The CMO, Finding Allies in the C-suite

There is so much optimism in the air about the ongoing pandemic coming to an end, gratitude to the increasingly widespread of vaccine that is been deployed. People hope to resume back to their normal lives at home and at work. But the marketing executives have already suspect that there is no going back to the former way things were in 2019. Many of the CMOs saw huge budget cuts in the year 2020 and are wondering what will come next.

One thing seems very certain: the digital ad spending, which has outpaced expenditures on non-digital forms of advertising for the first time in the year 2020, will continue to increase in growth. CMOs are investing in the martech tools to help manage activities more efficiently on the digital channels, and they are expecting their investments in the technology to continue in 2021.

But there is an anxiety in the air also, as CMOs are considering the implications of a reduction in marketing spend that may continue in the years to come. Will this leave the CMO role vulnerable? Here is something for sure that the CMOs can do to help strengthen their position in the years to come: it is to create alliances with their C-suite neighbours, the CEO, the CIO and the CFO.

Reaching across the table
So, how can the CMOs start making friends with their neighbors in the executive suite? The first step is starter to consider what people in each role need to start doing their jobs with maximum efficiency and effectiveness and also consider how marketing can be of help. For example, CMOs can start thinking about how to form alliance with the CEOs, the CIOs and the CFOs to use technology and data and how marketing can also be of contribution.

It helps also in considering the decisions that the CEOs, the CIOs and the CFOs have to make and how the marketing will intersect. The CEOs mainly focus on the overarching business strategy, and the marketing definitely plays a role there. The CIOs concentrate on the technology and data, and that makes an impacts marketing and vice-versa. The CFOs focus on the financial performance, so the CMOs can create inroads on that basis too.


Working with C-suite neighbours

Having the general principles in mind, the CMOs can start working on collaboration toward a cooperative relationship with their C-suite neighbors. Only 13 percent of F100 CEOs have a background in the sales or the marketing, so CMOs who are looking to start forging an alliance with their CEO might have to make up ground there, demonstrating what the marketing is doing to produce a large scale business results.

One of the quickest ways that an alliance can be formed with the CIO is to simply collaborate on martech purchases. There has been a decentralisation trend across the enterprises, where department leaders are forming their own technology purchasing decisions without necessarily inquiring from the CIO to weigh in. But a recent Infosys survey found out that 44 percent of companies believe that a close CMO-CIO partnership can still boost profits by 5 percent or even more, which is reasonable enough to explore closer ties.

CMOs are more increasingly focused on data, and that opens wide the door for a greater collaboration with the CFOs since that is the language they speak as well.

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