The CMO Playbook: Your First Days as a CMO | CMO Recruiters | Marketing Executive Search Firm

      The CMO Playbook: Your First Days as a CMO

      Stepping into a new role as CMO is an exciting time. You’ll be joining an organization you’re likely unfamiliar with and given the task of growing revenues and expanding market reach. 

      You must have a plan in place for your first days on the job. While you may not make significant organizational changes in your first few months, your colleagues and employees will look to you for direction and wonder how you’ll transform sales and marketing activities. 

      Here are a few essential tips to get you started on the right path.

      CMO Tip #1: Prepare Yourself for Your New Role

      If you have a few weeks before beginning your new position, use them wisely. Brush up on your leadership capabilities. While you may have your own beliefs about your leadership style, working with an executive coach can give you a new perspective.

      An executive coach can identify aspects of your leadership style to work on. If possible, continue to work with the coach in the first few months following your start date. They can act as a confidant and give you advice if you run into roadblocks in your new role.

      Make a list of all you learned about the company during the interview process. Note any ideas you have for potential improvements. At this point, you likely don’t have enough information to bring real value to the organization. However, your thoughts may uncover some opportunities the team hasn’t considered.

      CMO Tip #2: Understand What Your Boss Expects 

      When starting a new CMO position, you’ll want a clear understanding of the objectives your boss expects you to achieve. Set up a meeting with your boss within the first few days of beginning your role. Ask them what their goals are for your position. 

      You likely already touched on a few basics during the interview process. However, once you settle into the position, you’ll have a clearer understanding of the company’s processes. A meeting with your boss can clarify any questions and ensure you’re both on the same page.

      CMO Tip #3: Meet with Your Team and Colleagues

      You’ll likely meet with numerous colleagues and team members soon after you start. Understand that all of these individuals will look to you for direction in the coming months and years. Think about how you’ll introduce yourself. Be personable and establish that you’re the leader of the marketing and sales teams. 

      It’s critical to set up one-on-one meetings with people you’ll work with regularly, especially managers and supervisors. Get to know them personally and seek to understand what their responsibilities are. Discussions with your team will further your business knowledge and help you know who to turn to for help.

      CMO Tip #4: Formulate Your Marketing Team

      Each meeting with your team will advance your awareness of their expertise. You’ll get to know everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. Take notes after every one-on-one meeting you have. In your notes, indicate each person’s specific capabilities, such as analysis skills, CRM experience, and customer knowledge.

      As you get acquainted with your team, you may want to realign their duties in ways that benefit the company and your vision for expanding sales. Once you have been on board for a few weeks, you can communicate your vision to your team members and give them specific responsibilities to meet your objectives.

      Establish a regular meeting schedule that you follow each week. Your team members should clearly understand the expectations for these meetings and how they should contribute. 

      CMO Tip #5: Set Up an Agenda

      Once you are familiar with your team and colleagues, you’ll be in an excellent place to establish a plan for meeting new objectives and streamlining processes. Discuss with your team members the changes you’d like to see. Ask them for their input and consider their suggestions.

      Many people are resistant to change. They don’t want to step away from the old way of doing things. Expect some negative feedback on your suggestions, but don’t take it to heart. Negative feedback is part of the process. As people see results from your changes, they’ll become more accepting of them.

      If possible, try to make some changes that produce early results. When people see the impact of new initiatives, they’re more likely to get on board with your agenda.

      CMO Tip #6: Make Changes to the Company Culture

      Changing company culture will be one of your most challenging tasks. Company culture takes years to develop, and people are often unwilling to alter how they work. 

      To help you in your mission for change, identify the go-to people within the organization. These people are usually the ones others look to for advice. You’ll want them on your side if you intend to make cultural changes.

      Speak with key influencers and try to get their approval for new changes. If they understand your vision and assist in its development, you’re less likely to encounter barriers as you implement your program.

      CMO Tip #7: Get Buy-In from Your Boss and CFO

      The number one person you must please is your boss. Make sure you share each step in your plan with them. Listen to their feedback and incorporate it into your changes. 

      When sharing your vision for the future, it’s best to start with a broad overview. However, be prepared to provide the specific steps you are taking for each key strategy. Some bosses will want a detailed outline while others are more willing to give you the leeway to manage your program independently.

      It’s also a good idea to keep the CFO in the loop. The CFO can help determine whether your views align with the company’s budget. They’ll appreciate your willingness to work together to ensure you don’t overspend in your marketing and sales efforts.

      CMO Tip #8: Keep the Communication Lines Open

      Once you implement your strategies, monitor the results with your team. Schedule regular meetings to discuss successes and roadblocks. Encourage your team to provide suggestions for overcoming any issues.

      As your team works toward your objectives, keep your boss and the CFO informed of new wins. Be open to critiques and other ideas. Remember that you’re not the only one with a strategy. Other people may have solutions worth pursuing as well.

      CMO Tip #9: Be the CMO with a Clear Plan of Action

      Starting a new CMO job is a thrilling prospect. You’ll have the opportunity to put your mark on the organization and potentially expand its revenues and market reach. Having a sound plan in place for your first months on the job is essential for ensuring a smooth transition into your role as a CMO.

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