, it is your job to know these things. Likewise, it is your job to venture these ideas and contribute them to meetings. Likewise, you are the voice of reason to help the company guide decisions it is about to make in such a way that it comes out as a marketing success, although passively.

I have been in so many meetings to know that the contributors are always regarded with high importance. When you are just a backstage player, though, no one rates you. When they don't rate you, best believe that they won’t see any reason to rate what you do either.

Go be the Best CMO now!

It is now evident that you have a lot of Cs to get through before you consider yourself the chief of marketing, even if that is what the tag on your door reads. If you can combine all the above, though, it won’t be long before your impact starts resonating through the entire company.

Then, just then, you would have earned the last C – and it would have been worth it!

Do any of these trends jump out?
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