Do you know what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a CMO today?

The world of marketing has radically changed. While marketing may have once been more about creativity and catchy tag lines, today’s marketing departments are undergoing a massive transformation and have been for the past three decades. Along with transforming the customer experience, marketing is perhaps one of the biggest and earliest benefactors of new technologies and digital transformation. This includes the shift to mobile, data and analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The advances have completely changed the role of marketing in virtually every business, as well as the role of the CMO.

The new marketing mandate for companies is growth. And today’s CMOs are the ones expected to unlock all the opportunities, using a combination of new technologies, new customer engagement platforms, and new ideas.

Sounds simple enough. Not really.

Thankfully, there are lots of tools and technologies to support the ever-expanding role of CMOs—no matter what industry they work in. In fact, we uncovered a great podcast from McKinsey & Company that charts the challenges and requirements for today’s CMOs to drive sustainable growth in an increasingly digital world. And it’s not just valuable for CMOs, but really for anyone in the C-Suite. Before you take a listen, consider just some of the monumental shifts that have taken place in marketing in the last few years alone:

  • Data availability: Never before has there been more data available to marketers. This is enabling breakthroughs in customer targeting, segmentation, personalization, and analytics. And it’s only getting better and more sophisticated. For companies, this requires sound data strategies and management, including understanding regulations and ensuring compliance, and it often falls under the CMO’s responsibility to get it done.
  • Faster path to business insights: The good news is that simplified apps and new business intelligence solutions are opening up data analytics to more people, including the CMO. With the ability to more quickly analyze the massive amounts of marketing data now available, CMOs can accelerate growth strategies with more effective campaigns with frequent testing to improve sales conversions.
  • Increase in digital media spend: Digital media spending is outpacing traditional channels, like TV, according to McKinsey. This is only expected to increase, while also forcing some industries like retail to more effectively blend the digital and physical worlds for customers. At the heart of it all is the CMO.
  • New world of metrics: Today’s advanced reporting and analytics tools for marketers combined with more ways to connect with customers—especially with mobile apps—are changing the landscape of what is measurable in marketing today. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL). Sales Qualified Leads (SQL). Funnel Conversion Rates. Brand awareness. Marketing spend per customer. Lifetime value of a customer (LTV). The list goes on, and CMOs are expected to be on top of it all.
  • More empowered, less loyal customers: The ability for customers to switch brands or try new brands is easier than ever. At the same time, competitors are getting more aggressive every day, especially smaller and more nimble, disruptive players. As a result, driving customer loyalty is also falling into the hands of today’s CMO, with many taking overall responsibility for the customer experience. 

To learn more on how today’s CMOs are being judged for success, and what they can do to stay ahead, listen to the complete McKinsey podcast below:

McKinsey Podcast: How to unlock marketing-led growth: Data, creativity, and credibility


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