November 8 2021 - Every company, no matter the size, should have a Chief Marketing Officer or CMO. A CMO is an executive who is conversant in and comfortable employing digital and social media marketing and can develop plans and goals with the executive team while leading their marketing team in implementing those plans.
What Does a CMO Do?
The duties of a CMO include increasing sales and ultimately the growth of the company by developing and implementing a comprehensive marketing strategy. While a CMO will undoubtedly get their hands dirty, increasing brand awareness, recognition, and loyalty with various advertising strategies, there is a much broader purpose for a CMO.
The goals of an effective CMP may include:
- Understanding a company's current position in the market
- Determining, with the other executive officers, where the company should be positioned in the future
- Developing a plan to achieve that future market position
- Implementing that plan
- Adapting to market forces and other forces as they disrupt progress on that plan and forming strategies to stay on target
- Determining, with the other executive officers, the next market position the company should strive for
A CMO will work closely with sales in order to assess current marketing strategies and turn those marketing insights into future sales. They will also direct the company's public relations efforts to ensure that internal and external public relations teams transmit a consistent message.
Why Does My Company Need a CMO?
Most companies need a CMO in order to respond to and harness recent years' technological advancements in marketing. Technology - most specifically, the internet, social media, and data analytics - has created new effective ways to reach current and potential customers and clients and provided the opportunity for a greater understanding of customers' consumer behavior.
Technology has also given the average consumer the ability to reach thousands f not millions of other people with a review, a tweet, or a blog post. In response, an influential CMO will act accordingly and use the same technology to influence consumers, position their company's products, and challenge competitors.
Can't I Just Outsource the CMO job?
Probably not. Fluency in the latest technology is not the only requirement to be a CMO. You could hire an excellent digital marketing firm that can get your potential customers' eyes on your page. However, it could be more beneficial to have an in-house executive to help determine the higher-level goals of the company, analyze current trends and consumer behavior, and strategize about how to achieve those goals. Good SEO and a slick website alone will not do that for you.
However, suppose company size and finances preclude the hiring of a full-time CMO. In that case, you might consider merging the CMO position with other responsibilities, calling your CMO Chief Customer Officer, Chief Client Officer, Chief Digital Officer, or Chief Growth Officer. Smaller companies might consider hiring a fractional CMO.
Ok, I'm Convinced. Who is Qualified to be a CMO?
If you cannot hire someone who is currently an effective CMO, consider someone with an MBA, experience in marketing, advertising, and sales, and a high degree of aptitude or skill in technology and data analytics. They should have leadership skills, good communication skills, and good business acumen
What Should a CMO do in the Early Days on the Job
First, a CMO should get to know the people they will be working with. Soft skills such as reading the company culture and fitting in are crucial to attaining the mutual cooperation a CMO needs to be effective.
Second, a CMO should get to know the product. A CMO must understand what they are selling in order to identify and market to the correct audience.
Third, a CMO should get to know the company's customers or clients to identify what drew the current buyers in so that they can effectively market to the company's target audience.
Fourth, a CMO needs to determine the company's priorities and goals. These may be slightly different from what is verbally expressed by the other executives. Observation will be the CMO's guide.
Last, a CMO should not be short-sighted. While managing the marketing team to achieve that quarter's goals is essential, it is equally important to have an overall strategy and plan for years to come. A CMO creates that plan by listening to the CEO and other executives and by analyzing the marketing data to identify what does and does not work to attract buyers.
A new CMO should set goals that are imminently attainable to create a culture of success and optimism within the marketing team and the company as a whole. The plan should be actionable, and the results should be measurable. When the plan period expires, the CMO should meet with their marketing team to analyze results and then meet with the executive team to share those results and proposals for the next plan period to improve upon those results.
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