The modern marketing leader: Is your CMO ready?

By Lisa Loftis, SAS Best Practices

Years ago, a longtime marketing manager gave me a tongue-in-cheek description of his job as ”telling and selling” and a more serious explanation that managing the marketing mix (price, product, promotion and place) was his primary consideration.

If he were a practitioner today, he would be astounded at the metamorphosis that has taken place within marketing. Modern marketers are expected to focus on the customer  ̶  to assure satisfaction, promote loyalty, engage in dialog̶  and along the way sell products and generate profit for the organization.

In today’s world, this means implementing omnichannel digital strategies and managing the end-to-end customer experience. While there are tools (journey maps, lifecycle diagrams) and technologies (optimization engines, event stream processing and marketing automation) to help with this, in practice it can be a daunting endeavor.

Marketing rarely has authority over every customer touchpoint, conflicting objectives across business units are not uncommon and entrenched business processes can lack the flexibility necessary in an agile environment. To succeed, the CMO has to be an outstanding leader capable of ”knowing the way, going the way and showing the way” forward to the whole organization.

Our white paper, Beyond The Campaign: Leading Marketing Into The Future, offers ways to help you operate like a consultant and execute like a scientist to begin creating today the organization of tomorrow.

Download the paper

If I had to pick three adjectives most important for the modern CMO they would be:

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.
John C Maxwell

Transformative – forging dramatic change

Being transformative is critical because managing customer experience requires the ability to develop and implement multichannel strategies and business processes. Mapping the customer journey and understanding which business units own each journey step is only the beginning.

Exploring business objectives across these diverse groups, identifying competing or incompatible goals and working across the organization to reconcile conflicts is a critical, but often overlooked, step – one that often requires significant transformation to mindsets, metrics and potentially even to compensation. Changing business processes to facilitate a better customer experience and taking advantage of new metrics could also require substantial changes to the status quo.

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