The Evolving Role of the CMO

July 8, 2015

in Market Your Brand

Authored by Zubin Mowlavi

The Evolving Role of the CMO

Digital technology has lowered the barriers that separate business sectors, which has radically changed the role of CMO. Delivering growth is largely dependent on enhancing the customer experience and building relationships with potential brand advocates. This requires excellent marketing capabilities, but also connecting marketing efforts with those of the organization at large. The activities highlighted below are now necessary for CMOs.

Establish a foundation of communication

The CMO needs to motivate and help drive required changes through an organization, most notably with the customer experience. Providing an engaging customer experience across all divisions within an organization is critical, because an inconsistent experience can — and will — drive buyers to your myriad competitors. There are simply too many buying options to risk losing prospective customers because of poor user experience.  Improving a customer journey requires the CMO to work with other leaders in the company who have responsibility over other key points in the buying process.

The CMO needs to collaborate with sales, the COO, customer service and others to establish a course of action, determining which functions handle each interaction, and using this to ensure a positive customer experience. With so many departments needing to come together to deliver on a customer journey, the CMO has to maintain connection between all branches.

In doing this, the CMO is now asked to move beyond orchestrating processes across an organization, and be more hands on with each division. CMOs, using their communications skills, are now moving into positions that create culture shifts within a company. CMOs need to excel at these skills to be successful. Forging strong working relationships with the C-suite, bridging departments through communication, and showing the value of marketing is becoming key to a CMO’s effectiveness.

Strategize across all business units

Understanding the customer experience can be complicated. A customer may go online, conduct “showrooming” comparisons, scan a QR code, or more. Designing an engaging experience across all touch-points takes broader, more integrated efforts across business units.

Today’s leading CMOs have learned to connect these disparate units through digital means, facilitating communications across units to ensure there are limited gaps in knowledge and understanding. To have the influence to help set business strategy for the company, CMOs need to translate customer insights into bottom-line terms, to gain the attention of C-suite members.

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