Navigating Change: Advice for CMOs

October 21, 2016 James Thomas

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I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but for many CMOs I talk to, fall brings shifts and changes: Mergers and acquisitions. New #martech implementations. Changing team member roles. New and different responsibilities.

Transitions are the perfect time to start doing things differently or to find ways to make improvements. No matter what organizational, team or system changes you may be facing in your organization, here’s advice to successfully help you make a switch.

Think Broadly about Team- and Department-Building

“Right now, [CMOs] often think about the capabilities they need. That’s important, but not enough. They also should be thinking about the types of leaders they need to bring into the department — leaders who can work well cross-functionally and help drive an integrated, customer-centric agenda.” —Read more at Forbes.

Have an Answer to ‘What’s In It for Me?’

“Before you ask any team member to learn and adopt a new system, be sure you can answer the WIIFM question for each group you’ll be asking to use the new system. When users can see that a little upfront investment for them will result in a payoff down the road, they’re more likely to adopt. Payoffs can come in a variety of forms such as reduced workload, easier content reuse, better accessibility to current content, better oversight, instant reporting tools, or a reduction in tools.” —Read more at Business 2 Community.

Make Plans to Manage the Brand Through a Merger

“The brand strategy has to match the business strategy. Understand what is driving the merger, from all perspectives, and let it inform each brand decision. It is important to appreciate the business ambitions of the combined entity to craft an enduring, high-impact brand. Of course, as brands have long moved from words and pictures to experiences, you must be mindful of articulating and planning for the experiences the new brand will set out to create with all stakeholders.” —Read more at Marketing Land.

Always Be Learning

“[It’s important to have] ‘an innate curiosity in everything you do, [says Kieran Hannon, CMO of Belkin]. With people, products, brands, experiences, one must suspend bias and be constantly learning. This applies even more so in today’s world of data overload. Use data wisely to inform but don’t lose sight that there’s an important qualitative element that overshadows all. We are humans and connecting the ‘mind and soul’ is an art, to be practiced over and over.” —Read more at Inc.

Speak the Language of Business Insights

“ ‘Great CMOs must have a business mindset,’ says Mike Colombo, CMO, Cloudwords. ‘They need to speak and think in terms of business metrics (new customer acquisitions, up-sell percentages, renewal rates). More importantly, they need to be able to convert marketing metrics — impressions, leads, open rates, registrations, followers — into business metrics that have a direct impact on the company’s growth and revenue goals.’ ” —Read more at CIO.

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