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Top Characteristics of Transformational CMOs of Tomorrow

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One of the most significant challenges facing modern CMOs and marketers is how rapidly the marketing industry changes. Between new technology, new customer demands, and new cultural trends, it’s more important than ever that CMOs keep their brands positioned for rapid success. That’s why Bob Van Rossum at Business2Community.com spoke with some of the top marketing recruiters in the industry and has put together what he believes are some of the key characteristics of “the transformational CMO of tomorrow,” the type of marketing leader that is equipped to lead his or her brand into the future.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most important characteristics.

Focus and Understanding of the Buyer’s Journey

For many brands, the sales cycle is a long and protracted one. For others, the intricacies of the marketing supply chain – from the creative team’s demands to the CFO’s strict budget requirements – make for extremely complex marketing operations. Either way, as the buyer’s journey becomes longer and features more distinct “moments,” transformational CMOs must be ready.

As Van Rossum says, “We look for leaders that are capable of understanding the various pain points a consumer may encounter during the customer journey. By truly understanding the buyer’s journey, CMOs are better able to drive engagement and growth.”

And that doesn’t just mean knowing which marketing materials will resonate best at each stage. It also means planning ahead and enabling an agile and responsive marketing supply chain that can quickly adapt and react, allowing the brand to capitalize on each moment of the buyer’s journey. Transformational CMOs will be sure to work with partners who enable this responsiveness and success.

be the change - brand activism

Creating Emotional Connections to the Brand

In increasingly crowded markets, it’s no longer enough to simply offer a superior product. Transformational CMOs must use their marketing materials to create a meaningful, lasting, emotional connection with their customers. “A strong brand goes far beyond a memorable logo or slogan…it needs to be immersed in every element and strategic move of your organization to make a true impact,” Van Rossum says.

Developing these connections between your brand and your customers requires both a close examination and an intricate understanding, of changing customer demands and cultural trends. But capitalizing on them, and using them to create lasting, deep bonds with your brand requires agile and responsive marketing operations. When an opportunity arises, your marketing logistics should be simple and fast enough to seize on it before your competition does, and execute on it in a way that keeps costs low and ROI high.

Foster an Agile Mindset

Transformational CMOs must be familiar with what Van Rossum calls “lean and agile” methodologies. “Lean and agile methodologies have transformed other industries, and have a great potential to improve practices within the marketing space,” he says. A lean mindset is one that helps brands maximize customer value (which should always stay top priority) while optimizing for a specific desired outcome. An agile mindset, on the other hand, helps your marketing efforts adapt in real time as you keep your customers the central focus in building effective solutions.

To this end, partnering with a marketing supply chain and logistics partner can take much of the burden of searching for ways to stay lean and agile off of the CMO themselves. By working with an expert whose business is keeping costs low and production time short, CMOs can foster this transformational attitude in all areas of their operations, saving time and preparing for changing definitions of success.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Top Emerging Challenges Facing CMOs in 2018

Man pointing finger on the marketing materials on the desk in the meeting

As Summer 2018 approaches and brands are preparing to make their marketing pushes to capitalize on the summer spending season, it’s not just sunscreen and cook-outs on the minds of marketers. That’s according to Emily Cross at the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), who explains that there are five (5) main areas where CMOs are facing new challenges, exactly what potential dangers those challenges pose, and how savvy marketers can overcome them. So let’s take a look at some of the challenges CMOs are facing in 2018, and how smart brands are dealing with them.

Digital Transparency: the Real Numbers

Digital is the hot word on the lips of CMOs right now. Omnichannel expansion and the Internet of Things are revolutionizing how marketers target and reach their audiences. But there are some pitfalls with digital as well. Namely, that ROI and revenue can be much more difficult to attribute with digital versus print. That’s why WARC says that most brands cite “digital measurement” and transparency as the number one issue in their marketing plans. In fact, 30% of those polled expect to cut their digital spend in 2018 if these issues aren’t alleviated.

So, how can smart CMOs protect themselves and their brands?

  • Take proactive steps to minimize risk
  • Prioritize ad visibility over duration
  • Explore more traditional channels

Customer Experience: Superior and Competitive

In increasingly crowded marketplaces, more and more brands are setting themselves apart by delivering a superior, highly personalized customer experience. And the reasons are obvious. Modern consumers will actually give preference to brands that offer them personalized experiences. In fact, 80% of consumers state they are more likely to engage with a brand if it offers personalized customer experiences, and customers will shop 3x as frequently if it provides experiences personalized to them. That’s why, according to WARC, 53% of brands will prioritize CX in their marketing strategy for 2018.

So, how can CMOs position themselves to compete – and win – on the customer experience?

  • Understand CX is a whole customer journey, not one touchpoint
  • Structure teams, operations, and supply chains to execute
  • Use data intelligently to create a full view of the customer
brand idea poster - onsite services

Defining Your Brand Purpose

Everyone is searching for a purpose in life. But according to WARC, many brands are, too. As the lines between politics, world events, and marketing continue to blur thanks in part to social media, many CMOs are seeing purpose-driven advertisements as a powerful way to associate their brand with issues that matter to their customers, winning their loyalty.

Which explains why WARC reports a 300% increase in purpose-driven ads from the top 100 global brands in the last five years. But when purpose-driven marketing misses the mark, its backlash can be loud and damaging. Authenticity is key.

So, how can CMOs leverage their brand purpose wisely?

  • Keep it rooted in your brand’s current, actual values
  • Support long-term brand building and customer loyalty
  • Respond rapidly to popular trends; don’t wait too long and miss them

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE

Disruption in Building Materials Marketing: A Guide for CMOs

“Disruption” is a hot word right now in marketing. It calls to mind the Ubers, PayPals, and Yelps of the world. Disruption can mean huge profits and slashed costs for companies that pull it off successfully, and a place in the pantheon of revered brands.

But for CMOs, who must try to navigate through this ever-changing sea of disruptions in consumer behaviors, business environments, and new technologies, handling this task, and identifying which opportunities to capitalize on, can be a challenge. That’s why Navigate-the-Channel offers these helpful tips for coming out on top to CMOs riding the wave of disruption.

Explore and Understand New Technology

It wasn’t even five years ago that virtual reality, machine learning, A.I., and the Internet of Things were all pipe dreams. Now, they’re household concepts, and marketers are integrating them into their strategies.

Take Marriott Hotels, for example. It uses VR headsets to allow vacation shoppers to virtually “explore” some of its flagship properties in places like London, Hawaii, and, Thailand, telling its hospitality story better than a pamphlet ever could. VR, and the ability to “walk through” structures has exciting applications for the building materials industry.

As NTC puts it, “these technologies should not be cultivated for their own sake,” but CMOs should seek to understand both their applications and their appeal to consumers.

businessman holding tablet

Use Data to Consider Customers Holistically

Big data has brought big changes to how marketers develop customer personas and ideal customer profiles. In the past, CMOs grouped large swaths of customers into similar “personas” and segmented their marketing efforts at that level.

Now, with the rise of “Big Data” and, more importantly, the machine learning power to analyze, process, and make sense of it, CMOs have an unprecedented opportunity to target their customers at an even more granular level.

As NTC explains, “In a small industry like building materials, everyone knows everyone else. Each person within a sales funnel must be considered fully,” and that includes considering their organization’s challenges, goals, budgets, geographic markets, and more. CMOs should explore investments in big data analysis that can help create these hyper-specific buyer profiles.

Real-Time Responsiveness and Connectivity

The Internet of Things is rapidly redefining traditional marketing “channels.” Now, refrigerators can recommend packaged foods to consumers, and windows can suggest more energy-efficient blinds.

CMOs should take a step back and consider how certain societal and consumer attitudes have already changed regarding styles, materials, and processes. “For instance, certain manufacturing processes that would have been industry standard within building materials might now be considered anti-environment and cause enough of a stir to hinder business,” explains NTC. The use of asbestos in insulation materials is one of the most famous examples.

Smart CMOs should take into consideration which aspects of their business may become the subject of consumer attention in the future, and they should prepare their marking supply chain and marketing operations to be agile and responsive to these changes as they arise.

Subscribe to the Blog

Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE