To say the marketing function has changed within the last two years would be an understatement. But there are more changes on the horizon and the chief marketing officer (CMO) role remains one that’s in transition, according to Gartner’s recent e-book, Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Vision 2022.
As consumers continue to favor the digital options the pandemic initially forced them to adopt and chief financial officers continue to scrutinize already-curtailed marketing budgets—a CMO must rebuild their marketing engine for flexibility and accountability so they can orchestrate all aspects of the consumer journey, pivot quickly in the face of disruption, and continually prove their value to leadership.
In short, CMOs must become chief connecting officers (or CCOs), according to Gartner. Here’s how you can—and why you should.
Connect to consumers throughout their journey (wherever it takes them).
While consumer preference for online interaction is likely to continue, Gartner cautions CMOs not to divert too much of their marketing budget to pure digital channels (and AW media strategists agree).
Instead, focus on erasing the barriers between digital and traditional media. Take an adaptable, integrated approach to channel planning, orchestration, and optimization, creating a marketing engine that’s built for flexibility in the changing environment.
The future of marketing, much like the future of work, is hybrid: With a symbiotic, channel-agnostic approach to the consumer journey, you’ll deliver a unified (albeit diversified) brand experience—whether in-person, online (or a little bit of both)—and your brand will be better positioned to engage, build, and strengthen relationships at every touch point, increasing conversions and retention in the process.
Connect with colleagues and external partners to deliver a unified CX.
Orchestrating that consumer journey starts from within.
As the de facto consumer champion within their organization, the successful CMO is one who brings together a range of data, insights, as well as internal and external resources to capture, anticipate—and deliver on—consumer needs, and reflect consumer values. (Read more about the increasing role of valuegraphics here.)
By collaborating with internal and external partners, the CMO builds a coalition that protects brand integrity, gives it the power to pivot seamlessly and remain connected to the consumer—even during times of volatility—strengthening the lifetime value of the relationship and the bottom line.
Connect marketing activity to ROI.
And make no mistake: Connecting marketing activity to the bottom line is more important than ever.
CMOs must bridge measurement gaps, according to Gartner, “making a clear and unambiguous connection between marketing investments, activity, and enterprise value.”
It’s all about measuring what matters, collaborating with key internal stakeholders up and down your organization to gain consensus on the business goals and outcomes marketing supports, and the key performance indicators (KPI) you’ll be expected to deliver against.
With that understanding, you’ll be better positioned to prioritize your time and energy (and that of your team), manage for any “what ifs” on the horizon, and build the connections to drive the outcomes you seek, come what may.
For a brand strategy that connects, inspires—and goes the distance, contact us.