How CMOs Can Have Their Biggest Impact in 2022

4 minutes
Dec 07, 2021
Digital Marketing

A couple of years ago, I made a small shift to my title that has had a big impact on my career. Instead of calling myself a Chief Marketing Officer,...

A couple of years ago, I made a small shift to my title that has had a big impact on my career. Instead of calling myself a Chief Marketing Officer, I dropped the -ing and started calling myself Chief Market Officer. It may seem like a small change, but in reality it marked a major transformation: I went from being seen as a doer of marketing activities to being respected as an expert on the market.

When I changed my title, I also changed my mindset. I took more ownership of strategy, I had new confidence in board meetings, and I doubled down on owning my seat at the table as the voice of the market. In other words, it was much more than a title change. It paved the way for me to make a much bigger impact in my company than I could have if I had kept playing small.

Now, with a couple years as Chief Market Officer under my belt, I have some ideas about what it will mean to continue uplevel the CMO role going forward.

1. Master the Market

It’s right there in the name: A Chief Market Officer needs to have the insights, knowledge, and strategy to show up as the master of the market for their company. The market is and will remain the top priority for any CMO. 6sense recently researched high-growth companies to find the common threads in their success, and the top two factors these companies reported as critical to their growth were all about the market:

  • The product or solution (i.e., product-market fit). CMOs are the lynchpin in ensuring product-market fit — not because we drive the product roadmap (we don’t; leave that to the product team). Instead, we’re the liaison between the market and the product. We bring the voice of the market to the product, and we educate the market on the product.
  • Alignment on target market, ICP, or target accounts. The most successful high-growth companies are aligned across the revenue team when it comes to which accounts they go after, as well as which ones they don’t. Next-level CMOs build alignment and trust with their CROs by getting crystal clear on segmentation. Being on the same page allows the entire team to use resources wisely — on the accounts where you’re likely to have the most success, based on market insights.

2. Rethink what “brand” means

Chief Market Officers elevate the idea of brand. It’s not just fonts and logos, it’s experience. The way people experience a company day-to-day is the definition of a brand. We have the opportunity to build either a brand that stands out or one that fades into the background. Sadly, 64% of B2B buyers say we’re failing in that regard, and that companies’ digital experiences all look and feel the same. To build a brand that makes customers take note and want to get on board, we need to differentiate by providing a standout customer experience. That requires knowing our customers and prospects, understanding what they’re interested in, seeing where they are in the buying journey, and identifying all the team members who are involved in the decision-making process. With these insights, we can provide a genuinely helpful brand experience while also giving them the information they need to progress through the buying journey.

3. Drive revenue

The first two tenets of being a Chief Market Officer build to this very important one: CMOs need to drive revenue. To do that, we first optimize our sales team’s time by making sure we’re providing them with the right accounts at the right time — when they’re most ready to engage. That’s important because sales is our most expensive channel, and we can’t afford to waste their time on accounts that aren’t yet ready to hear from them.

Next, we’re vigilant about all the levers that influence revenue. We do everything we can to improve the sales velocity formula (maximizing conversion rates throughout the funnel, increasing average sales price, and decreasing cycle times), since we know that’s the surest path to predictable revenue growth.

Are You a Chief Market Officer?

If you’re a CMO who is obsessed with the market, customer experience, and driving the overall financial success of your business, you may already be a Chief Market Officer — whether your title reflects it or not. As we keep evolving our roles and give up on playing small, we ensure that we’re making the biggest impact possible, for both our companies and our careers.