The 3 Different Types of CMO — Which One are You?
Whilst the nature of Chief Marketing Officer often varies from business to business, it’s suggested to identify three broad categories of this role: Tech Visionary, CRM Champion, Big Thinker.
CMOs and other senior marketing executives will continue playing a crucial role in delivering the right messaging to targeted audiences across different channels and meeting the sales objectives of an organization.
1. Tech Visionary
- Conceptualizes how marketing technology is to be used in the organization
- Fuels up the marketing strategy with latest technologies for driving the organization’s success.
- Controls the overall marketing supply chain to ensure that marketing materials are produced and delivered on time, on budget.
- Likely to have been with the company since its inception.
2. CRM Champion
- Takes primary responsibility for building customer relations and influencing the delivery of right messaging and positioning to the target market.
- Greatly contributes to creating unforgettable customer experiences in social media, advertising, email, and other channels.
- Increases loyalty through adopting CRM innovation and hyper-personalization to engage with prospects and clients like never before.
- Develops and controls the implementation of a scalable, automated, and personalized content marketing model to create content that resonates with the target market.
3. Big Thinker
- Expands the boundaries of how digital technology like AI and advanced analytics is used within the organization’s marketing framework and encourages everyone the marketing team to operate ambitiously.
- Plays one of the leading parts in defining not only the marketing strategy but the corporate strategy and driving overall technological change to the business.
- Explores existing and new marketing channels, contributes to experimenting with and adopting new technology.
- Has a close relationship with both the CEO and the CTO within the organization. Likely to be part of an established company, rather than a startup.
Which of the CMO Types are You?
Your CMO role is largely defined by the point at which you joined your organization.
When you as a senior marketing executive have been in place since the organization’s inception, you likely find your role more diverse and all-encompassing.
In case you get appointed into a more mature company, you tend to inherit a well-defined set of responsibilities relevant to the specific industry the organization operates in.
With emerging technologies transforming the digital marketing landscape in a matter of months, CMOs need to keep on top of key trends and adopt innovation into marketing strategy when appropriate. That can be your way as a successful CMO moving forward.
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing CMOs of all types across industries to update their thinking and approach to customers, offerings and value — likely for the long haul. Marketing technologies can help here increase the effectiveness of marketing activities.
In these circumstances, more responsibility is likely to be placed on a skilled CMO than ever before. It is therefore vital that the CMO drives digital innovation and is prepared with the ‘Next Normal’ plan that can be quickly put into place. Learn more about global executives’ perspectives in IBM’s C-Suite Study 2021.
How to Succeed as a C-level Marketing Professional
The path to becoming a successful marketing executive is not an easy one whatever type of CMOs you are.
A CMO must be creative and forward-thinking — qualities which you can acquire through education and training. Otherwise it may be difficult for senior marketers like you to stand out.
Here are a few thoughts on how to succeed as a CMO:
- Actively explore and experiment with new trends and marketing technologies that you believe will move the needle for your company.
- Actively collaborate with both senior executives and key departments within your organization. This will help you to come up with actionable insights and share knowledge and experiences.
- Invest time in developing your skills in AI digital marketing.
- Gather ideas for implementing AI and data into your marketing strategy.
- Ensure that your efforts are aligned with the corporate strategy and cross-functional plans.
- Create a clear vision for how you can improve the organization’s marketing operations and prospecting, as a CMO.
- Develop a technical mastery of marketing technology, as a strategic tool to drive the organization’s brand value.
- Drive digital advertising innovation.
- Steer marketing towards customer interactions and personalized experiences that lead to business outcomes.
You need to understand the role of both marketing and IT in your company and work with them to ensure that all marketing activities are aligned with technology innovation. Companies without unified departments often fall behind when it comes to digital marketing transformation, which is why many hire CMOs with skill sets in both areas in order to maximize returns from digital technology in marketing efforts.
If you are offered a CMO role, it is time to take your IT knowledge to the next level. It’s also worth considering the role of creative skills in successful marketing ventures.