CMOs are becoming growth marketers

CMOs have made progress in asserting themselves as business leaders, not just leading the marketing department. These days, CMOs have responsibilities spanning both classical marketing excellence and development of business growth strategies. They lead how the organization could win with operational, distribution, and portfolio management excellence. Some of the organizations even term their CMOs as CIOs – “Chief Innovation Officer”. CMOs have increased their scope and a survey reveals that CMOs must –

  • Prove their value against business growth and revenue objectives

With accountability expectations on the rise, 54% of CMOs identified meeting revenue targets as their most important business driver. Meeting profit targets (16%), increasing shareholder value (13%), and growing market share (13%) round out the list of objectives to which they map performance. While business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) respondents both work toward top-line results, B2B CMOs are much more profit aware (22%) than their B2C peers (10%).


  • Tie marketing goals to growth drivers by developing new customers and products

The tight alignment of marketing objectives is to increase revenue growth by finding new customers or expanding product offerings. To drive new business growth, the CMOs have started to assume responsibility for a Research and Development (R&D) function that serves as a business innovation incubator developing and commercializing new products and business models.

  • Invest more time in directing overall planning and operational strategies

Evolved CMOs are positioning themselves for a broader leadership role, they aim to expand their leadership and influence general business strategy.  Today’s CMOs work in a data-driven customer-empowered world. To thrive, they must be proficient in digital, immersed in data analytics, able to deliver an exceptional cross-channel customer experience, and dedicated to delivering measurable business results. CMOs know that the evolution of their role requires growth in knowledge, skill, and competency,particularly in the areas of analytics and the use of technology. CMOs face challenges in turning large amounts of data into actionable customer insights because:

  • A single view of the customer is not yet commonplace
  • Siloed access to data and systems limits progress.
  • Insufficient data volume
  • Lack of quality of data

CMOs are recognizing that effective customer engagement requires technology. The power and speed of technology will be a key differentiator for businesses, and CMOs are taking notice. Evolved CMOs must collaborate with their CIOs to build a digital technology vision, outline the priorities, and jointly lead marketing technology implementation. To ensure marketing technology purchase decisions integrate with the wider enterprise technology infrastructure, many of CMOs partner with the CIO when procuring marketing technology.

With marketing now requiring technology to run, CMOs who are not engaged in marketing technology are abdicating their success to others. These CMOs must prioritize involvement in technology evaluation and decisions or get left behind by nimbler technology-minded peers. Take the first steps by adding a marketing technologist to your team to clearly set business requirements and translate them to the technology and marketing organizations.

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