The challenges facing a CMO have evolved expodentially over the last few years. CMOs have faced interesting challenges from the start of marketing time, of course. But with ever changing technology, ever adjusting customer wants, and an ever increasing need to deliver immediate results, now more than ever investing in a strategy takes guts, determination, and a good dash of experience to get it right. And that’s not to mention the persuasive manner required with the Board to convince them that marketing isn’t just a cost but an investment in the future.
However, with that said, we reckon there are three particularly significant challenges facing CMOs now in the B2B market. Are you ready to roll up your sleeves?
Digital is no longer cutting edge… it’s in the centre
‘Digital’ is everywhere. Whether you’re B2C or B2B, your customers are using the internet day and night. For those businesses that have thrived on traditional strategies in the past, therefore, it’s been a tough few years. Newcomers have been able to get up to speed astonishingly quickly. And the sort of brand development that used to take a while, but gave a product staying power, has now been usurped by noisy review sites and viral social media.
Twelve years ago, only a third of CEOs were targeting digital in their thinking; now it’s over two thirds. So it’s not so much about deciding whether to embrace digital … it’s about choosing which digital channels will work best. Where does your audience hang out? What should you be measuring? Can you automate? And where should you invest time and money?
Customer experience and personalisation need focused attention
Whatever your market, and wherever you sit in the B2B food chain, your decision makers are seeing and experiencing customer service in business and in their personal lives online. Their expectations of the two are merging, and what has worked well for B2C is now beginning to impact B2B thinking too.
In fact, in Garner’s CMO Spend Survey (2018-19), customer experience was one of the top three priorities CMOs were listing in their budget. So, have you benchmarked your customer experience recently? What are those new digital whizz kids doing in your market? If your customers are researching online, are you there grabbing their attention at the start with personalised/targeted material? And are you offering up the right information to engage them further on?
Of course, to personalise this content you have to understand the profile of your audience and where they currently are in their buying journey. CMOs, therefore, have to make a point of understanding their data universe. And to achieve that, they need to invest in capturing data and analysing it. It’s time and money very well spent, though, for the truth is out there…
Marketing technology is flourishing… and you need it
Martech is exploding. Automation, apps, big data, AI, APIs… it’s all there and up for grabs. Choosing what you should focus on is a huge challenge, for going up a blind alley could put you eighteen months behind the curve and cost you a fortune; though if you delay in making a decision, your competitors could leap ahead.
So how do you solve some of these issues, when the Board is breathing down your neck to prove your RoI, and you have a rapid rate of change to manage out in the market place? What you need is an extraordinary team of people to work with. In-house, contractors, outsourced suppliers, whichever route you take, as the CMO you have to be an expert in pulling them together to work as one to keep them on message and on target. And that’s just the start of it…
If you’d like to find out more about the guidance we can provide on tackling the challenges you are facing, please do give us a call. We know it can be a rollercoaster of a ride, but boy can it be a rewarding one.