Anthony Palmer, President and formerly the Chief Marketing Officer at Kimberly-Clark, claimed that, “the role of a CMO is really pretty simple. You can’t ever lose sight of the fact that your role is to sell more stuff to more people for more money more often. That has to be the ultimate goal. You also have to inspire the organization to take calculated risks, and inspire the organization to love winning more than they are afraid of losing.”

Inspired CMOs see themselves as champions and drivers of growth who can anticipate customers, develop their organizations’ Marketing capabilities, and figure out how to demonstrate Marketing’s impact on the business in terms that matter to their C-Suite leadership team. In fact, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) should operate under another title: the Chief Value Officer (CVO) since it is the CMO’s job to guide and transform Marketing into a Center of Excellence that serves as a model across the organization.

What separates those who merely survive from those who manage to thrive? Surviving CMOs tend to focus on lead generation, pipeline management, branding, and customer acquisition. Thriving CMOs, on the other hand, think beyond this and instead increase their stake in growing customer lifetime value and developing long-term customer profitability. Typically, these CMOs lean toward the analytical end of the Marketing spectrum as opposed to the creative end.

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Let’s dig down into what makes a CMO thrive. Generally, it begins with three characteristics:

  1. Thrivers close the gap between Marketing and the customer by creating customer-centric business strategies and models that allow them to serve as the “voice of the customer.”
  2. They embrace and leverage data to analyze market and customer trends and strengthen their knowledge of the customer and market to create customer-driven products, exceptional customer experiences, a culture dedicated to value creation. Their Marketing organizations use their data-to-insights business acumen. As a result, they are more credible and their data are more relevant.
  3. They take the helm in helping the company anticipate and respond rapidly to changing market and customer needs as well as lead the charge in establishing new Marketing capabilities.

Organizations thrive only if they can acquire and keep customers. To put it in a nutshell, we will defer to Peter Drucker who encapsulated the framework of a successful business by saying that the “purpose of business is to create a customer.” So, if you subscribe to Peter Drucker’s philosophy and adopt Phil Kotler’s position that it is Marketing’s purpose to find, keep, and grow the value of customers, then Marketing must be at the center of the structure to drive your company’s value.

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Value creation is Marketing’s fundamental mission.

Learn more about how your Marketing organization can operate as a Center of Excellence and make Marketing more relevant to you and the C-Suite. Here’s how to start to fulfilll Marketing fundamental mission of value creation.

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