CMOs: Redefining the rulebook

A new report from marketing consultancy CMG Partners outlines how art and science are allowing CMOs to redefine their roles

Strategic thinking

Given marketing owns customer insights and analytics, CMG also saw CMOs increasingly setting strategy and fuelling growth. Data is again key to driving decision-making results and long-term strategy, demand generation, revenue management, marketing effectiveness and innovation.

CMG reported imaging company Kodak now collects opt-in data from recording devices on inkjet printers to capture location, volume and usage information, which drives its demand generation strategy. This information is overlaid with profile information like customer demographics, psychographics and purchasing behaviour to better target messaging and marketing promotions.

“A lot of people would get these first order results, and they would stop there and go execute their marketing programs,” Kodak vice-president of corporate and consumer marketing, Vince Ferraro, said. “But the devil is in the details, and if you peel more layers of the onion away, you will get deeper customer insights that may allow you to reach your target customer in a better way than the competition and drive more of the behaviour you are looking for.”

Despite the validity of data, however, CMG advised marketers to use it wisely. Data feeds can’t replace engaging with your customers face-to-face either.

A good result

The rise in tangible evidence illustrating marketing’s importance has also lifted expectations of what information CMOs deliver to the wider chief executive team. CMG advised CMOs to make sure marketing is recognised for sales and revenue conversation, not as a cost centre. To do this, the report outlined five areas to focus on: defining the problem, discovering the data, determining the platform, creating a process, then training and testing.

“It’s all about ROMI [Return on Marketing Investment] and being realistic about what is happening in marketing,” Alcatel-Lucent Americas CMO Allison Cerra said. “Make sure what you are reporting is relevant. Speak to ‘how much profitability did I generate’ and identify the growth indicators – how fast are we growing share? Where can we expand? And how [do we] plan to do that?”

It almost goes without saying that marketers who can be agile, adapt quicker, and make faster and better decisions using this culminated knowledge have the best chance of staying ahead of the game.

“Balancing art and science and developing the right analytical infrastructure provides the foundation for becoming more agile,” the CMG report stated. “As we know, it can drive better, quicker decision-making, which positively impacts strategy, growth and results, but it also sets the framework for continually improving, for launching, learning, adjusting and repeating again.

“Consumer input and market reaction are very real indicators for marketers.”

Change is the only constant, as the saying goes, and CMOs are today’s change agents.

You can access the full <i>Fifth Annual CMO’s Agenda</i> report from CMG Partners website here.

Other reports on the state of the CMO to check out:

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia.

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