What can CMOs do to stay ahead of the curve?
In our previous post, we discussed why in today’s complex, evolving, and customer-driven marketplace, CMOs must adopt customer technology solutions to stay ahead of the curve. Having the right business capabilities provide the fundamental infrastructure that enables organizations to not only withstand, but to adapt to and benefit from shifts in the marketplace
How might properly orchestrated business capabilities interact to create compelling customer experiences?
We divide business capabilities into two distinct categories: core and supporting.
Customer experience management is all about delivering personalized experiences in order to increase and retain engagement in a dynamic, customer-driven marketplace.
Insights and measurements relate to the increasing need to show real financial results (e.g., ROI and cost efficiency) for all digital marketing efforts. CMOs require real-time, accelerated decision-making when it comes to customer interactions, and that’s what this capability is for.
Operations are the engine that drives execution, automation and integration of all marketing-related activities.
Supporting capabilities are those that make the core capabilities possible. They are no less important than the inner-layer of capabilities
The people part refers to the recruitment, development, and utilization of talent. Because new and specialized marketing skills are now needed to support the marketing function, CMOs have been prompted to rethink their sourcing model. The talent they bring on board needs specific skill-sets - data science and engineering just to name a few.
The statistic we shared earlier about the 3,500 marketing solutions correlates to the technology capability. With the flux in automation and a seeming daily-dose of digital disruption, the right technology is key. The bandwagon or “what’s trending” approach will not get you far. Be judicious and selective when determining which technologies are right for your organization.
Without process and governance, the capabilities would be all for nought. Well, it would be far less effective than it has the potential to be. These are the policies and procedures implemented to ensure that the execution of all other capabilities can be done in an integrated fashion.
Marketing and innovation should go hand-in-hand
There is one final capability that exists outside of, but still very much encompasses, the core and supporting capabilities: innovation. The importance of innovation cannot be over-emphasized. In fact, in Gartner’s 2015 CMO Spend Survey, they found that “71% of marketers have an actual innovation budget, which averages about 10% of overall marketing spend.” Whether it’s developing new vendor management models, building deeper and more actionable customer insights, or expanding their ecosystem of tools, technologies, and partners, innovation cuts across ALL capabilities.
CMOs are looking beyond marketing to influence corporate strategy
CMO’s are pioneering enterprise-wide digital transformation. The CMO role and experience is unique in that they contribute an imaginative perspective, their approaches may tend to be unconventional in nature and they may be keener to test the limits. The new generation of CMO is highly data literate and can transform the data into a story and an action plan. However, it is not sufficient to just reach adoption and implementation of these digital technologies, it is equally crucial that CMOs achieve buy-in and collective alignment with the C-Suite in order to influence organizational objectives and strategic direction.
In order to be successful transformational leaders, CMOs need to ask their executive peers what the challenges facing the organization are and how marketing can help overcome them. They need to understand the strategic priorities of each officer and determine ways to align with them. Too often is the case that the C-Suite misunderstands the marketing vision ('what is digital marketing?', in particular) and how marketing contributes to driving top-line revenue and profit growth.
Marketing departments need to develop stringent measurements of marketing ROI to continue to gain C-Suite influence. If CMOs can task their teams to find a way to measure and report marketing results, they will be able to clearly illustrate how investing in digital solutions can deliver value across the organization and solve broader business problems of interest to other executives.
The C-Suite needs to work collaboratively to win the digital customer
CMOs need to forge alliances across the C-Suite. They need to utilize their marketing functional expertise and elevate it contribute to driving organizational growth. There are many opportunities for resources and budget to be shared across business capabilities to reach shared organizational goals. Notably, CMO and CTO collaboration is key to produce a solution that is also sensitive to customer preferences, therefore, bridging functionality and experience.
CMOs are operating increasingly as “brand stewards”, leading the overall customer experience changes that are needed at all customer moment and context touch points across the organization. This has increasingly required leadership, collaboration and integration with customer service, product, sales, legal/regulatory, technology and data/analytics. Faced with the digital disruption where the market is competing to develop predictive analysis, mobile applications, and customer relationship management capabilities, CMOs need to align with CDOs, CFOs, and CTOs to prepare for and drive the innovation pipeline.
Are CMOs the next CEOs?
The digital disruption is paving the way for CMO’s to have greater influence and power among C-Suite management. It is the CMOs responsibility to the C-Suite to develop and oversee the implementation of marketing strategy. Moreover, the role and skill-sets of the CMO are broadening to merge creative marketing capability, with the capacity for data analytics, and the vision to drive the digital transformation. Given the mass adoption of digital technologies, namely, cloud computing, advanced predictive analytics, mobile channels, and social media technologies – CMOs must have a more customer-centric attitude to strategize beyond conventional marketing approaches and guidelines.
Executives need to make strategic investments in marketing technologies and enterprise branding with the new reality that many consumers are well into their decision-making cycle once they even first engage with brands. Given the CMOs unique involvement in customer experience capabilities they stand to gain influence by representing the voice of the consumer, while concurrently representing the voice of power that is communicating directly back to consumers. CEO’s and other executives benefit by having an opportunity to reconnect with consumers and their brand experiences to better inform their functional priorities.
Needless to say, a lot has changed, out of necessity, since the Winton Motor Carriage ad. Outdated are the notions of one-size-fits-all marketing campaigns and marketing as only an advertising or brand awareness function.