Transparency is the best policy
Most CMOs will tell you transparency is no longer an option, but a marketing requirement. Establishing and maintaining trust-based relationship between brands and their customers has and always will be at the core of the enterprise and remains the primary intent of any good CMO.
“Adding transparency through advertising ‘is a worm hole’. Building long-term trust takes time and can be lost in a heartbeat. Collaboration and communication between in-house teams and external agencies is critical. The sharing of insights between internal tech and development teams working side by side with marketing teams can be a challenge,” – David Pugh-Jones, CMO of LIFElabs.io.
It’s also true that technology has made customers more wary, more sceptical, and harder for businesses to gain their trust.
“Essentially, this is a conversation about trust, which operates at two levels. Can marketers be trusted by their organisation to spend their budgets wisely, and can consumers trust the authenticity of the advertising that marketers produce? When both things align, transparency is a natural consequence. As a pre-condition, you need the right learning and development environment in which marketers learn the hard skills of ROI and the soft skills to empathise with consumers.” – Mark Evans, Managing Director, Marketing & Digital of Direct Line.
So, positioning any change as necessary, focusing on the results at hand, and allowing the whole organisation to take an unfiltered look into existing demand generation performance will make it easier to create buy-in around the need for change. In other words…
All metrics matter for organisational alignment
Part of embracing transparency is to not hide the figures that are, perhaps, lagging. In fact, doing this can assist with organisational alignment. The best form of leadership is one that celebrates failures as well as successes and learns from them.
“You’ve got to have alignment amongst the C-suite because I talk to so many CMOs who are struggling to help other C-suite executives understand what the benefits are going to be of digital transformation. So, you’ve got to go in with the plan to: ‘What’s in for the company? What are the business benefits? What is the ROI?’ And then help the other members of the C-suite see what’s in it [for them] from their perspective and their language so that you can get that alignment from the top down.” – Paige O’Neill, CMO at Sitecore on The CEO.digital Show.
From messaging, to prioritisation, to managing and understanding what is important to people and corporate cultures, CMOs should really look to count win rates, contract value and retention as KPIs for alignment, rather than gravitating towards impressions and clicks-throughs – discovering improvements from the figures that are falling behind are more valuable than the good statistics and help create leadership team alignment which is crucial to any successful account-based marketing execution.
Building the right marketing team doesn’t happen overnight
Hiring is hard. As Cadillac CMO, Deborah Wahl says “a team that comes from many different skillsets is much more powerful.” CMOs across the board will agree that hiring for the right talent for marketing is a challenge. But at a time when the industry is growing so rapidly, CMOS must set up talent in a way that generates value — reducing repetitive tasks and increasing strategic work that creates company momentum and growth.
Placing people with specialised skillsets in purposeful roles will allow them to be the most effective. Scott Gainey, CMO of Cherwell “found that marketers love to talk about the tactics and technologies they’re using, but don’t always give their people adequate time in the spotlight.”
It sounds simple but can be easier said than done. Taking time for team building and empowering the right people will show.
And of course, be brave
Having ‘nothing to lose’ isn’t quite true. However, taking chances is part of any good marketing effort. Bravery is the key element to clever marketing.
No one sums this up better than CMO of Emerson, Kathy Bell: “To get attention, you have to be brave and take risks when you communicate. And you have to enjoy yourself, or you are in the wrong job”.
This only underlines that there are some truly brilliant people leading marketing today and that there’s not just one route to their success. We hope these golden nuggets of advice, as told straight from the C-suite, can be applied to any marketer’s strategy to bring a fresh stance to marketing schemes across the enterprise.