The essential skills for a modern marketing officer


Date: 22 April 2020

A businesswoman works on a laptop computer, tablet and smart phone to analyse data

Data has revolutionized the marketing world. The digital transformations taking place across the globe massively affect business. Data is more important than ever, and massive networks have permeated the landscape.

Marketers must adapt to technological change but also stay ahead of the curve. Here are the top skills leading chief marketing officers (CMOs) are bringing into the ever-changing corporate landscape.

1. Data analysis

From social media to cookies and everything between, the last 20 years has seen the rise of big data. The amount of data marketers have at their fingertips is truly incomprehensible.

And that doesn't take into account the rise of the Internet-of-Things (IoT). According to predictions, it will generate 80 zettabytes of data across 41.6 internet-connected devices by 2025.

Having access to all this data is fantastic. But it brings issues that CMOs need to manage, including:

  • A lack of internal organization where different departments and channels collect and store data as they see fit. No one is sure how to create a coherent whole.
  • Unstructured data such as emails, images, and social media posts, and nobody knows what to do with it.
  • Increasing consumer privacy concerns. They are less willing to share data or expect compensation for it when they do.
  • Governments are enacting privacy legislation. It limits how much data organizations can collect and what they can do with it. 

In short, companies are sitting on vast archives of data that they are not using to its full potential. The best CMOs find ways to take this data and integrate it into more effective marketing strategies.

2. Leadership in the boardroom

Thanks to technology, everything businesses thought they knew about their customers has changed. Now's the time for CMOs to share that information with the board and educate them on what precisely makes customers tick:

  • Customer experience is central. The price of goods/services will always be an essential factor. But consumers also focus on the way brick-and-mortar and online stores make them feel. Personalization and social responsibility are now the foundation of any consumer relationship.
  • Everybody knows about data collection. The EU's GDPR and the little cookie notifications made sure of that. Very few people are unaware that businesses harvest consumer data. But your customers may want to continue providing their data if you ensure you keep it safe.
  • Data is still king, but you have new challenges. It's not as easy to extract insights from data as it used to be. You need new approaches and new skills to make the most out of it.
  • Your competitors are already experimenting. It's hard to know what will pay off or not, but now's the time to start laying the foundation for dynamic changes.

CMOs cannot afford to take a short-term approach. Your role is so much more than the next marketing campaign. It's time to get a seat at the table and find natural allies like CIO to achieve your goals.

3. Embracing privacy and security

It may seem strange for the CMO to be an advocate of privacy. For years, marketing has relied on harvesting consumer data to drive more effective campaigns. But this explains why CMOs are the best advocate. They are most aware of the threats that arise when a company mishandles data.

Consumers will trust your organization with their personal information if you ensure it stays safe. They may even go further and provide more details in surveys and other ways.

For this reason, CMOs need to encourage their organizations to invest in security tools. Start using encryption software for small businesses. It can help you prevent unauthorized parties from gaining access to valuable information and customer data.

Companies now face significant fines after data breaches. A small investment here can pay off massively in terms of minimizing exposure. Adopt privacy and transparency by design and back it up with robust cybersecurity.

The must-have CMO skills for today and tomorrow

Few positions within a company are more dynamic than the chief marketing officer. You have to adapt not only to the latest market trends but also the newest technologies and changing regulations.

CMOs play a strategic role in identifying these challenges and embracing the opportunities they provide. It helps to guide their organization into the future. And it all begins with the way you handle data. Encourage your company to start taking care of it right now.

Copyright 2020. Article was made possible by site supporter Harold Kilpatrick.

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