4 Things That Could Kill Your CMO Career

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CMOs today have a tough job, and it’s not going to get any easier. Consumers are more scattered than ever, wooed by a growing myriad of channels fighting for their attention. Competition is at an all-time high, cutthroat and driven by the innumerable opportunities presented by digital marketing.

Since the United States appointed its first-ever CTO in 2009, we’ve seen the number of chief technology and chief information officers of the world grow almost as quickly as the big data that has made these new titles so necessary.

In a world ruled by technology and data, the CMO has to stay savvy to stay put. Here are four things I’ve seen as a CMO recruiter that commonly put an abrupt end to many a marketing veteran’s career.

1. Misuse Big Data

There’s no question that big data is a big deal–there’s a reason the phrase pops up in nearly every piece of marketing literature you’ve read for the past three years.

CMO recruiter big data

The trouble is that for most firms, big data is usually also a big mess. Just because the data is created doesn’t necessarily mean it should be kept, and just because it’s been kept doesn’t necessarily make it structured or usable. Sometimes, trying to get value out of unstructured big data can be like getting blood from a stone–lots of effort with little return.

Marketing heads that hope to remain in their position should go smart before they go big when it comes to data strategy. Smart data strategy means using the data you already have–the structured, accessible data stores that are already used to drive other parts of the business–to make marketing work harder. It also means being able to identify and gather individuals who can adeptly process that data to help make your decisions.

The CMO heroes of tomorrow will be the ones who take on the big data questions from across their organizations and leverage proprietary data to their advantage.

From customer relationship management to on-site behavioral data, from revenue management to real-time inventory: these are the smart data stores that you can put to work tomorrow.

2. Use Archaic Definitions of Success (Or None at All)

John Wanamaker famously complained that, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.

While measuring effectiveness of advertising must have been a challenge for businessmen back in the 19th century, today’s CMOs have the tools and technology to measure return on investment  with a great deal of accuracy and responsiveness.

That’s why the success of a marketing campaign today must be measured in real results. Did it drive sales? Grow ROI? An advertising award will no longer tell the whole tale.

Watch Marketo’s Advanced Guide to ROI for CMOs (long but worth it!)

video from Marketo

As connectivity is added to a host of new devices, surfaces and screens, the number of measurable marketing touch-points is growing every day. Employers and CMO recruiters are on the look out for leaders who can carry a business through a digital transformation. Those who can’t, or won’t, use technology to measure the success of marketing interactions across those devices and channels will fail.

Meanwhile, KPIs like ROI, CPO and CLV have become the new bread and butter of marketing. The CMO’s past inbox was filled with pitches for creative, brand awareness, media and market research; today these decks cover topics like attribution, incrementality, cost-per-profit and more. The modern CMO must be a hybrid of media strategist and technology expert; someone who can deal as well with data analysis as with creative briefings.

3. Let Agencies Do All the Heavy Lifting in Innovation and Tech Partnerships

A successful business depends on getting good advice from data specialists and technology experts who know as much about product feeds and tag management as they do about CRM databases.

The days of the single-agency partner are long gone. Today’s CMO is responsible for orchestrating results from dozens of vendors, agencies and service providers spanning every device and channel in the book. It’s no wonder Gartner predicts that the CMO will spend more on IT than the CTO within two years.

With so many moving parts and technologies that change at lightning speed, a successful business depends on getting good advice from data specialists and technology experts who know as much about product feeds and tag management as they do about CRM databases.

That said, these experts are rare, and as such, they’re often found at the source of innovation. Technology specialists and providers are becoming ever more important in their roles as adviser to the CMO. Wise marketing executives will get creative with their talent acquisition resources–like data scientist recruiters–to build a digitally fluent team of experts equally comfortable both with technology and marketing.

When it comes to innovation and technology adoption, every CMO should make it a personal mission to hire. work with and learn from only the best in the market.

4. Lose Sight of Loyalty in the Race for Customer Acquisition

digital marketing recruiters race

It’s an easy mistake to make, but it could be a career-ender: don’t get so caught up in gaining new customers that you forget to take care of your existing ones. Customer centricity is no longer the sole responsibility of the CRM department. It must be extended to every part of the business–especially marketing.

Sure, filling the top of the funnel is a huge part of growing a business. But if you lose customers just as quickly as you gain them, then you’re stuck on a growth treadmill. And finding new customers is almost always more expensive than retaining current ones.

It’s time for marketers to realize that an investment today could–and probably should–be measured not only in terms of immediate return, but also in terms of potential future gain. Customer lifetime value is the name of the new game.

If you lose customers just as quickly as you gain them, then you’re stuck on a growth treadmill.

And what better way to lose a customer than to deliver offers that are irrelevant, stale or annoying? When the next option is only a few clicks or keystrokes away, marketers will have to work harder than ever to win customer affection. The CMOs who win will be those who learn to use the automation power and real-time speed of programmatic technologies to provide personalized marketing experiences at an audience-wide scale.

Article source: MarketingMagazine

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