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Why we need more CMOs in the Board Room

The role of the Chief Marketing Officer is an important one for any organisation. Marketing is what helps the company grow and achieve its goals. Data released in Think with Google’s report titled ‘CMOS: The good, the bad, and the opportunity for reinvention’ revealed that 68% of CMOs said that being the growth driver is either the primary mandate or one of the biggest expectations set by senior management and the board.

However, the study also revealed that the role of the CMO was not well defined and limited access was one of the main constraints preventing growth with only 26% of CMOs having a seat in the board room, as opposed to 97% of CFOs and 100% of CEOs. Additionally, it was also found that under 3% of board members had any marketing experience, making the case even more complicated for the growth of the company.

That said, however, things seem to be changing in the favour of CMOs. According to data released by McKinsey, 83% of global CEOs said that marketing can be a major driver of growth. But in order to be able to deliver on this, CMOs need a seat in the board room.

In this blog post, let’s take a look at how CMOs can add value to the boardroom and offer insights that can be invaluable in shaping business goals and decisions.

CMOs in The Board Room

Marketing and communication teams work closely to understand customers, trends and competitors. They have data to support their insights on various essential aspects of the business. Let’s see how these can add unique value in the board room:

Customer Insights

Customer insights are crucial for any business to thrive and grow. After all, customers are the lifeline of any business. Marketing teams usually work with agencies that provide them with in-depth data from end users and often conduct research to gain direct insights from them. Having such insights readily available in board meetings can help organisations plan better and set relevant goals backed by customer data.

Customer Acquisition and Retention

How the business acquires customers and how they retain them over time can be important to know, especially in times of crisis. Such data can help stakeholders understand what is not working and how they can change that to improve business and meet their goals. Marketing agencies provide CMOs with delated reports on bottlenecks in the funnel and help gain insights into current and future problems that could arise.

Competitor Analysis

Knowing what your direct and indirect competitors are up to is important for any business. It helps manage risks, inspires innovation and can be a great motivation factor. Marketing teams usually work with agencies that keep a close eye on competitors and have access to data on their digital presence, audience engagement, new products and offerings and a lot more.

CMOs Who Deliver on Growth Promise

According to data from McKinsey, it was found that CMOs who master cross-functional collaboration were able to drive massive growth and meet goals efficiently as compared to those who were partially or completely isolated. This archetype of CMOs, also known as Unifier CMO, was supported by CEOs and was able to communicate to them how marketing drives growth, owns the customer and serves the company’s long and short-term goals. These CMOs were called upon by CEOs for insights and such collaboration resulted in shared mindsets and more support and buy-in for the marketing agenda.

Such Unifier CMOs were also able to work closely with CFOs and demonstrate the value that their team was driving, leading to fewer marketing budget cuts. They built relationships with CTOs to harness the company data and for driving the digital transformation of the marketing team. Lastly, they also collaborated with CHROs to attract and develop talent with the use of analytics and creative campaigns.

CMOs who are able to closely work with other C-suite leaders are the ones who can deliver on the expected growth promise. Giving them a seat in the board room will help them be seen as peers and will facilitate cross-functional collaboration.

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