The 5 Essential Keys to Being a Successful CMO

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of an organization is more critical than ever in companies today, because he or she is responsible for all activities under the umbrella of marketing. These marketing activities play an enormous role in the success of any business. This includes sales management, distribution channel management, product development, advertising, promotions, pricing, marketing, and all market research.

Image Credit: Flickr, Creative Commons: gail

These diverse responsibilities are also what makes the position so appealing to many people hoping to attain that level within a company, just because it is such an important and dynamic role within the business. Here are some of the key components that most successful CMOs share, and which any aspiring CMO should try to develop:

Use marketing data to best advantage
The tremendous availability of data today is making it possible to market from an almost scientific and statistically-driven perspective. This concept should be recognized and taken advantage of by a good CMO, even though all that available data is seldom consolidated into a neat and concise format, like that of B&N Readouts. The CMO needs to have the capability of analyzing this data, and putting it to best use in determining which sales leads are more relevant and which markets should be targeted for maximum business success.

Collaboration with the sales department
No matter what product or service your company offers, it is crucial that the sales department be a major partner in the business strategies adopted by a CMO because they are the front-line biggest contributors to the success of the company. This means thoroughly assessing the sales group to determine if they have all the requisite skills and education to consistently make sales up to a volume that will guarantee company success.

Generating and improving brand awareness
Customers become loyal customers when they can readily identify a company with the product or solution it offers, and have chosen it over competitors. There are two key points in that scenario, both of which must be satisfied in order to have successful company branding and enjoy the resultant increased sales. The task of the CMO is to develop strategies that will immediately associate the company with the products it makes in the minds of potential customers. Beyond that, it is also imperative that there be a reason why your company's version of the product or service is more appealing as a purchase than any competitor's offering. When both of these have been established, sales are made and customer loyalty begins to build.

Linchpin between internal operations and external sales
A successful CMO must help disseminate marketing initiatives throughout the company, so all departments and all individuals are aligned with the company's goals, and are striving for their achievement.

The CMO acts as a linchpin providing feedback from external sales operations to internal channels so that any necessary modifications can be undertaken dynamically, and internal efforts are working smoothly to satisfy external demand.

Define and implement strategic direction
Because of all the other responsibilities a CMO assumes in the company, it happens quite often that he or she also becomes the main driver of the strategic direction for the business. This can be a very complex and critical task, but the information which is needed to develop a strategic vision is the same information that a CMO has greatest access to, and has already analyzed.

By knowing and grasping the business consumers, competition, markets, technologies, and core competencies, the CMO is ideally situated to be a champion of the future direction of the company.