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Marketing is evolving quickly in the digital age.

That spells big changes for the traditional role of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), most notably when it comes to the financial aspect of the job.

The modern CMO needs to adopt a specific mindset to ensure continued success for their marketing campaigns, and for the company as a whole.

Let’s look at the financial evolution of the CMO role.

The Financial Evolution Of CMO

The Modern CMO Must Think Like the Boss

To get anywhere nowadays, a CMO must have a good head for business, and understand how the company generates revenue. Essentially, they must think like a CEO.

In any business today, it’s vital that sales and marketing KPIs are aligned. Studies on companies using marketing automation show that more than 70% have aligned their sales and marketing teams.

Breaking down silos to share more information helps unite the workforce in a common cause. For these two departments, it makes a lot of sense for them to intertwine their campaigns. A great CMO will consider sales targets when setting their marketing goals.

Further to that, it’s important to see yourself as more than the person in charge of brand creativity. The modern CMO should strive to be more than that.

Ultimately, the key responsibility of the Chief Marketing Officer is to be the voice of your customers. With that in mind, CMOs today are business people first, and marketing experts second. You can almost consider yourself as the CEO of the Marketing department.

Company Growth is the Key Priority

Traditionally, the Chief Marketing Officer responsibilities boiled down to creativity and branding. To drill a little deeper, that is all to do with growth.

It’s crucial that you know your audience, and can offer the company unique insights on how to serve your customer base. All your marketing efforts must align with overarching goals for company growth and scaling profits.

In order to achieve real growth, your company must innovate. Embracing new technologies and experimenting with new strategies and concepts opens the doors to great opportunities for sustained growth.

In the current landscape, this is an intrinsic component of digital transformation. Your company must be willing to change to keep pace with the competition. Ignoring the inevitable evolution of industry today could well end in disaster for an organization.

There really is only one road forward:

The CMO must lead the company forward through innovation.

But that’s not all.

Your Brand Must be Relevant

Forbes believe that brand relevance counts for a lot.

Rather than spreading your message everywhere possible, it’s a smart idea to target the avenues that will lead to sustained growth. You can achieve this by focusing more on brand relevance, rather than simply on brand presence.

In the long run, your company will forge deeper roots in the areas that matter, as it becomes part of the furniture in areas where your products, services and content are truly valued.

The Financial Evolution Of CMO

Earn Greater Credibility from Hard Facts

Being the artistic guy with big ideas is not likely to curry much favor with C-suite peers. While ingenuity in marketing may be welcomed, the novelty may wear off if you don’t display some substance alongside all the style.

The modern CMO must be able to operate both sides of their brain, going beyond creative sparks to demonstrate astute judgement and financial acumen.

If you can measure the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing campaigns in the hard numbers and logical projections the upper echelons of the company care for, you’ll earn more respect from them going forward.

A Data-Led Approach is Vital

On the topic of measuring marketing ROI, data insights are an integral part of it in the digital landscape of today.

And it’s little coincidence that 72% of organizations that calculate their ROI claim their marketing strategy is proving effective.

Adopting a data-led approach allows for greater insights into what is working, and what’s not. From there, all marketing campaigns and brand storytelling decisions are much more informed, which guarantees better targeting, and better results.

Another interesting quirk among CMO responsibilities is the ability to speak the language of marketers.

Central to this is the company brand. The modern CEO must be able to articulate the financial value of a brand, as if it was an accounting asset.

The Financial Evolution Of CMO

The Modern CEO Must Make ROI an Obsession

In this article, we’ve told you how the Chief Marketing Officer of today must think like a CEO. They must be about business first, and marketing second. Growth, profitability and data insights must be the foundation on which their marketing campaigns are devised.

All decision-making must be ruled by the desire to build a relevant brand that can enjoy sustainable growth for years to come.

At the crux of all this, is the ROI.

For every campaign, and every decision, the modern CEO must ask themselves what the ROI will be. Everything must be accountable, and they should be able to clearly explain all their initiatives and spending to C-suite members when called upon.

In the end, with ROI at the heart of the modern marketer’s modus operandi, your company can be sure that sales and marketing will always be closely aligned.
Furthermore, a marketing team with this attitude is more likely to leverage the full potential of data insights and be more innovative in their approach to marketing.

This financial evolution of the CMO promises a lot for your company. With the right person in place, you can enjoy a prosperous future in the digital age.

By CJ Haughey

CJ Haughey is the managing editor of MarTech Gazette. A creative copywriter and self-confessed digital marketing nerd, this shaggy-haired Irishman is currently shaking the last of the travel bug off in his adopted home of Colombia. In his spare time he tries to avoid being sick at kickboxing training.