Getting through a challenging time in any industry requires more than a marketing bandaid. As such, the CMO must sport several hats: Brand representative, head of the marketing function, and member of the executive leadership team, among other roles. Here’s how you can ensure not only the survival, but the success of your brand amidst rapidly changing times.
1. Uncertainty is the only certainty. Times are changing? Change with them. Disruption to the status quo accelerates the need for transformation and, at the same time, threatens the success of transformation efforts. The solution is to make “agility” your default setting. Next, outline at least two “what if” situations and test how quickly your brand can realistically adapt to them. Plan around these processes.
2. Customer needs are changing. Equality surpassed loyalty as the highest-ranking consumer value for the first time in nearly a decade. In fact, 54% of consumers now expect brands to take a position and action on social issues. CMOs must use insight to represent customer needs to the broader organization, educate other leaders on shifting customer expectations and influence other leaders to take action.
3. Marketing budgets are under pressure. Multiple conflicting forces are leading to budget pressure, and marketing faces inevitable cuts. However, this pressure extends beyond cost-cutting to optimizing the performance of remaining programs and directing investments to strategic initiatives that support growth and digital transformation. For example, in key areas like digital commerce, marketers may see an increase in investment as the organization tries to rapidly shift to digital.
4. CMO success depends on allies and partners. Marketing represents the voice of the customer (and prospects) at a time when the enterprise, and executive leaders across enterprise functions, need to consider that voice in their business decisions. Yet, making that insight available and using it to inform and influence their peers will require CMOs to form alliances and partnerships they haven’t historically had with other C-suite leaders.