Three To-Do Lists for CMOs
Long ago, a friend in the magazine business told me about his publication’s story-gathering process. If he came across an interesting story in the newspaper, he’d clip it out and stick it in a file — so now it was on his radar. Soon, he’d see another article that touched on a similar or related theme, and into the file it went.
CMO Marketing To-Do List
Once a third story found its way into the folder, well, that surely was a trend, and worthy of a big story! With the flood of information that comes across our desks daily, it seems like trends come faster and more furiously than ever — and makes the old newsprint days seem quaint by comparison.
Today, I want to step back, because getting perspective on the execution challenges and business imperatives of CMOs and digital marketing managers is an absolute necessity for all of us in the industry. Click through, and I expect you’ll find the following three links a lot more insightful (and actionable) than old, faded newspaper clippings!
1. In “10 Skills a Digital Marketing Manager Needs to Succeed,” Jeff Bullas outlines a list that really nails it. From data analysis to mobile, viral, and visual marketing, all of the topics should be familiar to Briefcase Blog readers.
2. “An Open Letter to B2B CMOs” takes a closer look at three things CMOs can do at the outset to be successful over the long haul:
- Use research as a Trojan horse. Hard-core, quantitative data is essential for building a brand and quieting skeptics.
- Frame the notion of “brand” to resonate internally. In fact, you might not even want to use the word brand!
- Identify and enlist influential internal allies — quickly. You can’t survive as an island, so make sure to surround yourself with senior people who share your vision and can sell your brand.
3. Last, but not least, we come to “The New CMO To-Do List: Understanding the Evolving Priorities and Requirements for Today’s Digital CMO,” a webinar sponsored by the CMO Council. (It’s free with registration.) The hour-long session features CMOs from Siemens, Canon, and IBM, whose Institute for Business Value’s “Insight from the Global Chief Marketing Officer C-Suite Study” starts out the discussion.
One of the statistics that jumped out at me is that 59% of marketers plan to launch a massive digital marketing makeover — yet 80% of CMOs feel overwhelmed with digital initiatives, options and choices for marketing and two thirds described themselves as “not ready to cope with digital and social media growth.” Clearly, technology or so-called big data on their own aren’t going to resolve the issues, and this spells an opportunity for third-party business partners who can augment internal teams.
You probably won’t be surprised that the top strategic business priority is growth, and it follows that the top digital priority is to contribute to revenue growth with strategically driven initiatives. How are CMO thought leaders accomplishing that? Here’s a quick list:
- Connect with customers: foster B2B engagement across the entire lifecycle
- Become seamlessly omnichannel, i.e., be everywhere your customers are
- Deliver outstanding user experiences
- Align initiatives to identify and develop new and existing markets
- Find, engage, and outsource to key talent partners to fill in the gaps
- Stand out by being inspiring, such as telling stories about improved lives
- Set aside 10% of budget for experimenting
- Digital marketing and related technologies are driving major changes to marketing and customer engagement.
It isn’t just about reaching tech-savvy kids and young professionals, either: 90% of the 65+ audience has household incomes over $75,000; 74% go online daily, 27% own tablet devices and 18% own smart phones.
Whether you are a CMO, or a firm like ours that can serve as a talent partner, it’s important to step back once in a while to take stock in your present and future. There’s no reason to limit your future-visioning process to one time a year — and there’s never a bad time to create a to-do list that can move you forward.
What’s on your to-do list as a marketer for this year? How much of your resources are being spent in the digital realm?
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