Friday, August 19, 2022

Are CMOs and CCOs ready for the future?

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Entrepreneur, 30 years of experience, achieving results by using technology in the marketing & sales process, CEO of CRM excellence and fueled up.

Digital sales strategies have undergone many changes as a result of the growing digital customer journey. Millennials often prefer a digital-first approach and seek out online knowledge in a representative free digital environment. That’s why sales professionals are wise to adapt to the emerging generation of B2B buyers. The first part of my series was about this new sales approach. In part two, I discussed hyper-automation, tools and data that support sales in their new role. Both changes involve guidance from CMOs and CCOs.

In this final installment of the series, I’ll discuss how the CMO and CCO can best coordinate the use of new technologies and current and upcoming improvements that will change the future of the online sales and marketing process.

CMO and CCO management

The use of marketing technology and artificial intelligence (AI) for the sales force is likely to change the sales trajectory in the coming years. These processes need to be rearranged to meet the B2B buyer through online channels because the Millennial buyer is primarily online, as noted in the Gartner report “The Future of Sales: Transformational Strategies for B2B Sales Organizations”. The way the CMO and CCO coordinate these processes is based on dashboards and data is essential to success. This alignment should be based on clear macro and micro KPIs. An important element of this management is that the sales force can distinguish qualitative data from quantitative input collected within the systems used.

Incorrect data entry, inadequate systems and lack of opportunities to share relevant data can prevent organizations from using AI within the sales process to support both online and offline resources. The CMO and CCO should therefore consider the following two things:

1. Take on a coaching role to lead the team in using marketing technology and data.

2. Set realistic and SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals that are monitored regularly, not just at the end of each fiscal year.

This is where the importance of micro and macro KPIs comes in. Micro KPIs can be easily monitored during weekly tasks. For example, consider the difference between the click-through rate of a content item (micro) and the number of purchases during the year (macro).

Assemble your team of experts

The CMO and CCO can choose to build up the necessary digital knowledge in-house with their sales team. When it comes to supporting the digital customer journey with marketing technology, I think the following skills are essential to integrate into your team:

• Marketing automation

• IP tracking

• Website

• Design

• Social media marketing

• Content creation

• To advertise


To best adapt your business to these digital changes, I suggest that your team consists of experts in every marketing and sales area described above. Companies must provide excellent support for the online customer journey and the conversion paths.

Alternatively, some organizations may choose to hire different suppliers within different expertise niches. This provides major advantages as each specialist has knowledge of the specific part. Unfortunately, this strategy also places disadvantageous tasks on the role of project managers, who must oversee and guide each individual component towards an easy workflow that supports the overall goals. Managers and employees need to communicate in detail about their projects because every part is interrelated. Specific examples include:

• Tracking keyword usage, which must match in content creation, advertising, and email marketing.

• Monitoring A/B test results, clarifying specific vocabulary use within target groups and to be embedded in the text of web pages.

I could cite more examples where different fields interact, although I have learned from experience that time management, project management and communication take up a significant part of the available marketing time.

Outsource Marketing

Another option is to outsource this work. (Disclosure: My company helps with this.) Communication then becomes part of the collaboration between you and the partner organization. This makes the external marketing team an extension of your own marketing department. When you need a specific skill, you can easily access the available professionals.

The advantage of this approach is that you do not have to spend time managing the continuous collaboration of the various components. This task becomes the responsibility of the external marketing team. However, collaborating with an extensive marketing team is not a success for every company.

What to look for in a partner

1. Online marketing is a broad discipline. What works for one company can be harmful for another. Before talking to a marketing team, consider which disciplines will support your business goals.

2. Once you know which disciplines you need the most, look to the future of your company. What are your long-term goals? What marketing strategies support these goals? Working with a team that can easily grow with your growing successes is an important part of your decision-making process.

3. Make sure the partner you chose supports personalized deals – don’t buy a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on the state of your website and the progress of your own marketing efforts, you will have specific wishes for your marketing approach.

4. Find a partner with one marketing team that includes experts from different marketing disciplines. This way you benefit from the skills that you temporarily need. When you grow or need to focus on a different discipline, you don’t have to switch to another partner.

The biggest challenge you will face with outsourcing is the loss of control. Maybe you don’t feel like giving away your data or leaving important decisions to others. That’s why it’s important to find a partner who keeps you constantly informed. Make sure you have built a strong bond with your partner. This can only work if you work together to make the most of your budget.

Management via digital platforms, data, tools, micro and macro KPIs requires adjusting roles from the CMO and CCO. I believe these changes are necessary because the pandemic is likely to have long-lasting effects on the partnership, and because millennials, who prefer a rep-free purchasing process, are here to stay. How well prepared is your organization for these processes? Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

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