Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, XebiaLabs Blog, Sematext Blog

Blog Feed Post

The Evolving Role of the CMO

Part one of a multi-part blog series in which Pegasystems CMO Grant Johnson sits down with other CMOs and Industry experts to talk about burning issues that are top of mind for B2B and B2C marketers.

The CMO role is rapidly transforming, in large part due to the rapid pace that social, mobile, cloud and big data mega trends are becoming pervasive and changing the very nature of business. In this first installment, I spoke with three CMO thought leaders to better understand the most significant aspects of the new CMO role and what it takes to succeed in an increasingly digital world:  David Cooperstein, VP, CMO Practice Director, Forrester Research; John Ellett, CEO of nFusion and author of The CMO Manifesto; and John Neeson, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Sirius Decisions.

It became clear during the course of several dynamic conversations I’ve had recently that six key elements define the essence of the modern CMO, and how well they are put into practice can largely determine whether he or she will succeed in shaping company success or be relegated to the historical role of merely owning branding and communications.  I share many of the same views that my counterparts and I discussed, and there are many take-aways from each interview.

In the first part of this article, I will cover these first three key elements:  Old vs. New; Marketing Science; and Marketing Technologist.   In the second part, I’ll delve into the other three: Achieving Alignment; Business Partner; and Customer Driven.

 

Old vs. New

The old CMO was focused primarily on corporate marketing and strategic communications, without full operational responsibility or a regular seat at the table in the C-suite.   The new CMO is, according to Neeson, a “more cross-functional role that touches every part of the business.” CMOs now must be “constantly looking at things and evaluating from a strategy standpoint to determine what they can do better.”   To succeed in the new world requires not only a firm grip on navigating the complexity of the business environment, but also, according to Ellett, the ability to influence C-suite peers and “share insights across the organization that help shape both corporate strategy and operational excellence.”  It’s a balancing act to maintain an operational focus the keeps the engine running smoothly, while regularly looking over the horizon to what’s coming next, what to pay attention to and what to ignore, but the new CMO is figuring out how to do enough of both to increase impact on organizational growth and success.  It’s not for everyone, and becoming increasingly more digital and influential in business operations and outcomes is invigorating for many of us who are renewed in this process of evolving.

 

Marketing Science

In the old days, marketers could assert that “half of my marketing spend works, but I just don’t know which half.”   The rise of digital media, combined with the ability to measure the effectiveness of the increasing amount of digital marketing spend, means that marketers are now being held far more accountable for the results of marketing expenditures.  But it goes beyond just measuring marketing ROI.  Modern marketers need to become experts at understanding digital customer behaviors and in data mining so they can architect a customer strategy that maximizes the efficiency of how their company targets, acquires and grows customers and increases market share.  We are in the customer-driven era and the age of customer empowerment. According to Ellett, “this dramatic shift in power to the voice of the customer” means that marketing needs to become more science, and marketing needs to lead the company to “build out the capability organization-wide to be more responsive to customer voice and experience.”  He continues, “Marketers have traditionally been quite strong at persuasive communications and ideation.  The best ones have also excelled at understanding the customer mindset and leveraging agency partners to drive demand and increase influence.  The new CMO must now become as adept at analytics and data-based decision making as they have been at the more subjective art of branding and communications.” As Cooperstein states: “today, more than ever before, CMOs are being held fully accountable for the results of marketing activities.  This means we have to be more metrics oriented.  A lot more is required.  We’re seeing that working together is much better than working apart.”

Neeson, too, agrees, noting CMOs must not just “measure results, but also effectively communicate marketing’s value.”   Becoming more “scientific” can be daunting, however, having the evidence to objectively demonstrate marketing’s contribution to the business can also be very empowering.

 

Marketing Technologist

From a career path perspective, marketers traditionally have educational backgrounds rooted mostly in liberal arts, fine arts and communications, rather than science.   Some have progressed or transitioned into marketing careers from a more technical underpinning, such as computer science or engineering, especially in technology markets.   With the rapidly increasing role that technology plays in helping companies optimize their operations, engage with and convert customers, and build lifetime customer value, technology adroitness is now a mandate that all marketers can’t ignore.  According to analyst firm Gartner, by 2017, CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs.  Regardless of whether this prediction comes true, marketers have no choice but to become well-versed in technology.  They need to not only understand the broad range of technologies that can help the company compete more effectively (e.g. predictive analytics, social media monitoring, marketing automation), but also how to create a technology adoption roadmap.  Except for CMOs starting out at new companies, most of us have a technology infrastructure that is a collection of capabilities and not fully capable or integrated to serve current business mandates.  So it’s now required to closely partner with CIO peers to articulate a cogent roadmap to acquiring, improving and integrating marketing technologies that help the company meet its strategic objectives.  As Ellett states,  “technology has changed the way customers interact with information and how they choose to interact with companies,” so CMOs must now drive how technology is utilized, just as they drive marketing strategy and tactics, to ensure their company can successfully engage with the more empowered, digital, and social customer.

Because of these reasons and more, there’s been no better time to be a CMO.  Sure, current-day challenges are formidable.   But as all three interviewees note, the stakes are much higher in this era of digital marketing, and marketing has an increased ability to demonstrate intrinsic value to the entire organization.  I’ll hit on this and more in the second installment, focusing especially on how this new approach is driving several things, including tighter alignment of marketing, and the expanding role that customers are playing in marketing strategies, tactics and more.


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Grant Johnson

A dynamic, senior-level technology executive with a proven track record building businesses on a global basis. As Chief Marketing Officer for Pegasystems in Cambridge, MA Johnson is responsible for worldwide marketing strategy and execution. He oversees corporate marketing, field marketing, industry marketing, product marketing, marketing programs, marketing communications, analyst and public relations, and global web strategy. Previously, Johnson was the Vice President of Marketing at Guidance Software (GUID) and Vice President of Marketing and served as an officer for FileNet Corp., a $400+ million enterprise software vendor acquired by IBM in 2006. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Marketing for FrontBridge, an email management vendor acquired by Microsoft. Johnson led the company’s re-naming and re-launch, built the marketing team and delivered integrated marketing programs to support significant and sustained revenue growth. He has also served as Director of Marketing for Symantec, with worldwide responsibility for the Norton brand, and as Senior Vice President of Marketing at Ethentica, an enterprise security vendor. Johnson received his bachelor of arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his master’s in business administration from Pepperdine University. He has also published several articles on best practices in high tech marketing and co-authored the book, PowerBranding™

@ThingsExpo Stories
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...