The great thing about my Fuji road bike is that it is waaaaay easier when it comes to hills than my old hybrid. If only there were a ‘Granny Gear’ for being a marketing leader. It’s an uphill climb given the pressure to hit targets, coach a team, execute deliverables, and manage the increasingly complex MarTech stack. The problems you should expect as CMO come down to Strategy and Execution: ‘Does the CMO know what to do’ (strategy) and ‘Can they get others to act against that knowledge’ (execution).

  • Strategy: A Spencer Stuart study indicates that many CMOs are first-timers, which would make it challenging to know what exactly to do.
  • Execution: The same firm’s study reports that while the CMOs tenure is increasing, it’s still half of other C-level positions. Yet, they still have to get others to act in a short amount of time.

If you’re new to the company or role, start to identify and correct the fundamental problems found within the Demand Generation Ecosystem®. Below are some problems you should expect as CMO.

Your peers typically report these systemic problems, can you relate?

Marketing Campaigns: How can we generate demand and revenue for our organization?

  • I have this laundry list of items to do, but I can’t evaluate which would be most productive.
  • I don’t know how to break my revenue goals down into the programs needed to generate awareness and demand.
  • I spend all my time executing campaigns, but I don’t have time to do anything else, like think.
  • I’m in reactive, send out a blast communication mode instead of creating sustainable proactive campaigns.

Measurement & Reporting: I don’t know what I don’t know

  • I spend more time trying to get data out of multiple systems than I do being able to create a single view of marketing contribution to revenue.
  • I can’t show what my marketing budget brought into the business. I know what it cost but not what I got.
  • I don’t know how to measure marketing’s performance or where to find the data in order to measure.
  • I don’t know how to capture the information I’ll need in order to be able to report properly on my programs.

Technology: Do I have more problems because of my automation and intelligence solutions?

  • I don’t know what technology we have access or how well we utilize it.
  • I can’t get a single view because of lack of integration.
  • I don’t trust the data as it’s overused, incomplete and old.
  • I’ve had multiple owners of the technology, but they’re gone and no one knows how to use it.
  • I seem to have lots of technology, but my team is still doing a lot of manual workarounds.

Organization: Aren’t we all in this together?

  • I don’t have the technical skillset within my team to use the technology we own in the way we need to in order to hit my goals.
  • I need to develop a shared vision with sales management on what the goals are and how sales and marketing will work together to reach them.
  • I don’t have mapped, repeatable processes for marketing to do our day-to-day activities.
  • I don’t feel like there is an agreement between marketing and sales around when leads get handed over, what a qualified lead looks like or the appropriate follow-up process.

Whether we’re working with start-ups, global firms, small marketing teams, large complex sales organizations, we’ve seen these problems over and over again. Where do you start? Look for quick wins you can accomplish easily within 100 days. Then, find some big rubber boots and wade into the scariest but most impactful area. I wish you luck, but I also want to invite you to reach out to the Yetis at Measured Results Marketing for some of our been-there-done-that expertise.