Digital Marketing & the Emerging Chief Marketing Officer

In the past a company’s operations were focused primarily on financial matters, that is, on how efficient and effective the company performed with respect to money spent, sales revenues and the bottom line. Marketing and marketers were a notch down on the totem pole from sales and C-Level staff who were closer to prospects and customers and got the lion’s share of “face-time” with them

In the world of traditional B2B marketing, tracking and measuring expenditures and results from ad placements in magazines, tradeshows, and trade publications was relatively easy with marketing teams tracking key information monthly, if not weekly. Marketing, in a word, was relatively passive compared to today’s demand for a much higher level of engagement and collaboration with prospects and customers.

Changes To Organization Structure, Roles

Today organizational structures and roles of the past are being jettisoned. Traditional marketing was thought of as a funnel, a means driving clients to sales people who established and managed a company’s most important relationships. Sales people got involved with customers much earlier than they do today and often made initial contact.

Today digital marketers are out in front of the organization and are often the first to engage prospects and clients, managing the entire relationship from first contact all the way through to “partnering” with clients and making them advocates for your brand. Digital markets must follow prospects and clients across the wide array of “channels” they inhabit in order to monitor behavior and devise new, creative ways to stay engaged.

Reorganizing Processes & Technology

These changes amount to what marketing industry leaders are calling a “new operating environment” for companies and customers. Statistics show Chief Marketing Officers (CMO’s) are now earning a minimum of $200,000 a year, making them the new “rock stars” of C-level management. Digital Marketing, still in its infancy, is constantly changing, and CMO’s are on the front lines creating new digital strategies that literally make or break a business.

The New Customer Experience Journey

Converting prospects into customers requires companies to recreate themselves using entirely new platforms to monitor and enhance what is being called the “customer experience journey.” Among the new responsibilities of new digital marketers are:

  1. becoming competent content publishers,
  2. developing a variety of digital assets that evolve over time,
  3. employing predictive analytics to better understand prospects, customers and their needs,
  4. using “big data” collection technology, and
  5. developing marketing management systems and automated marketing techniques.

In the end, its the experiences we provide to prospects and customers as they navigate the new digital world that determines if they begin and/or continue to interact and engage with us.