Today’s CMO is being forced to adapt to their evolving roles and embrace a range of new responsibilities, from overseeing customer service, to top-line growth. Paul Smith VP and GM for Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud in EMEA offers 4 tips on how to adapt to this new marketing world.
Even compared to just five years ago, marketing is a vastly different discipline. Although a CMO’s responsibilities vary wildly across companies and industries, the majority of CMOs know they must adjust quickly to keep pace with what is becoming an increasingly fragmented and expanding landscape.
The new CMO Report from Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud and Deloitte reveals how modern CMOs are being forced to adapt to their evolving roles and embrace a range of new responsibilities, from overseeing customer service, to top-line growth. How can they even begin to tackle this?
1. Operate in real time
The digital era has placed the power firmly in the hands of the customer. They expect to get the content they want, whenever they want, and on whatever device they want. Everything happens in real time for customers and they expect the same speedy response from businesses. Despite this, many marketing teams still operate under quarterly campaign calendars, and this leaves many companies a step behind their customers and consequently their competitors.
Being able to operate across all platforms and devices, from social to email to mobile, isn’t just a priority for the modern CMO – it’s a necessity. The CMO report found that web personalisation and marketing automation were the top two areas where CMOs planned to focus more efforts this year. To successfully reduce the time lag between customer action and brand response requires investments in simple and seamless technology, but also a shift in the people and processes they follow. Ensuring an appropriate level of resource to tackle today’s always-on culture is crucial.
2. Become quantitative and creative
Changing customer needs and behaviours have also led to a demand for marketers to get to grips with micro and macro data, allowing them to build a relationship and loyalty with a customer through detailed insights. Fifty-two per cent of CMOs surveyed indicated an increasing need to hire marketers with data and analytics expertise – yet this, they said, is their biggest challenge due to a lack of sufficient experience in the workforce.
While bringing in support will help, CMOs themselves also need to understand data in order to truly be able to personalise and optimise campaigns, and to develop and nurture the requisite skills within their own teams. The responsibility of turning data-having into data-doing now falls squarely at their feet.
3. Seize control of the customer journey
With the pressure building for marketers to operate in real time, CMOs need to position themselves at every possible customer touch point to ensure they have a full overview of customer-facing operations. They have to take control of the customer journey.
On reflection this is a logical step, as the CMO report found that the role of the CMO is broadening to span across different departments at an increasing date – from social media and PR, to CSR. ExactTarget Marketing Cloud found that marketers also have the ultimate responsibility for forging a seamless customer journey between various teams, making sure they collaborate effectively to deliver a consistent brand voice, and service.
While CMOs feel they have to own the customer experience, with 38% perceiving an increased role in customer service, 23% don’t feel adequately prepared to address this broader remit, which oversees everything from social media post, to checkout. To tackle this effectively, the CMO has to ensure they have a stellar platform that can support this process, facilitating this more unified, collaborative approach.
4. Master the metrics that matter
With CMOs now expected to oversee a range of departments across the business, including sales pipeline, they are now also required to prove the value of their efforts to their C-suite colleagues. Most significantly, the report revealed that CMOs are now feeling the pressure of generating revenue growth more than ever before. 53 per cent of CMOs surveyed stated that their accountability to deliver business results has increased, which is no real surprise now they’re responsible for so many touch points on the customer journey.
Measuring ROI goes hand in hand with the need to drive revenue, and many CMOs will see budgets rise this year as they invest in technology and talent to address rising expectations. 53 per cent of CMOs said ROI is the metric to judge success, yet ROI in marketing has traditionally been difficult to measure, with different stakeholders within the company evaluating success based on different variables. The C-suite needs to be aligned, and educated on a consistent metric, which in today’s always-on culture has to be the success of the customer journey. Marketers need to stop wrestling with ROIs they can’t measure and focus on monitoring the intelligence they can. The platforms they use to measure and engage will allow them to see where a customer is on their journey in real-time, but also identify weaker points where people fall off the path to purchase, helping them to identify and close the loop.
As these findings suggest, the evolving nature of the CMO places a great deal of new responsibility on their shoulders. But with this comes an opportunity to make many coveted marketing aspirations a reality – from consistency of brand message and voice, to building a seamless customer journey.
By Paul Smith
VP and GM
Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud in EMEA
View the CMO report here