Today’s global CMOs, regardless of sector, are facing the same challenge: digital transformation. New technologies are entering the market at lightning speed, and disruptors are springing up and challenging entire categories. As a result, traditional marketing organizations need to always be thinking two steps ahead, which can be difficult to do while trying to run a global marketing team and keep up with the evolving ecosystem.
The rapid integration of digital into nearly every aspect of marketing has completely changed the way marketers interact with their consumers and their agencies as well as other functions within their own organizations. Here are some things CMOs can do to keep pace with the changes while keeping their sanity intact.
Embrace Marketing Automation
Proving the value of marketing has never been an easy task. But in recent years, with the addition of ridiculous amounts of data and constantly-emerging marketing channels, proving value has become a bit of a nightmare. Add to this the fact that most CMOs are not techies – they’re simply people who have been forced into situations where they have to figure everything out or else. This is why it’s important for CMOs to embrace marketing automation tools that make it easy to read and share data. Better customer insights lead to better marketing outcomes.
Hire Those With Skills You Don’t Have
A lot of CMOs cut their marketing teeth during a time when digital was something “out there” that was taking place. But now digital is happening front and center and in their very own department. This means few CMOs have the skills necessary to constantly adapt, which means they need to hire marketers who can fill in that skills gap. They need to hire people who are proficient in using today’s technologies, can analyze mounds of data while constantly thinking strategy.
Finding marketers who wear multiple hats may become a trial, especially for those brands not located in major metropolitan areas. The next best bet is to create specialty teams who collaborate with each other. For instance, you may develop a “content center” whose team members are ninjas when it comes to creating and distributing content. You may also have a “marketing technology” team that specializes in testing and selecting the right tools and channels for distribution.
Think Like a Publisher
Back in the day, when you heard the word content, you tended to think of PDFs and brochures. But today’s consumers expect more. Today’s CMOs have to be in the publishing business and distribute content that is relevant and consistent across all channels. (Oh, and it has to educate as well. When you educate an audience, they tend to trust you more.) All of this is to say that CMOs need to stop thinking of themselves as CMOs and instead think of themselves as publishers whose goal is to use data to create integrated, meaningful experiences for their audience.
CMOs Must Coordinate Teams Efficiently
It is not uncommon, even for smaller, local businesses, to have parts of their marketing team located in another city, state, or even country. One of the biggest challenges for CMOs in this situation is to make sure all of these dispersed team members are working as a cohesive unit. This requires ensuring everyone is regularly communicating and sharing data, insights, and content. CMOs also must be able to be the voice of the translator that serves as a go-between of what a company does and what a customer needs.
This requires understanding the product roadmap while keeping your finger on the pulse of your customers’ needs and demands – always listening to those digital conversation taking place ‘out there.’ With all of these demands, it’s easy to see why some CMOs have trouble sleeping at night. But by following these guidelines, they can rest easy while proving their value.