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.
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:
- Branding must be crystal clear. If the people don’t “get” your brand, how can they share it online?
- 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?)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
Book by David Aaker, Spanning Silos – The New CEO Imperative (can’t wait to read this – such a critical topic)