Why CMOs need to become change agents

G2M Solutions founder and MD Chris Fell tells chief marketing officers to assume the role of change manager and invest in the whole B2B customer buying cycle, not just "random acts of marketing"

CMOs must assume the role of change manager if they’re to steer their organisations through the transformed lifecycle of the B2B buyer, an Australian inbound marketing consultant claims.

Speaking at an IDC event for technology marketing managers in Sydney on 29 October, G2M Solutions founder and MD, Chris Fell, said the rise of digital content and connectivity has revolutionised the B2B customer buying cycle by allowing them to control the information sourcing and decision-making process in a self-service way.

Fell pointed to a recent Corporate Executive Board (CEB) report on B2B marketing, which found today’s B2B buyer is 57 per cent along the purchasing journey on average before they engage directly with a vendor. Industry research also shows 85 per cent of B2B buyers now start the buying journey online.

“We are in the era of the buyer,” Fell told attendees. Today, customers “graze on content and information”, making it increasingly difficult for vendors to cut through the digital noise, he said. At the same time, consumers are getting better at blocking sales and marketing messages across channels, as well as pulling information how and when they want it.

Despite this, marketers continue to make the mistake of investing in “random acts of marketing” and short-term campaigns, rather than pursuing the customer throughout the entire buying cycle, Fell said – a process which can take 12 months or more.

“There is a growing chasm around lead generation, and it’s up to marketers to step into the gap, be closer to revenue and control that part of the [sales] funnel,” he claimed. “Marketers have got to have influence over the entire cycle.”

CMO interview: Building customer connections with art and science
13 customer experience trends to watch
Why digital natives are changing the face of customer delivery

According to Fell, one of the keys to meeting this challenge is investing in content marketing excellence, although he admitted the volume and type of content required today has grown exponentially. He pointed out 78 per cent of B2B customers start their buying journey on a company website.

“Marketers need to be producing buyer-oriented, locally relevant and multi-format content,” he said. Fell also claimed many CMOs lack a clear migration path for where they want to go, and said a host are still struggling to link conversion rates of website visitors through to leads and ultimately customers.

Another challenge is the massive gap in digital marketing skills in Australia, he said.

As a way forward, Fell advised marketers to invest heavily on technology platforms such as marketing automation and data set integration in order to respond dynamically to potential customers when they need to.

CMOs must also take responsibility for lead and revenue generation, and have a clear plan in place to assist customers transition from awareness, through to lead generation and inbound marketing.

“CMOs must act as change managers more than they ever have before,” he added.

RELATED ARTICLE: Content, data and integration should top CMO priority list

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

Getting your business ready for the Entrepreneurial Consumer

We all know the digital revolution has completely transformed the way consumers are interacting with brands, and that a lot of businesses are finding it hard to catch up. One way to closing this brand gap is to understand consumer behaviour and build a brand experience that meets these new needs.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Thanks for this. The key for me is the effective of governance where it dictates and sets the proactive policy when it comes to CX. Tech ...

Hitesh Parekh

6 lessons in modern marketing from a customer experience chief

Read more

Very well said “With today’s consumers more demanding of the brands and merchants they shop, it’s imperative for merchants to not just co...


CMO's top 10 martech stories for this week - 29 September

Read more

Very interesting article which touches on the importance of a feedback loop fuelled by customer and market insights. Ideally this scenari...

Andrew Reid

Building customer insights in the data and digital age

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in