CMOs are no strangers to financial and other constraints. Now, amid new economic pressures, they’re once again seeking to find their footing, looking less to the future and more focused on the here and now and where they need to drive impact. Immediately!
They are turning to new resources in the market that are bringing strategies for impact, both personally and professionally.
“CMOs don’t have nine months to get results; they need them in six to eight weeks,” said Katie Klumper, CEO and founder of management consultancy Black Glass. “And that requires unlocking impact for both the CMO and the business in tandem. For CMOs, advisory and community offerings together can drive impact for enterprises and individuals.”
CMO winning plays
With a broad set of challenges hitting CMOs desks, here are the three winning plays they can use to get ahead of the game:
1. Focus on personal leadership. Marketing executives who are supported in all aspects of leadership necessarily drive business growth. “A supported CMO is a thriving CMO,” said Jenny Rooney, cofounder of CMO House at Black Glass, a private, curated membership platform for CMOs.
Rooney went on to note that the job of CMO can be isolating, and while there is no shortage of marketing-practitioner content and networking, there is no place for CMOs to have raw conversations with what really is happening with them and their businesses. She said that this initiative is a safe space that can assist CMOs with data, access and resources.
In speaking of CMO House, Cadillac CMO Melissa Grady Dias added, “What I think CMOs need right now is a safe space to speak openly and receive feedback, vet ideas and explore areas where we personally want to grow without concern of judgment. Having a place to share, grow and connect is so important in today’s post-COVID world, where we are redefining our own personal missions, how we work and how we lead teams in this new environment.”
2. Speed to transformation. Living through the volatility of the pandemic, CMOs are grappling with how to balance transformation with the needs of their business today. For example, one of Black Glass’ CPG clients was helped in creating a movement of transformation at an unprecedented speed by hyperfocusing on rewiring versus restructuring. This is a trend we are seeing across the board, moving away from org charts and leaning into ways of working.
The company was able to drive impact within six to eight weeks by creating behavior change which increased time spent on the customer from 30% to 70%.
“Through this shift, we were able to simplify our ecosystem and refocus the team’s time on making over managing,” said a marketing team leader.
3. Rapid diagnostics. Relevant, implementable diagnostics are needed now more than ever. In particular, marketers are looking to diagnose three common business areas in an effort to drive revenue and cost savings:
- Improve organizational design.
- Activate data and tech.
- Accelerating in-housing.
“Diagnostics are not new to this industry, but they are outdated and too broad to be actually useful,” said Vineet Mehra, CMO of Chime. “Further, all the diagnostics seem to push companies toward sameness, rather than strategic differentiation.”
Mehra said that being able to pinpoint problems and solutions in two to three weeks versus two to three months, with specific differentiated roadmaps into the near future, enables CMOs to move much more quickly than their competitors.
The forces of change
As forces of change continue to reshape CMO demands and definitions of success, Black Glass is helping CMOs and their enterprises as they seek to have maximum impact. New realities call for new playbooks. Rooney returned to the supportive and ideation forum of CMO House.
“CMO House is a powerful performance driver at a time when it is needed most,” Rooney said. “This unique CMO support system combines advisory plus community and delivers insights, tools and connections that chief marketers need to not only survive but thrive. That’s true not just as transformational CMOs but as true business leaders driving growth and change for their organizations and even beyond, in industry, culture and society.”