The Economist calls this the age of the “entrepreneurial CMO” where a new generation of marketing chiefs will emerge, professionals known for their speed, agility, technological savvy and ability to scale on a tight budget.
Forrester believes that in 2015, CMOs should step forward and take responsibility for turning the enterprise toward the customer. According to Forrester only 22% of CMOs focus on customer retention as a top priority. We believe it’s time to make customer engagement a key success metric for the whole company.
The digital skill set of marketers is rapidly expanding, and, if you’re at the helm, here are six skills you’ll need to hone in order to be successful.
- Be a Data Wizard – Research from IBM reveals that enterprises where the CMO and CIO worked well together were likely to see a 76 percent increase in revenues and profitability, and research from Gartner states the CMO may have a bigger IT budget than that of the CIO
- Be Customer-Centric – To win their loyalty, you’ve got to solve their problems and make their lives easier; as CMO you have unique visibility into their unmet needs.
- Be a Storyteller and a Storymaker – According to Forbes, this will be the year CMOs become brand publishers. They will act as heads of their brand’s publishing house, “overseeing the entire spectrum of brand engagement, increasing the quality of their output, and improving the perceived value of digital interactions with customers and prospects.”
- Be Agile – Executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles conducted research on CMOs over an 18 month period and found that: “[Agile CMOs don’t wait until the end of a long annual marketing planning cycle and only then analyze the results and make adjustments. Instead, their teams collaborate across marketing disciplines, turn the torrent of real-time information and feedback now available into immediately useful analytics, and make course corrections in marketing programs – and generate new ideas and test them as they go, on the fly.”
- Be a Silo-Buster – To break down silos, Forbes recommends fostering communication and cooperation between those team members who operate within silos. Search for a technology that unifies your data and gives you a complete picture of your consumer. Rally your team around your customers, and point out that teams who are focused on a singularity are hurting the customer experience.
- Be a Strong Leader – “Today’s CMOs work in a data-driven customer-empowered world. To thrive, they must be proficient in digital, immersed in data analytics, able to deliver an exceptional cross-channel customer experience, and dedicated to delivering measurable business results,” reports Forrester.