A chief marketing officer may sound foreign to some businesses. However, this executive role has been around for some time now. A chief marketing officer is charged with the responsibility of developing and overseeing all the marketing and advertising in an organization. As a senior-level executive and a member of the C-level team, the CMO reports to the CEO.
Sometimes marketing directors are confused for CMOs especially in small and mid-sized organizations. However, a CMO’s job description goes far beyond that. The chief marketing officer is sort of like the people person that ensures that all other members of the C-level team work together effectively.
A CMO is essential if any business wants to adapt to the constant changes in the market. It is the CMO’s job to make sure that all marketing efforts generated are geared towards sales and growth increase. The CMO will collaborate with marketing executives and designers to create strategies and campaigns that promote brand recognition while creating a competitive advantage.
CMOs also work hand in hand with product managers through every phase of product development, customer service, pricing, branding, and sales. When an organization combines all its objectives and aims into a single cohesive plan, that’s how it comes up with its marketing strategy, which the CMO oversees.
What other things should you know about CMOS?
Here is what you need to know in 2021:
1. The role of fractional CMO is not new
A fractional CMO has all the same roles and responsibilities as a CMO. The only difference is that the role is fractional, meaning that it’s not permanent. A fractional CMO is usually called upon to fill a leadership gap when a high-level marketing executive leaves the team and the organization is still working on finding a replacement.
A fractional CMO can also be called upon to step in to provide a sense of vision and direction for the marketing departments that are scaling without necessarily spending the big bucks on a full-time CMO. Fractional CMOs also come in handy when a marketing department needs to shake things up and provide new ideas when the old ways of doing things are not working.
2. The role is constantly changing
A huge majority of organizations, at least 80% agree that the responsibilities of the CMO have changed considerably over the last few years and will continue to do so in the future. We live in a world where technology never stays the same for too long. Add to that shifting customer attitudes, unpredictable trends, and events and marketing is changing faster than the speed of light.
As such, the role of the CMO must also change to fit the times. This is the only way that modern organizations can keep up with the changing landscape. To be successful, a CMO must not only handle the branding and marketing strategies of a business but also meet the needs of the customer consistently.
3. CMOs are all about the customer experience
Customer experience is slowly becoming one of the most important metrics of successful marketing and advertising. The job of maintaining the company's reputation goes beyond what marketing departments are tasked with. It is now the duty of every staff member in the organization to provide customers with the best experience possible, which starts with understanding the customer.
Fractional CMOs must work to make interactions more human to encourage customer engagement across the entire life cycle of a product or service. Modern and effective CMOs agree that traditional experiences are no longer enough to satisfy customers and businesses must work to ensure the shifting customer needs are met fully. The most highly sought after CMOs have usually honed their capacity for empathy. They are also agile and able to manage ambiguous cases and situations.
4. Fractional CMOs must be flexible and adaptable
If there is anything that the pandemic has taught the world, it’s that flexibility and adaptability are required for any business that intends to survive in unprecedented circumstances and challenges. It is the CMOs job to know what customers want now and in the future. And with the edge of uncertainty that the pandemic has provoked in us all, CMOs that can adapt to changes are more important than ever.
During instances of uncertainty, businesses look to CMOs to provide them with guidance, especially in the wake of budget cuts. With customers, the CMO is responsible for overseeing the customer journey, making sure that it is as seamless and challenge-free as possible. The best CMO, therefore, lean on their leadership capabilities so that they can set the tone both at the top of the C-suite and for customers.
5. Fractional CMOs must get their hands dirty
Although fractional CMOs are expected to handle certain responsibilities, the role requires one to have multiple skills. The CMO must get his or her hands dirty to dabble in an array of activities such as research, marketing, design, customer representative, and so forth. Where there is too much to handle, a fractional CMO can seek the assistance of an agency or a specialized professional.
In almost all cases, fractional CMOs take the lead when it comes to growth strategy. That’s because a plan is only as good as its implementation. Basically, the job of a fractional CMO is to get the job done by whatever means necessary.
Businesses have been hiring fractional CMOs for years so the role isn’t new. Fractional CMOs bring considerable value to an organization especially in instances where it doesn’t make sense to hire a permanent CMO, either for practical or fiscal reasons. Too many businesses go wrong when they make marketing decisions without the right marketing insights; that’s where a CMO comes in.
As you can expect, the role of CMO doesn’t stay the same for too long. It is impacted by changing trends and technological advances that never stay the same for long. As such, a CMO, fractional or not, must strive to change with the new demands of the business.