The CMO’s Emerging Role, Part 4: Building Value for the Organization
As we’ve touched on in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, as chief marketing officer (CMO), your role has become more aligned with that of the chief information officer (CIO) and the CEO. To be successful in your position, you must take on an IT perspective in order to respond effectively to the digital transformation of the market. As the primary customer liaison and voice for your brand, you must also meet CEO mandates for top-line growth and revenue generation.
We looked at your new essential skill set in Part 2 and how and where to deploy those new skills in Part 3. In this Part 4, we tell you how to pull it all together to create value for your organization.
The measure of CMO performance in this day and age is how well he or she establishes seamless brand experiences and customer pathways between digital and physical environments. In other words, you must bridge any gaps that exist between what your brand promises and what it actually delivers.
Wearing your IT hat, you can use technology to enrich and enable customer interactions—both internally and externally. Put on your finance hat to take ownership of your share of the profit and loss pie; through greater responsibility you will earn greater authority—and a greater ability to further your mission.
Meshing Internal and External Branding
Your true power lies in the space where customer needs and company needs overlap. Alignment with the C-suite and mobilizing non-marketing colleagues to better serve customers should be your primary objective. It’s easier said than done, but your twin goals are to create value for the customer with products and services that meet their needs, and to create value for the company by increasing revenue and profit.
Start by focusing on big issues. Establish what these are for your customers and the company, and then focus your energies there. Spend time outside the marketing world engaging non-marketing associates to glean their insights and ensure they understand the brand’s mission and vision to the point of forwarding these ideals.
Make sure your marketing team has the right mix of skills—creative, analytical and leadership—to address the big issues you’ve identified. In addition, provide your team with the technology solutions that will advance customer engagement and satisfaction.
Your bag of tricks must also include detailed knowledge of your company’s products. It’s not enough to simply understand your customers and the market, even though these are key drivers of business impact. You must be able to speak your company’s language fluently.
The Biggest “Issue”: Customer Experience
During your due diligence to discover the big issues on which to focus your energies, consider the Walker study that points to customer experience as the key brand differentiator by 2020. Research shows that improving the customer experience leads to stronger customer loyalty, meaning more sales.In fact, a Gartner report on CMO leadership found that CEOs expect that a primary duty of their CMOs is to lead the customer experience across all touchpoints. It’s also your path to success. According to a survey of more than 1,200 senior marketers conducted by Content Loop, the most successful CMOs not only understood and addressed their companies’ top needs, but they understood customer needs and knew how to serve them.
Here are some strategies CMOs are employing to improve the customer experience:
Create a customer-focused culture: Begin by demonstrating the value that a great customer experience creates for everyone in your company. Reach consensus with colleagues about how to measure the success of your customer experience efforts. Align forces across the organization to facilitate a seamless customer experience at every customer touchpoint.
Tie performance/salary reviews to the customer-centric goal: First, develop customer-centric value statements that clearly articulate your customer focus. These will help employees understand what it means to truly focus on the customer and how to embody those values. Look for ways to motivate employees to provide top-notch service.
Use your data to create a unified view of the customer: Team up with your CIO and other department leaders to leverage data from across the organization to fully understand your customers. For example, connect marketing data with lead management, sales pipeline and CRM systems to measure the value to sales from marketing campaigns.
CMOs play a crucial role for companies looking to meet customer expectations and, thus, drive profitability moving forward. Zang helps CMOs manage their multiple responsibilities by providing a platform for embedding communication tools into solutions. With or without developer experience, CMOs can easily leverage Zang’s APIs to build applications and communication services that enable better interactions with customers. You already have a lot on your plate. Let Zang handle some of the technology for you.