What Do You Want From a CMO and How Do You Get It?

What Do You Want From a CMO and How Do You Get It?

The strategic presence of a Chief Marketing Officer is more important than ever, but there’s more than one type. So, as a CEO, how do you know which marketing expert you need to take your business where you want it to go? As a business leader, understanding what you want from your CMO is the key to success. If you are currently recruiting for the role, it’s an excellent opportunity to take a closer look at the needs of your company and where you want it to go and to redefine the role within your organisation to make sure you get the right person for the job. The question is: how do you do that?

How do you understand what you need from your CMO?

All CMOs are different and not every CMO is right for every business. The CEO needs to know what the core challenge of the business is to understand what they want from their marketing expert. Is it to reach digital native customers? Is it to squeeze the marketing ROI to ensure customer acquisition costs are optimised? Or, perhaps, it is to ensure that the brand resonates with potential customers and earns the loyalty of existing customers?

If you have just separated with your CMO or are about to commit the significant resources to a permanent CMO, it is critical that your business needs are clearly understood and articulated. This will then inform the type of marketing expert you want leading the way for your team.

For example, if you are looking for someone to run your existing team, you may be looking for a CMO who is a professional general manager. If you are aiming for a complete marketing rebuild, you may need a creative rebranding expert. Or perhaps your focus requires a digital wizard? Each of these requires a different skillset depending on where you are in your business and where you are trying to get to.

What do you do with marketing while you’re searching for a new CMO?

It’s all very easy to talk about what you’re going to do with marketing moving forward, but you still need to keep it going in the interim, and not in a way that’s just passing time. So how do you bridge the gap and survive the intervening period?

This is where the fundamental importance of marketing needs to be recognised. It’s not simply about the execution of adverts and social media posts. It’s about developing a pipeline of qualified leads for the sales team. This is the reason that no marketing team should simply be treading water and staying busy for the sake of it. They are vital for the health of the business, especially in a market as challenging as it is at the moment. On this basis, no organisation can afford to have an extended time where marketing isn’t being done or isn’t being done effectively.

When you’re searching for a new CMO, how you bridge the gap depends very much on the stage that your business is at and what your objectives are. However, there are certain things that are of universal importance. For example, you need to make sure that lead generation is still taking place, that campaigns are still running and that the integration between sales and marketing is working. This should all be informed by key metrics to make sure that a team is not simply busy but accomplishing their goals. So as part of this process, you need to decide which metrics you are monitoring, and how, in order to measure the results and compare them to past trends, as well as future projections.

While this period of time might not be the moment to launch that industry-leading podcast you always dreamed of for your business, in the absence of a full-time marketing expert, the CEO either needs to take on that responsibility or assign someone else. Realistically, no matter how enthusiastic, most CEOs do not have the time to fill the role of a CMO, even for a comparatively short period of time.

You may look at employing someone temporarily, although this comes with recruitment costs and the prospect of more upheaval and change than you may deem necessary. There may be someone within your team who you think should cover the role for a short period of time. Alternatively, an interim marketing consultant such as a fractional CMO could be a solution to keeping marketing running effectively. It might also help you do the analysis that will inform the type of CMO you are looking for in a permanent capacity to deliver the commercial objectives of the business.

Find out more about the benefits of working with a Fractional CMO


Written by Mark Magnacca


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