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Key Roles to Master as a CMO

Tom Sullivan

January 7, 2014
Tom Sullivan

I had the recent opportunity to meet someone who had just been promoted to Chief Marketing officer.  I asked this gentleman if he had an agreed job description and he said he was in the process of developing one.  Then he asked me, “What do you think the job description should be?”  Without hesitation, I responded: “Your job description begins and ends with the customer. This means your responsibility covers the entire gamut when it comes to making your company valuable”.

So what’s in the gamut?  Here are seven roles to master as a CMO:

  • Protect, enhance, and promote the corporate brand promise.  That means understanding and effectively communicating the brand’s values, personality and promises to all internal audiences, partners and customer stakeholders.
  • Be the CEOs’ assistant vision officer. Ensure that your brand, products, and services grow and sustain their value over time.
  • Understand your customers’ changing needs and perceptions.  This requires the development and management of a customer listening and research plan to help guide your company’s current and future ability to meet customer needs.
  • Define product and service delivery requirements. Make the enhancements, adjustments and critical innovations to make the customer experience exceptional.
  • Understand your business model. Be vigilant about monitoring disruptive competitors and distributions channels.  Armed with new insights, lead the test marketing of new models to stay relevant.
  • Ensure that you are optimizing your marketing program. Balance investments in awareness building and lead generation.  Establish systems and processes to understand ROI in as close to real time as possible.
  • Most importantly – invest in ways to emotionally engage your brand champions through compelling story telling.  Marketing communications is no longer a top-down exercise. It is about creating an ecosystem others can use to share the impact of your brand.