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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Innovations in retail will bring creative and technology closer than ever

While approaching a customer in a shop and asking what you can help them with is Retail 101, how many of us actually enjoy being approached? Generally, you have to give the forced, fake smile and say, “Just browsing, thanks,” while screaming on the inside, “just leave me alone!” Maybe it’s just me?

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

There’s a brand in my digital soup

Not a day passes by in the life of business executives where digital innovation or the prospect of disruption is not front of mind. This in turn, drives an unrelenting flow of questioning, discussion and strategy papers.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Can marketers trust agencies again?

Unless you’ve been marketing under a rock, you’ll probably have questioned whether your media agencies are offering you transparency.

Nic Halley

Founder and managing director, Mindbox

Nice post Brad! very useful information. The retail stores are really mean for every brand I am agree with you. Now Online Service Market...

Srialto

The rise of online retail marketplaces and what they mean for brands

Read more

Minor correct Nadia, just wanted to clarify that the "Marketo consultants" that did this work, were actually Hoosh consultants

Fab Capodicasa

What it's taking for Edible Blooms to grow a stronger personalisation strategy

Read more

Im not surprise though, been in the industry for couple of years and I feel and see it with my tow eyes how eCommerce platforms innovated...

Jason Smith

Australia Post earmarks $20m for Australian ecommerce innovation investment

Read more

For marketers that are "going Agile" I recommend using Ravetree. It's a really powerful suite of tools for Agile project management, reso...

Janice Morgan

7 ways to run your marketing department like a software startup

Read more

Over the years very part of our lives has become technological. That’s why I am not surprised to see that Australian home loans are going...

GreatDayTo

Why Aussie Home Loans is embracing digital transformation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in