Clive Armitage reveals the top issues plaguing CMOs
Periodically, we number dinners that are roundtable our senior customer contacts. They’re always enjoyable evenings; a chance to eat great food in a cool setting (Bob Bob Ricard private dining room if you really want to know) with experienced executives who are prepared to share practice that is best. We presented one event that is such week and I posed the question at the start of the meal to the eight CMOs around the table about how we could (metaphorically speaking) help them sleep more easily at night. What was surprising was the commonality of answers. Sure there were a few outliers based on individual specific challenges that some of our guests are currently grappling with but, mostly, the pain that is common boiled down seriously to three crucial things.
1. Every CMO cares about pipeline generation
For certain, brand name is essential, reputation absolutely issues and creativity is welcomed but once it comes down down seriously to the true nitty-gritty, CMOs understand they’re going to be calculated on pipeline produced and pipeline shut. Therefore, top of the thoughts are what you can do to start the pipeline up and drive velocity. Anyone wanting to sell in support services to the CMO has to therefore demonstrate an approach to helping here that is both differentiated but also as predictable as possible – innovative thinking is appreciated but not as much as certainty of outcome. CMO’s need to be sold on outcomes and not on outputs. And they also like to see really where it’s done before. Ideally with a tried and trusted methodology and ideally an award or two.
2. Change administration is now a ‘thing’
CMOs tend to be wise individuals; they reach their particular positions that are lofty understanding the need to drive commercial outcomes and to marshal the appropriate forces to deliver the results they need. And they’re also smart enough to know that the right times, to coin a song subject, they’re a changin’. They recognize that, using the correct resources and strategy, they have a far better potential for delivering the messaging/content/proposition that is right the right individual at the right time than ever before. Some of our dinner attendees recognised this shift as ABM and some said it was just marketing reaching the potential it has always had (and therefore didn’t need the badge of ABM). But however we characterise it, all recognised that marketing was becoming both more data-driven and more reliant on technology and this brought challenges that are attendant. Particularly that even though the financial investment might were made in brand new resources and systems, the relevant skills to guide the move had been in scarce offer; finding out how to handle the entire process of improvement in advertising and marketing and just how to just take an organisation using them on that move had been consequently seen to be *hard*. This ensures that CMOs are searching for help with how exactly to change the relevant skills and distribution capabilities of the groups rapidly, in accordance with minimal discomfort (with no, they do not see this as just rebadging Field entrepreneurs as ABMers!).
3. Professional help is key
Agent3’s company is centered on offering material (technology items and consultancy) to b2B that is large. Suffice to say, we always want to sell more stuff. But the message from CMOs round our dinner table night that is last a firm and constant one; specialism may be the thing that draws their attention as well as the have to automate more of this advertising and marketing procedure is a given. Therefore they were all adamant they would not need ‘order takers’ to just perform promotions and, alternatively, had been just ever before impressed once they had been supplied with a site that revealed personal familiarity with their particular company, offered value that is extra a delivery perspective (‘tell us things we don’t know’) and which they could then invest personal capital in from a trust perspective (file this under ‘it needs to make me look good’). They also were universally frank in saying the route to get them interested was through their leadership team making a recommendation; they admitted their response to any attempts to target them was ( that is virtually non-existent****)
The general class from our supper? Then you are going to be increasingly challenged to grab marketing budget going forward. ( if you are an agency selling to CMOs and have a specialist service that can drive pipeline while helping navigate and change entrenched organisational structures, the future looks very bright indeed for you! Conversely, if you don’t score highly in these areas,****)