Allocadia CMO Picks: C-suite colleagues

According to a recent study by Russell Reynolds, CMOs think differently than their C-suite colleagues. Senior marketing executives tend to be more “imaginative,” “unconventional” and “willing to test limits” than CEOs, CFOs, CIOs and CTOs.

These traits make CMOs great leaders for transformation and growth initiatives. But it may also explain some of the relationship challenges they face working with their peers.

As CMOs continue to gain influence within their organizations, here are a few ideas I’ve been reading to help CMOs connect with their C-suite colleagues.

Be Data-Loving Storytellers

“Foundation Capital’s Ashu Garg asserts that CMOs need to combine the ability to ‘be a storyteller with the ability to be a data nerd,’ while also mastering the ability to appropriately toggle between those competencies…Spencer Stuart research confirms the need for both skill sets, and suggests that CMOs need to work on their toggling: 70% of surveyed marketing leaders indicated that creativity and analytical ability are equally important, but only 19% of respondents said their functions were striking the right balance between the two competencies.” – Read more at Direct Marketing News

Think, Act and Speak in Business Language

“Today marketers tend to be treated as an expense with dubious impact and murky reporting. Consider these stats from the Fournaise Group:

  • Only 42% of CEOs and 22% of CFOs see the impact of marketing on the organization;
  • 78% of CEOs think marketers too often lose sight of what their real job is: to generate more customer demand for their products/services in a quantifiable and measurable way.

These sentiments are a reality even though marketing innovation is often the business engine that drives competitive advantage for stand-out companies. To change this perception, marketing decision-making and reporting will have to be data-driven, revenue-focused and able to speak a language understood by business leaders outside the marketing org.” – Read more at Business 2 Community

Step into Each Other’s Shoes

“For CEOs, that can mean finding ways to connect more closely with customers and their experiences – an undertaking CMOs can help facilitate by providing relevant customer insights from marketing initiatives. For CMOs, it may be about demonstrating more sensitivity to ROI by finding ways to bring more efficiency to marketing efforts.” – Read more at Forbes

Collaborate Closely

“It seems that while the future will see CMOs outspending the IT counterparts on technology, there will have to be a deep seated collaborative effort between both the CMO and the CIO to provide necessary strategic direction and impetus to growth.” – Read more at MarTech Advisor

Create a Unified Vision

“It has been said that tech sells customers a solution while marketing sells customers an experience. For many CTOs, it’s enough that the tool works. For CMOs, it’s crucial that the tool works in a way that the benefits the customer’s experience.

For CMOs and CTOs to work well together, they must recognize:

  • They’re both right; both tool functionality and overall tool integration are necessary to creating a satisfied customer.
  • The earlier they come together to share perspectives and work together, the more unified and efficient their process will be.”

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