Chief Marketing Officer’s are more challenged than ever before. In this CMO Talk video segment, I answer questions related to the role of the CMO today. Questions were asked by Suresh Thomas (GM, marketing with Strategic Marketing Services). Take aways are: focus on meeting objectives, but invest in getting your marketing foundation fixed. 

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How I learned to be objective driven the hard way

It took me years to fully understand the importance of setting marketing objectives. Or – should I say – learn to set the right marketing objectives. For too many years, my marketing understanding was limited to activities. I would get excited about certain activities. And back then I would manage my teams based on activities, not based on meeting important marketing objectives.

There is nothing wrong with marketing activities, but they need to be planned, executed and monitored with the end objective clearly in focus. When that happens, marketing organizations are no longer deadline driven, but objective driven (video about that here). Watch the CMO Talk below. 

Many CMO’s today are facing the same challenge. Now even more so because of the new digital and mobile channels. The hardest job for a CMO today is to prioritize. And what I aim to advocate in the video below; prioritize with the end goal in mind at all times. As so famously said by Stephen Covey.

The marketing foundation makes or breaks your success

In the second part of the video, I refer to the marketing foundation. The marketing foundation involves everything that is required for your activities to succeed. Talking to CMO’s it seems that most aren’t too focused on getting the marketing foundation fixed. And many do not seem to understand the importance – let display any sense of urgency to deal with it.

Based on hundreds of conversations with CMO’s, VP’s of marketing, brand managers and other marketing managers, it seems that there are 3 main marketing foundation components which most do not give enough attention. Yet each of these have a significant impact on the success of marketing activities.

They are …

    1. No deep understanding of which problems the brand solves for the prospects (customers). This is required in order to fully understand how to communicate the proposition. Most CMO’s aren’t allotting enough time and resources for acquiring  customer insights.
    2. No plan for data and customer profiling. Most direct communication from all verticals is still based on a one-size-fits all approach. Brands need to build customer profiles, capture data and use the information to improve targeting and relevance of communication.
    3. No plan for the “always on real time marketing organization”. To many CMO’s this problem is not addressed at all. And I can related to that. Because the speed of which marketers should be able to react is a huge organizational headache. Not to mention the initial cost implications inherited in the real-time marketing model. Question is; can that investment provide ROI. I think so. But more about that another time.

Are you a CMO? Which challenges are you facing right now? I would love to hear from you to my email address – click here to write me an email.  If you’d like to have a CMO Talk with me, I am always happy to talk.

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