The role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is changing. There are two main drivers behind this change:
1. Because more and more people like to do their own research, marketing is taking a bigger role alongside sales in lead management. Inbound marketing activities and online content are becoming crucial aspects of this process. Outbound sales are no longer sufficient and:
2. A consistently above-par customer experience across all touchpoints is becoming an ever more important competitive factor. The natural owner of this more holistic idea of customer experience management is the CMO.
As a CMO, you should be ready to take over the following responsibilities (and many more):
- GENERATING LEADS: The days when sales people picked up their phones and started working down a call list are long gone. Today, it is marketing's role to drive food into the mouth of the sales engine. But if this fodder – leads – is not of high quality, your sales people will stop trusting your inbound marketing process (and your marketing staff) and figure out their own ways of generating leads. You don't want this. As the CMO, you want your team’s efforts to be tagged to concrete results.
- MAXIMIZING CONVERSION: In a perfect world there would be a finite number of well-defined purchase journeys your role as the B2B marketer would be to simply send perfectly timed and targeted messages along the pre-defined route and then allow sales to neatly close the deal. The messy reality is that most buyers take whatever route they please and your job is to keep up. Whatever way a prospect chooses to engage with you, your main task is to make sure that they continue on to the next conversion point. A crucial piece of this is making sure that resources are not wasted by activating (expensive) salespeople prematurely (no BANT).
- SHORTENING THE SALES CYCLE: You don't want prospects loitering in the funnel. It might be fun for the leads but it costs you money. Perhaps more importantly, it creates noise that prohibits you from identifying real prospects. Shorten your sales cycle by keeping leads moving forward in the funnel = the right content at the right time using the right channel.
- MAXIMIZING REVENUE PER CUSTOMER: Detecting upsell and cross-sell opportunities is a daunting task especially if you have many customers and many products. You need to come up with a system in which you analyze the purchase behavior of your customers and use that information to create targeted upsell and cross-sell campaigns. And, remember that revenue maximisation isn't just about upsell and cross-sell. It also means ensuring that your current customers renew their contracts.
- INCREASING LOYALTY: Don’t forget your existing loyal customers, who are often more profitable than new ones: They tend to buy more, buy more often, complain less, give you more feedback, and are your best advocates. A good way to monitor customer loyalty is the Net Promoter System.
- REDUCING CHURN: You don't want customers to churn (unless they aren’t profitable or don’t fit your strategy). You especially don't want any retention problems with your most valuable customers. It is crucial to come up with methods of identifying these problems so that you can take the necessary sales and marketing actions to keep them on board.
How do you go about systematically getting these tasks done?
More about that in the next blog post about how to roll-out marketing programs.