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In most organizations, the marketing team is often seen as a cost centre. The views of marketers usually get marginalized in boardroom meetings. Head of Sales attempts to dictate the terms of marketing strategy. There were also instances of a recent star sales performer influencing the entrepreneur on positioning the product.
Adding salt to the wound, the entrepreneur and rest of senior management usually expect short-term results from the marketing team. When CMO fails to deliver the numbers, it affects the ones guiding the team. As a result, CMO will be even forced to listen to Head of Sales. Eventually, it leads the marketing head to take orders from the sales team.
But here is the good news. The role of CMO is dynamically changing like never before. Questioning the accountability of marketing budget, resource and performance pushed CMO to transform completely himself to a new animal.
For the last 4 years, CMO has been adding more value to the whole process and thus, achieving commendable success. Here it's why; this is the high time for CEO to listen to the advice of CMO more seriously.
Effective usage of data
Salesforce's most recent report “2016 State of Marketing” indicates that 83% of top teams use customer data (e.g., email or phone data) to segment or target digital ads. Now, marketing team tracks the demography data, website behaviour data, and customer data. The marketing team tracks every penny spent just like how CFOs maintain the accounting book.
Actionable insights, powered by data-driven analytics, bring true value to business. Now, senior marketing heads are relatively less reluctant in accepting the quantitative objectives of an organization, thanks to data accessibility helping to make meaningful decisions.
Increase exposure of Data
CEOs always consider Expected ROI one of those mysteries hard to unlock! But the situation has changed for the good as CMO’s involvement with the data has proved to be beneficial. CMO works closely with the data to analyse the past marketing results. To a large extent the analytics remove the guesswork in giving the credit for the actual sales. So much so CMO can justify the next budget allocation without being vague.
Industry benchmark data
With various agencies and marketing research firms publishing the data, CEOs can measure the performance of marketing team. Gone are the days where cost per lead and cost per sale targets were set without serious analysis. The benchmark data is not just confined to leads and sale. Now, CMO is having the industry benchmark data of engagement, online millennial behaviour, and the customer journey before and after purchase.
Game changer Technologies
In its report, Gartner predicts that "By 2017 the CMO will Spend More on IT Than the CIO". Embracing the new age technologies has led to a paradigm shift in digital marketing. In particular, the tracking technologies have turned into big indicators to measure the performance of your business goals.
Marketers have quickly welcomed the rise of mobile, cloud computing, IOT for their own good. They are equipped with new tools to reach and refine the audience network of Google, Twitter, and Facebook.
With Omni-channel capabilities, the marketing team is getting closer to customers and prospects on a real time basis. Changes are happening in both tactical and strategic level. If this trend continues to reign, there is a possibility for CIO team to become a supporting team to CMO team. With unprecedented advances in technology, CMO is in a better place to envision the future for the organization.
Deep Understanding of Customer Behaviour
Bringing new customers aboard is not the only challenge today’s marketing face but retaining existing customers also tops their list. Thanks to social media, customer experience has gathered prominent place in digital marketing. Marketers have a lot of roles to play: customer service representative, trouble shooter, consultant, and expert. Marketers are the first ones to know when there is a crisis and must be prepared to deliver a warm experience in a brief time even then. Satisfied customers are the only reason for marketers to celebrate.
If anyone who can understand the customer journey in its full picture, it is none other than CMO. The accuracy of behavioural targeting is almost available. CMO collaborates the different bits of data and enables smooth customer journey. CMO has the uncanny upper hand to visualize the complex customer journey because he always listens and monitors the customer.
Bringing more prospects
The constant pressure for getting enquiries in b2b and sales in b2c pushed CMO to explore new technologies. With new technologies, marketer can predict the revenue pipeline, forecast the sales, defines the channels to up sell and cross sell the services. The linear behaviour of choosing the vendor is rapidly diminishing and thus, brand recall is imperative. Marketing team can offer insights to new business goals. In every touch points of prospects, marketers can feed the highly relevant content.
Overcoming the challenges
In order to stay in business, understanding the latest trends is a must. CMO can use marketing insights from the big data to keep the company ahead in the game. To create content, it takes a lot of thought, time, resource and money. Upon that, the biggest challenge is to make people aware of the brand voice. CMO chooses the right platforms, builds the audience and engage with the audience. In the marketing mix, allocating the budget to the right channel has never been easy. The challenge a CEO faces is not in investing the money to achieve the business goals but in knowing where to spend it for the desired outcomes.
To conclude, it’s time for you to consider CMO a second commander in chief when it comes to operations. As CMO can never take an authoritarian stand considering he has to work closely with CIO, CFO and others to achieve the business goals. In order to achieve success in employee advocacy, product positioning, improving sales and offering great customer experience, CMO also must work closely with marketing teams and other key teams such as finance team, sales team, product development team and customer service team.