Relying on traditional outbound sales tactics, like cold calling or tradeshows, to bring in new business, companies invested heavily in sales individuals and events. These traditional communications tactics are no longer as powerful as they used to be. Here arises the need for a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), someone who understands the market and the right way to reach them.
What, specifically, should a CMO bring to the table and how should it impact a B2B company?
Here are four primary functions of a CMO:
Armed with market research and analysis, the CMO is able to focus on the target market, identify product development opportunities and product pricing and contribute to setting business goals. As CMOs have such a big impact to the business strategy, sometimes they wear the dual hat of the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), who becomes the ‘right-hand man’ to the CEO.
Marketing Strategy and Tactical PlaN:
One of the primary functions of the CMO is to develop the marketing strategy. This strategy should align with the company’s business strategy and should identify the top priority marketing initiatives that will drive the most growth and revenue. Out of the marketing strategy, the CMO also develops a tactical marketing plan. This plan, usually spanning the entire year, should outline the specific marketing activities, how much they will cost and what results should be expected from each. A tactical plan includes items such as a website refresh, case studies, Pay-Per-Click campaigns, etc. The CMO has the experience and knowledge to understand which tactics will help the company reach its goals.
Implementation of the Marketing Plan and Team Management:
As the head of the marketing team, the CMO is responsible for ensuring that the marketing plan that was developed is implemented in a timely manner. He or she is also responsible for the performance of the marketing team and, in order to deliver results, that the plan is being executed through high-quality work. At times, the CMO is also required to roll up their sleeves and do the work themselves. This is an integral part of the CMO’s role as it shows that he or she is in touch with the day to day activities and has real, hands-on knowledge of how things work and how to improve them, if necessary.
Measurement and Reporting:
Ultimately, the CMO’s role is to prove that marketing works and delivers ROI. The only way to do this is to keep a finger on the pulse by identifying and measuring the key performance metrics (KPIs) that show results. KPIs could include the number of marketing qualified leads that are delivered to the sales team, the number of new subscribers to an email list, increase in website visits, etc. The CMO must be able to understand these metrics and show a correlation between the marketing team’s activities and report on a positive impact to the numbers.
The CMO plays an integral role in the success of a company in today’s digital world. However, retaining a CMO is an expensive investment. With an average annual salary starting at $150,0001 in Canada, what happens if a company cannot afford to hire a CMO as well as an in house marketing team? Or, if a CMO is not required full time but for specific projects? Luckily, there are many options available to help companies achieve the specific results they are looking for.
We, at The Mezzanine Group, are happy to announce the launch of our new Marketing Advisory Service, which was initiated to help our clients accelerate their marketing efforts. The service offers B2B companies a “CMO for a day” through a custom 8 hour engagement tailored to deliver specific results. To find out more, click here or contact us.