Relying on traditional sales tactics, like cold calling or trade shows, to bring in new revenue is no longer enough for business-to-business (B2B) companies. In the digital age, B2B companies need marketing to generate leads and raise awareness. The prevalence of Marketing Directors (and Chief Marketing Officers and Marketing Managers) is growing as a result.
Here are four primary functions of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or similarly-titled marketing leader.
Armed with market research and analysis, the CMO is able to focus on the target market, identify product development opportunities and product pricing and contribute to setting lead generation and revenue goals. The marketing strategy must align with the company’s business strategy and will identify the top priority marketing initiatives that will drive the most growth and revenue.
Marketing Action Plan
Out of the marketing strategy, the CMO then develops a marketing action plan, sometimes called a tactical marketing plan. This plan, usually spanning the entire year, will outline the specific marketing activities, how much they will cost and what results are expected from each. A tactical plan might include items such as a website refresh, case studies, advertising campaigns, events and conferences, webinars and other content initiatives. The CMO has the experience and knowledge to understand which tactics will help the company reach its goals.
Implementation of the Plan
As the head of the marketing team, the CMO is responsible for ensuring that the marketing plan that was developed is implemented in a timely manner. He or she is also responsible for the performance of the marketing team and, in order to deliver results, that the plan is being executed through high-quality work. At times, the CMO is also required to roll up their sleeves and do the work themselves. This is an integral part of the CMO’s role as it shows that he or she is in touch with the day to day activities and has real, hands-on knowledge of how things work and how to improve them, if necessary.
Measurement and Reporting
Ultimately, the CMO’s role is to achieve positive results from the company's marketing efforts. The only way to do this is to keep a finger on the pulse by identifying and measuring the key performance metrics (KPIs) that show results. KPIs could include the number of leads that are delivered to the sales team, the number of new subscribers to an email list, increase in website visits, etc. The CMO must be able to understand these metrics and show a correlation between the marketing team’s activities and report on a positive impact to the numbers.
The marketing leader - be it a Chief Marketing Officer, a Marketing Director or an outsourced marketing company - plays a growing role in the success of B2B companies in today’s digital world.
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