What NOT to do as a CMO

In their bid to demonstrate great marketing RoI, CMOs sometimes make grave mistakes that cost them dearly. Here’s what they need to avoid.

Being a Chief Marketing Officer today is no easy feat. What with the market changing almost literally in the blink of an eye and having to demonstrate optimum marketing RoI at all times, it is not very different from being an F1 driver. You have to be at your competitive best always, work with a basic strategy and adapt to changes, keep your wits about you in high pressure situations, focus on getting ahead of the curve, understand the importance of agility and know how much if it is required…well the similarities are endless.

It’s no surprise that most CMOs slip once in a while and lose footing for one terrifying moment. Sometimes the slip is inconsequential. At other times, it can be monumental, hurt the marketing RoI and serve as a lesson for themselves and others.

Here are some basic mistakes that can send CMOs and their marketing teams in a downward spiral:

  • Lack of ability to adapt to market changes
  • Being dictatorial about strategies instead of incorporating precious inputs from employees as well customers
  • Not considering opinions of disgruntled customers
  • Being late adopters when it comes to industry-influencing trends
  • Not knowing how to differentiate between tasks that can be handled in-house and tasks that should be outsourced
  • Not knowing when data insights should be balanced by more ‘human’ aspects of marketing to provide accurate insights
  • Not establishing agile marketing processes
  • Not linking strategies to larger organizational objectives
  • Overly obsessed with messages rather than encouraging discussions
  • Ignoring Return on Relationships in lieu of marketing RoI
  • Not integrating efforts of marketing and sales teams to power profitability
  • Distributing operations to far too many agencies and losing sight of the situation resulting in duplication of work and loss of budgets
  • Not driving the importance of platform-agnostic communication to the marketing teams
  • Focusing overtly on lead generation instead of identifying revenue generating sources
  • Ignoring fundamentals and leaping from one fad to another

On the flip side, CMOs also should learn to ‘let-go

A CMO who doesn’t have a clear picture of which direction his team is moving towards facilitates permeation of that lack of clarity to all his employees. Then hopelessness and helplessness prevails. What marketing teams really require are sharp, dynamic leaders who are at the top of their game at all times.

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