A Profile of the Modern CMO | Best Executive Search Firm | Cowen Partners

A Profile of the Modern Chief Marketing Officer CMO

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) role and what it entails have significantly changed over time. In the past, marketing was more of an immeasurable, trial and error endeavor, and CMOs were simply professionals who oversaw the marketing department and took orders from other executives.

However, the business climate has changed tremendously. Advancements in technology have redefined marketing and the consumer experience. In fact, digital marketing, tools and resources allow for real-time connections and instant feedback from consumers. You can now know what strategy is working and what is not with far greater accuracy.

As a result, it is no longer acceptable to simply throw ads and promos at consumers. Instead, your marketing campaigns must demonstrate sustainable growth, highly personalized customer experience, and advanced marketing innovation. Achieving this necessarily implies that your job as a CMO must also evolve to fit the changing times.

As CMO, you must embrace change and blend technology and traditional technical skills to bring ‎value to your organization. You are no longer a second fiddle C-suite executive. Instead, you should be able to touch upon, manage, and measure ‎all aspects of the business related to customer expectations and eventual service. In addition, you must drive and optimize customer experience and ‎consistently scale revenue.

Read more to learn about the traits of the modern CMO and how to optimize the position to achieve more.

Harness Technology Intelligently

Improving your tech-savvy as a modern CMO is non-negotiable. You can either get in the loop with the tech tools or become extinct. Modern CMOs understand the available and emerging technologies and use them ‎to maximize experience and engagement. In addition, you must prioritize staying ahead of disruptive technology while also ‎converting old-world systems to new ones.‎

To start with, your company needs to increase its spending on data analysis and audience targeting tech. This opens the pathway to a world where data heavily influences the CMO. You are constantly crunching the numbers, understanding the figures, and applying the insights more effectively. This would help you continually pivot when something isn’t compelling enough while simultaneously ‎watching the trends for the next best move.‎

However, it would be best to be extremely careful when harnessing tech tools. Overdependence might inevitably stiffen innovation and the efficiency of your creative team. Constantly evaluate your processes to ensure that innovative and novel strategies are not subsumed in the course of exploiting tech. Look out for and avoid the phenomenon called ‎“analysis paralysis.” It refers to a situation where marketers lose sight of the customer because they focus on numbers and ‎nothing else.

Collaborate with your consumers

There is a consumer revolution happening today. Modern-day customers are increasingly demanding, and their expectations continue to grow‎. Consumers want to identify with a brand that can be a part of their processes. As a result, we have a new breed of consumers eager to play essential roles in how a brand creates its products and services and interacts with the world.‎ CMOs who harness this instead of resisting will be better off. In the coming years, co-creation and collaboration will be crucial.

A place to start is to create a new degree of loyalty by sharing your values and allowing your customers to use their channels to spread the message far and wide. For example, a survey revealed that most people today would patronize a brand because the company advocates for issues they care about. The customers then actively encourage others to patronize the brand.

Leadership beyond the marketing team

Modern CMOs need to be as agile as their marketing plan.‎ They need to integrate marketing strategies, and consumer needs to add value to other teams and departments.‎ A profound understanding of company structure is crucial so that marketing can interact successfully with cross-functional teams. ‎They must know how every puzzle piece fits together to form the big picture.‎

On another level, CMOs should always have a seat at the table when the company wants to set its business strategy or create product road maps. They should also actively participate in product design.

Importantly, CMOs must assert their value in the C-suite. Essentially, they must see themselves as the link between the market and the business on the topmost level. This is a daunting task. However, it is a task that can be prepared for and carried out with grace. The job involves understanding customer needs and perspectives and relating them to C-suite ‎members.‎

An excellent starting point is to become focused on orchestrating revenue-generating, highly personalized customer experiences and persuading everyone from the boardroom downwards that the primary focus should be on fulfilling the customer’s purpose.

Bridge the Marketing and Sales Gap

One of the new norms of the modern marketing era is “Smarketing.” Smarketing essentially involves the fusion of sales and marketing processes of a business. The responsibility of making this fusion seamless falls upon you as the CMO.

The big picture is a delightful customer experience that leads to customer retention, acquisition of new customers, more sales, and profitability. Your duty as CMO is to flawlessly merge the sales and marketing team to nail down clear communication and elevated ‎efficiency when identifying customers’ journeys and creating strategies for delight.‎

Be resilient

The COVID-19 pandemic and its continued effect knocked the balance out of many organizations while throwing several marketing plans out the window. CMOs should be resilient in helping their companies shift strategy and find new avenues to grow. Resilience is a crucial trait with all the uncertainty in the world today. CMOs should develop the ability to stay flexible with rapidly changing conditions to ensure customers and team members are positioned for success. The CMO must set aspirations with real profit and loss targets based on the data they have gotten from the marketing side of the business.

Some things will not work, and the ability to pivot quickly is vital. For example, you might need to shift budget and resources away from the many pre-pandemic strategies to new initiatives that fit the time and tide.

Essentially, CMOs should lead the charge in creative ways to help customers in these times of need and help employees live the new norm of uncertain times.

Finding a Modern Chief Marketing Officer

The modern CMO needs to evolve and adapt more than ever before. As a result of technological advancement, they face new ‎challenges, expectations, opportunities, and ‎changing markets.

CMOs must recognize their ever-changing, increasingly crucial role and work towards positioning themselves for a successful tenure. The tips shared here help equip modern CMOs to build value for their brands and ensure business growth.‎

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