5 New Year’s Resolutions for Every CMO
In 2014, the evolution of technology made content more targeted and engaging, helped marketers uncover valuable insights about their target customers, and made it easier than ever to determine return on investment. And this year, it looks like this evolution won’t be slowing down.
For the modern CMO, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by new progress in the field. Suddenly, data must drive all marketing decisions, strategies must be tailored to translate across a multitude of mobile devices, and CEOs are demanding to see measurable and actionable results. It can feel as though you’re drowning in new opportunities, obligations and variables. If you’re a CMO who wants to stay ahead of the curve, here are some resolutions that you should consider making for 2015:
1. Prioritize data. Marketing is a science. Make it a priority to treat it as such in 2015. The data that you collect holds valuable information for a company’s operations, including details on how campaigns are performing, who you’re reaching and how they react to your brand, and what you’re doing especially well (or poorly). Rethink your strategy if it seems misaligned with data and the results that you’re seeing to get deeper insight into how company operations are faring, keep you and your team accountable, and help you determine the relative ROI of your various efforts.
2. Integrate your strategies. Do you find yourself juggling a digital strategy, a traditional marketing strategy and a mobile strategy, all with different goals and outcomes? This year, make it a priority to integrate these disparate pieces into one cohesive marketing strategy and streamline your operations. Revisit your 2015 marketing plan and think about how all of those different segments feed into your overall goals, and revise tactical elements and budgets to reflect your objectives. The goal is for all tactics to work together around a single strategy and seamlessly support one another.
3. Embrace both amateur and professional content. Do you know what people are saying about your company? How is your marketing received among your target market? Recognize that people outside of your marketing team are talking about and creating content around your brand. Whether through blog posts and tweets, or even conversations with family and friends, content about your brand is being circulated. Instead of trying to quash this amateur content or drown it out with professional branded content, embrace it. Learn from it, and leverage it to improve the authenticity of your communication with stakeholders.
4. Track, report, and actually deliver on your goals and objectives. Do you want a seat at the C-suite table? Of course you do, but you may be neglecting the responsibilities that will get you there. In order to prove your worth, you need to be able to hand hard numbers to your CEO and the rest of the C-suite, and this can only be done by proactively resolving to tie your various efforts directly to sales. If you can show that you are delivering results that make a positive financial impact on your company, you’ll earn that seat.
5. Communicate with the rest of your company. What are your company’s objectives for 2015, and where does marketing fit into those objectives? In order to prove your worth beyond the walls of the C-suite, communicate what you’re doing to the rest of the organization and explain how marketing aligns with company strategy. Then take it a step further and explain what other departments can do to help out, and offer an open door for advice and suggestions. Having an outside perspective helps you refresh and realign your marketing objectives, and it helps those outside your department understand what it is that you do and why it’s important to the company as a whole. Moreover, showing that you are holding your marketing department accountable to those company goals fosters appreciation for what you do and encourages buy-in from the rest of the company.
This year was a time of tremendous innovation in marketing, and 2015 will be no different. Today’s CMO needs to learn from the lessons of the past and commit to taking steps that will keep his or her company ahead of the curve in the year ahead.
Bob Murphy is the managing partner of the Chicago-based B-to-B marketing firm Movéo, and works with clients such as Abbott, Cardinal Health, Molex and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.