Why CMOs should be the next CEOs

Marketing has always been a creative, complex, theoretical job.

It still is.

But in the bad old days, that complexity counted against marketers. When they struggled to measure their work, it was hard for them to link input to output, hard for them to make the claim for more budget, hard for them to prove their worth.

And that meant the boardroom could be a tough place. All the other functions had an easier time justifying themselves. Salespeople sell stuff. Logistics people understand the mechanics of the business inside out. Finance types control all the money.

But marketers? They were the cost-centre. The colouring-in department. The go-to people when you wanted branded desk-tidy. Not true or fair – but the perception was widespread.

Well, we’re very happy that the bad old days are behind us. Nowadays, marketers aren’t just on an equal footing in the c-suite – they’re the natural people to take the lead in boardrooms and businesses.

And it’s all thanks to data.

The digital revolution is powered by data. And marketers are the ones who control that data. They have intelligence on a scale that doesn’t exist anywhere else, and they’re uniquely positioned to connect information from all across the business.

That means the new challenge for marketers isn’t just to make their voice heard, it’s to make sure they’re leading the business.

We believe marketers can answer this challenge with Marketing Intelligence.

Marketing Intelligence is all about moving from the ‘what’ to the ‘why’. Marketers have lots of data saying what a customer did – clicked, converted, abandoned card, downloaded ebook and so on. But to really move the needle, they need to know the why.

If you converted a new customer was it because of something they saw on TV? A social post? Or just because it was payday and the sun was out?

If a regular customer has stopped buying with you is it because your deliveries keep being delayed? Or because there’s a new competitor in town? Or because of a change in life circumstance?

Getting to that why means truly getting to know your customers – and that’s the most important thing a business can do. To do it, marketers need to go beyond online marketing data. That’s a good start – but when you connect it with other internal data (like logistics data, finance data, sales data) and with external online and offline data sets, that’s when it becomes truly powerful.

It means marketing can move beyond executing tactical marketing campaigns and start answering big business questions: which markets should you expand into? What products should you be developing? How can you grow the lifetime value of your customers?

Marketing Intelligence puts marketing at the strategic heart of the business – and it’s why the next CEOs should be CMOs.

Want to know more about Marketing Intelligence and how we can help you get it? Download the ‘Be the Hero’ ebook or get in touch.