In previous generations, marketers have been thought of as “lead generators” for the sales department. But recent research into how corporate CEOs view the role of marketing reveals that now, more than ever, marketing is perceived to be strategic to a company’s success.
CMOs Play a Comprehensive Role
Because of the powerful impact of marketing on multiple dimensions of corporate profitability and growth, C-suite leaders are developing broader expectations regarding how their internal organizations must collaborate with marketers. C-level executives require specific deliverables from the marketing organization, and top-performing CMOs have a comprehensive understanding of their organizations’ needs and focus on building marketing teams that work to meet or exceed those expectations.
CEOs Need CMOs to Be Visionaries
Traditional marketing deliverables were limited to lead generation and branding/awareness metrics. Today, marketing’s impact is manifold, and includes a leadership role in building consistent, sustainable, differentiated value for the entire company.
In many companies, the CEO expects the CMO to be the glue that holds all of the disparate organizations together, providing a consistent framework for customer- and market-focused strategy and decision-making. CEOs are also relying on the CMO to make the connection to the customer, introducing the CEO to key thought leaders in relevant markets and to key customer decision-makers.
CMOs Are Key to Sales Success
C-level sales executives have also broadened their expectations of marketing – from generating high-quality leads to providing sales enablement platforms and content. The global, mobile sales organization requires access to innovations in customer engagement, from interactive applications for sales meetings to customer-centric digital content.
Marketing is the facilitator and curator of the information needs of the sales team, from competitive positioning to virtual product demonstrations to key industry knowledge. And, as face-to-face events take on an increasingly important role in strategic sales situations, sales leaders look to marketing to create opportunities for effective customer engagement, including product launches, executive briefings, tradeshows and industry networking events.
CFOs Expect Financial Returns From Marketing
Chief Financial Officers have extended their expectations for marketing — from simply developing budgets that project returns in terms of qualified leads and opportunities, to a much more nuanced set of investment criteria. As a result, marketing executives now look at their activities in terms of financial investments, asking: “What long-term returns will result from these expenditures?”…
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Gavin Finn is President and CEO of Maynard, Mass.-based Kaon Interactive. He is responsible for the company’s strategic, financial, product and customer relationship strategies.