}

B2B CMOs – Get Out of Your Silo and Lead

by Jennifer Beever on January 5, 2012

B2B CMOs must break out of the marketing silo (ivory tower?) and lead, among other things. The way people buy has changed forever. That means new roles and challenges for CMOs.

Marketing silo

Why? Marketing is now with “the people” (Read my previous post about “citizen marketing,” B2B Marketing Trends I’m Thankful For). Individuals are online posting their reviews and their opinions about brands, companies and people. Employees (sometimes without direction or guidlines from their employer or managers) are publishing content and connecting with customers and colleagues. It is up to CMOs to provide direction, guidelines, and much more.

CMO’s must be more proactive and responsive than ever, especially in the following areas:

  1. Branding must be crystal clear. If the people don’t “get” your brand, how can they share it online?
  2. Content is more important than ever. If content about your product or company doesn’t exist because you didn’t provide it, customers and employees may very well create their own. (See my post on this, What Do You Do When the Social Media Horse Has Left the Barn?)
  3. Understanding, recommending (and sometimes using) technology is a must. Twitter, Hootsuite, Adobe AIR, Radian6, mobile and more – CMO’s have to be on top of the best opportunities to promote and monitor  their company and products or services online.
  4. Results and information must be analyzed and interpreted, and the closer to the customer or prospect the better. Sure secondary market research is great, but nothing beats primary research – monitoring what your customers say, do (and think?) on a real-time basis. We can now do this, thanks to social media.
  5. Leading by communicating the marketing strategy is critical. Again, without direction or content, your employees and customers will fill the void.

Below are some links to articles or studies that I found while pondering this topic. I hope you find them helpful. And, please comment – what do you think CMO’s need to do moving forward?

Forbes article The CMO Role: What A New Study Of Marketing Chiefs Suggests

The Executive Summary of the IBM Study on CMO Roles

Book by David Aaker, Spanning Silos – The New CEO Imperative (can’t wait to read this – such a critical topic)

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Best of B2B Marketing Zone for January 5, 2012 « Sales and Marketing Jobs
January 7, 2012 at 5:07 am

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Joy Levin January 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm

To follow up on your point #4 – CMOs also need to take the lead in demonstrating that they have a deep understanding of how they can segment their customers to meet differing needs. Social media tools can get at this to a degree, but other types of primary research are often needed. Thanks for the post!

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