Chief Marketers Rules for Success

The rules for success have changed dramatically. Today’s chief marketing officer needs to be a “test and learn” person relying on their CRM system for a strong infrastructure of data, tools, and analytics. With an average tenure of twenty-four months, chief marketing officers need to move beyond historical, traditional issues and rise to a new set of five challenges–fast:

1. Gain value by understanding real costs.
At a micro level, understanding the ROI of a single marketing promotion or campaign is important, but it is also essential to see the forest for the trees and understand that the cost of the forest is not the price of each tree added together. A macro view of marketing costs helps CMOs understand the true cost of all the technology needed to run marketing, and then consider new advances such as software as a service (SaaS) which can dramatically reduce costs while providing bundled functionality.

2. Get the most complete view possible, as it evolves.
It seems like every day there is another new and powerful channel to communicate with customers. First there was the internet, then texting, and now Twitter–what next? The challenges these new channels represent are magnified by the fact that things happen in warp speed as opposed to the “boring” traditional channels such as direct mail, outbound telemarketing and even email. Again, to effectively market to suspects, prospects, and customers, a company has to be able to create a complete view of their constituents.

3. Combine traditional programs with the new wave of campaigns.
Traditional batch outbound campaigns are still very popular; particularly email campaigns where the costs are extremely low as compared to direct mail. Companies need to master the new wave of campaigns — including inbound driven, event-driven, online, and multi-channel — and combine them for maximum effect.

4. Know which channels are making you money.
John Wannamaker’s quote is relevant today: “I know half of my marketing dollars are wasted…I just don’t know which half!” Marketers today need to know which channels are more effective or less wasteful in terms of marketing spend; they need to allocate scarce marketing dollars to the most appropriate, highest return channels. How this is accomplished can dramatically improve an overall marketing program.

5. Keep it customer-centric with the right metrics.
CMOs must continue their customer-centric journey by focusing on the customer-access, industry-relevant metrics that provide a compass for future journeys, campaigns, and programs. Metrics need to be stated in terms of the customer, readily accessible at very frequent intervals, or in real time, such as “average revenue per customer” and “revenue per customer segment.” Most metrics can be anchored around three main goals: customer acquisition, customer development (cross sell/up sell), and customer loyalty (churn/retention). By laying out plans based on customer segments, CMOs can use these metrics for course corrections.

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