Tech mahindra
Tech mahindra

Markets to Metrics - The changing role of the CMO

Posted by: Hari T On September 25, 2014 03:04 PM

Every decade, we see macro market trends that shift the focus and emphasis within an Organization. There are those that were committed to new product development and innovation (‘Idea to Market’), and then we saw significant focus on operational efficiencies and productivity improvement (‘Order to Cash’); and now, as platforms to access consumers undergoes dramatic shifts, the focus is on the ‘Market to Order’ space. In other words, the offices of the Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief Sales Officer have become more critical than ever before

Research shows that it is becoming easier to reach large swathes of the universe through collaborative technology platforms and the influence of technology is set to be the game changer for all industries. Gone are the days when companies took twenty years to reach their first billion dollars in revenue – it is said that Google achieved this in 8 years, Groupon in one year, while a gaming company sold almost a billion dollars of its flagship product in 72 hours.

Clearly, the influence of technology in this shift is so large that the CMOs can no more rely on advisors to make their next move. It is not coincidental that in most companies the CMO and the CIO have similar budgets to achieve this objective

While the transition and evolution is fast and fascinating, equally captivating is the paradigm shift in the roles of the traditional analysts and influencers.  We are witnessing a perceptible shift in the role of the so called ‘experts’ and traditional mediums of communication. A clear example is the almost extinct role of the ‘movie critics’ – today the audience is far more likely to be influenced by the timeline on their Facebook !!  Online sentiment monitoring and management are becoming far more critical in times such as these

In an era that considers launching a brand in 24 hours, the role of technology is intertwined to the responsibilities of a CMO and with a diverse customer base; the need of technology is non-debatable.  From cloud to clout, the transition is for all to be felt. A CMO needs to determine the reach of the campaign each time and aim for a larger proliferation.

There are over 1000 tech vendors (Source Gartner 2014) providing various solutions to the CMO function. How do we harness the power of technology, sieve through the maze of conflicting/complementary tech products to create superior engagement with the customers is therefore a main deliberation of the current role of the CMO.

The newer marketing itself has a ground up approach where-in agility meshes ability. Marketers are targeting micro-segments and addressing their needs allowing the spurt of Greenfield markets. What seems like a microcosm of the market today has a potential to be an SBU in the future.

Omni channel bring new revenue stream for products part of long tail distribution. They have enabled by digital marketing have opened up additional revenue streams from smaller towns for these products.

The CMOs function is morphing from ‘managing communications’ to ‘managing customer experience’ for the company. This implies mastery over several channels of customer interactions and touch points – almost entirely tech-enabled. CIOs are increasingly coming from business while CMOs are increasingly taking lots of technology decision (thanks largely to the digital compulsions) – the line between the CIO function and the CMO functions is blurring

The age old designations in marketing are seeing some interesting acronyms being introduced, be it the CMTO (Chief Marketing Technology Officer) and CMT (Chief Marketing Technologist). The truth is that despite what they may be called technology is a mainstay of the role and therefore marketing and marketer are jointly heading towards interesting times.

The technology laggards may still debate and dismiss the “fuss” over technology claiming that branding and marketing can exist without being digital. But in reality the journey will be one with slackened pace and in a world of hyper-competition, time is to the essence of all deliberations.

Tags: Thought Leadership
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