The Changing Role of the CMO

    CMO, customer experience

    As customer experience becomes the biggest differentiating factor for brands, the CMOs role has become critical for leadership decision making

    CMOs today have very different roles and agendas than they did even five years ago. The CMO now is accountable for growth and customer loyalty, for which there is a need for cross-functionally like never before. This includes working across sales, product groups, IT, and finance to drive the business.

    CMOs today are thinking more horizontally. For 90% of organizations, CMOs are the connective tissue between various lines of the organization. It has become necessary for companies today to put the customer at the center of all products and services as marketing touchpoints to sales, product, support, and more.

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    Experts believe that CMOs must bring their customer knowledge to the table, and help map the end-to-end journey, bring in their counterparts to help turn that journey into a seamless customer experience. CMOs now have a real role in transforming the business, given the work they do to transform marketing according to the ever-changing customer expectations. They are best positioned to the forefront of a customer-centric business transformation and can lead the next phase of digital transformation.

    A successful Customer Experience management requires all hands on deck. For this, CMOs need to collaborate with the other functions, championing cross-functional collaboration. Experts have observed that marketing heads have started building CX councils or teams with representatives from across the business. Many are also ensuring that the key stakeholders meet regularly to better the collaboration and get a complete, real-time view of the customer, as it has become critical to CXM success.

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    Experts believe that CMOs of the future will influence the products, operation styles, the policies and at the same time, be a change agent inside the company. Today CMOs need to have a true sense of product DNA and ethos – which was typically a skill found in technical roles. Marketers need to be both marketing and product savvy. This is necessary to understand the difference between a great product and a mediocre product.

    CMOs must be far more digitally oriented than ever before and understand the benefits of having incredibly diverse skills on the marketing teams. Successful CMOs also share a deep understanding of the entire business that requires a deeper level of insight into sales, operations and supply chain.

    Today every CMO knows the value of being data-driven and deeply aware of customer behavior and marketing RoI. Though data plays a key role, CMOs must continue to be creative. Other than having a growth mindset and agility, they also push the boundaries of innovation.

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    Experts agree that it is an exciting time to be a CMO. The genuinely successful ones will be those who can bring marketing transformation lessons for the entire organization. Their strength will be the ability to guide customer insights and needs with other customer-facing teams to supplement brand loyalty strategies and initiatives.