The Most Important Qualities of Great CMOs: 1 through 5.
1. The CMO must be the voice of the customer.
Like companies in all industries, the customers of an automotive OEM supplier can oftentimes be forgotten in the marketing process. Knowing how important customers are to any business, I’m amazed that this can happen. But it does. We marketing people can get so deep into the weeds. Good customer insights are what guide the best marketing decisions. Research – discoveries that no one, not even the chairman of the board, can argue with – is vitally important to knowing what the customer needs, how they purchase, how they use your products or services, and how they refer you. Being the voice of the customer also means coming to the table with a thorough understanding of the competition and how customers view them.
2. A great CMO plays an integral role in company growth.
The easiest way to measure the value of marketing is in company growth. Knowing what the makers of automobiles and other vehicles lose sleep over, and communicating with content that has real, true value to them is of paramount importance. CMOs that are respected by the executive-level team within their organizations help make success happen. But it’s incumbent upon them to be enterprising, to establish the metrics that can connect marketing to sales and/or leads.
3. A great CMO supports the efforts of the rest of the C-level team.
Collaboration with the CEO, CFO and others is crucial. CMOs must be able to communicate in the language of finance – that is, dollars and cents – which is spoken fluently in the board rooms of many of the most successful companies.
4. A great CMO has experience working directly with customers.
Some of the most successful marketers, including the savviest automotive OEM suppliers, are rethinking how they interact with customers. Greater emphasis is being placed on holistic relationships as opposed to taking it one transaction at a time. No one is more valuable to this process than the CMO. Actual sales experience is great, but fruitful, ongoing discussion with customers is what makes significant success happen.
5. A great CMO has a well-developed right brain.
Marketing in every kind of business – especially the business of supplying products and services to automobile and vehicle manufacturers – is a creative, inventive endeavor. The perfect storm happens when quantitative insights into customers and a high degree of fiscal responsibility and awareness is used to inform and formulate really fresh creative communications – simple, concise communications that are respectful of the audience’s time, and are visually attractive and captivating.
When that perfect storm happens, there’s nothing better.