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The Challenges CMOs Must Overcome To Be Successful

As with any professional career or profession, there are certain challenges that come with serving within any given organization or enterprise in the role of a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). The business day throws fast, slow, and curve balls at executives all the time, so expecting the unexpected is a crucial professional skill to have in position of CMO. However, keeping a clear and thorough overview of the duties included in the field is a essential to making the right choices and taking the best action for a marketing department. This translates to more revenue and resources, which boosts overall profitability and stability no matter what challenges arise from client demands and market trends.

With every changing sign of the times, making sales is the ultimate challenge for a Chief Marketing Officer from campaign to campaign. Depending on an enterprise’s size, scale, and nature of the service or product for sale, answering this ultimate challenge breaks down into a collective set of goals. These objectives overlap and act as a herald to other businesses or the general public at large. A savvy CMO knows how to run one step ahead of the competition by staying highly aware of current events and market trends. Successful campaigns require marketing officers to design strategies that blend sticking to the script and executing innovative communications. These ideas need to highlight a company if they want build something recognizable and relevant in today’s commercial arena. No single campaign stands up to every demand of the general public, and even the most classic designs have to be given a polish every now and again.

Before a Chief Marketing Officer can create an effective marketing message that really represents a company’s product or services, some crucial actions have to be in play beforehand. These actions have to be repeated or at least documented and archived for the sake of reference and referral should the need arise. They include duties like staying connected with the different established and new media institutions; or tracking the effectiveness of marketing campaigns trough data collection and analyzing. It’s not so much that staying informed and connected presents so much of a challenge to a CMO as performing these task while convincing someone to spend money does.

The challenges that a Chief Marketing Officer faces can be compared to the waves of an ocean splashing on a shore. There are steady challenges that give life meaning and make an executive feel needed such as preparing reports and looking over budgets. Likewise, there are situations that have to do more with seizing the right opportunities. Picking the best time to run seasonal campaigns from summer Labor Day sales to year-end clearances is a good example. Gearing up for these types of bumps in business translates to attending meetings with other executives within a company to get on the same page before launching a marketing campaign. These meetings and exchanges of information ensure that details of a campaign truly represent the services or products offered by a company to clients and customers. Staying in contact with other department leaders also makes a good blueprint for things like proper brand representation and exhibition when commercially collaborating with other enterprises.

Just like the waves that splash against a shore, some challenges that a Chief Marketing Officer face are not for foreseen, and these circumstances require specialized action. In cases such as these, an executive may find themselves overseeing projects like press releases, or product re-releases due to a recall, with a little more expertise. While expecting the unexpected, seasoned CFOs know how to adjust the scale, look, and feel of a campaign to fit on to things such as pamphlets or bill boards in a pinch. These tweaks to a marketing campaign may demand their own budget, and it’s part of the duties of a CMO to make sure that these changes do not present problems to a company’s overall image or customer relation management (CRM) model.

A Chief Marketing Officer has to keep their skillsets sharp and up to date to meet commercial challenges every day, week, and month throughout the year. Keeping these skills sharp is a challenge in itself. Although these skill may differ slightly from one company to the other, they include things like precise and effective copywriting abilities for drafting analysis reports. Along with the ability to draft content based on financial information and market trends, a good CMO has superlative communication skills. This is key for negotiating the right price for services rendered or requested when outsourcing tasks that fall outside of a department’s scope. For marketing officers, presentation carries a lot of value. Everything has to be running well within a department before this can happen, but no leader can do it all alone. To this end, keeping team members motivated and providing them incentives for submitting high-quality work product is absolutely a major challenge of the work day.

1. Having the Correct Team In Place

Having the right operating procedures and team members in place increases the power of a Chief Marketing Officer within a department, but it’s not enough to master challenges in the field. To do that, marketing executives need to pioneer and innovate web-based solutions to meet company needs. This means using more than one online platform to get a group of people to absorb a campaign message. Using different message channels, boards, websites and even applications allows for super-targeted information exchange.

2. Utilizing Big Data

In the digital age of information, it’s ok for CMOs to “water down” big data and present audiences with a campaign that offers raw information. As long as a refined and processed marketing product is offered first, there’s no conflict of interest or risk of losing face to the public. There are different gradients between raw and processed data that can be serve in smaller or more efficient sizes.

3. Utilizing New Marketing Channels

Even though sticking with what works is something of a trick of the trade in marketing and branding, finding a niche way to get a campaign to an audience never hurts. In recent times, it pays to for Chief Marketing Officers to keep the decision making process short and sweet when it comes to social media. Keeping a page too similar for too long may make a company seem unduly outdated.

4. Utilizing Different Teams

Good marketing officers know that campaigning doesn’t happen in a bubble, and ripples in marketing can turn into tidal waves practically overnight. For this very reason, marketing leaders need to relay the importance of every member in a department stays vigilant in their content marketing efforts. This is something of a balancing act between designing strategies that remain independent from other companies’ messages but complement them as well.

5. Utilization of Hardware

Staying ahead of the marketing curve means doing more than looking for the newest software as service technology. Knowing about the different type of hardware that maybe hitting the market in the short and long run adds value to executive marketing decisions. Avoiding or getting in on a beta release for hardware can prove very valuable to future department operations.

6. Following New Trends

Of course, one of the biggest challenges to launching a good marketing campaign comes from watching out for commercial trends. Trending is big from Facebook to YouTube. And, having a specific presence social media platforms still generates revenue. The challenge Chief Marketing Officers have to face is knowing when to switch gears without appearing to jump ship too soon.

7. Determining The Value Of Ad Buys

Social media platforms are still the big boys on the block, and mobile ad spending has a lot to due to do with this popularity. Chief Marketing Officers need to pay close attention to the reasons why consumers choose to pay attention. These numbers are way easier to track than traditional methods, which means ads can be launched at more convenient times to actually reach viewers.

8. Having Input Into Marketing Strategies

Many companies owe a large part of the success of their business model to word of mouth referrals. And, the same concept can be applied to the sharing of helpful videos that consumers share with each other online. Knowing which videos are going to be hot and piggybacking on these shared videos is a long-standing challenge for Chief Marketing Officers. Really good marketing officers find a way to have some kind of input in the production of videos as well as finding ways to have their service or goods in the advertisement spots.

9. Using Augmented Reality

For marketing executives who dare to walk on the “wild” side, the digital advent of Augmented Reality offers opportunities that once seemed to be the stuff of dreams. This type of technology has applications for direct marketing to viewer and potential customers based on their location. This translates to possibly displaying incredible deals to the public as they come into proximity to the right areas.

10. Cross Product Utilization and Integration

As handheld and at home technology becomes more sophisticated, people no longer type texts in order to search for information or find goods and services. Marketing executives and the departments they lead need to make themselves more accessible and approachable through common or colloquial voice-search terms. This means investing in modular software and technology that meshes with other products to direct sales to the company.

11. Using AI to Make Smarter Decisions

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, the saying goes. Chief Marketing Officers need to pay close attention to the progress being made by artificial intelligence. Even though it’s not close enough to usurp professional positions just yet, AI can pass for nearly coherent conversation between strangers. This technology can cause distraction and from real campaigning, or be a powerful tool on which to build a legacy.

Thanks for reading "The Challenges CMOs Must Overcome To Be Successful", by the Linchpin Team in Chicago, Raleigh, and Wake Forest.

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