modern CMO is the company’s linchpin

The modern CMO is the company’s linchpin

Customers’ expectations vis-à-vis brands are changing rapidly and it is up to the CMO to respond and keep an organisation agile.

Marketing is crucial to a company’s success, with the CMO responsible for developing and implementing an effective marketing strategy. However, in the past few years, the CMO’s role has acquired a new dimension and is more important than ever.

A successful marketing team consists of a range of staff, each displaying a balance between creative and technical skills. Examples include a marketer who is good at data analysis in Excel, can come up with creative ideas for new campaigns and also has knowledge of sales.

It is essential to hire people who understand how they can use technology to create a unique customer experience that will lead to sales. A competent CMO will have these skills but he should also be able to connect with specialists in this area.

Three different types of CMO

Research published by Harvard Business Review shows that the CMO used to have the shortest lifespan within the C-suite. CMOs can be categorised into three different types. The sales support CMO is responsible for campaigns and events, while the strategic CMO focusses on brands and business development. The commercial CMO brings sales, marketing and product development together. Although sales support is the CMO’s most usual role, with digital transformation a central element, there is now a shift underway.

The modern CMO is involved in the entire customer journey and plays a key role in all aspects of the business. Essential to that role is an alignment between marketing strategy and business strategy and close collaboration with the CEO as teamwork between the marketing department and the remainder of the organisation is becoming more and more valuable.

New challenges

Of course, the role of the CMO also comes with challenges. It is often a balancing act between creating and leading a great brand and, at the same time, producing sufficient turnover. The continuous flow of leads that must be generated and converted in a short space of time puts pressure on the CMO.

Companies like Apple and Nike are reallocating their marketing budgets towards creating fans, fostering relationships and servicing the entire customer life cycle, a model for a sustainable business that is not always acknowledged. But a good CMO understands the model’s value and, through smart investments in the marketing budget, can contribute to building a viable business.

Value added by marketing

At the end of the day, it is the customer who decides whether or not to buy. Here, marketing professionals can add value because they ensure that the entire chain functions properly and they make it easy and appealing for the customer to go ahead with a purchase.
There is an inextricable link between marketing and technology ‒ between the right people with the right qualifications on the one hand and digital processes on the other ‒ and that link reinforces an organisation’s position in the market. With the right strategy to integrate teams and technology, a company’s CMO can set the course towards a successful future.

Would you like to learn more about the role of the modern CMO?

Listen to the podcast with Sultan Semlali (EMEA Customer Transformation Director, Sitecore) and presenter Harry Boers (Digital Strategist).

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