Blurring lines in the C-suite

Customer behavior is evolving and as a result, marketing is eating sales, which is blurring traditional lines between departments.
Eric Dodds

Blurring lines in the C-suite

Recently we wrote about how traditional, linear models of the customer’s journey from awareness to purchase are being blown up by complex, digital mazes. Marketing leaders responsible for acquisition felt the heat first through rapidly increased complexity, but the pressure has spread much deeper into the organization.

It’s common to hear people talk about how the way that people buy has changed, but the reality is that buyer expectations around every aspect of their relationship with a business has changed, especially after purchase.

At Yield Group, we describe this dynamic by saying “marketing is eating sales.” In other words, the days of marketing handing a lead to sales, who hands it off to product, are gone—buyers are demanding a seamless, unified, self-service experience and organizations are being forced to adapt by moving away from siloed teams and departments.

One very healthy response to this demand is consolidation of responsibility in the C-suite. The rise (or re-rise) of Chief Growth Officer and Chief Revenue Officer roles are a clear sign that the top organizations are building a future where marketing, sales and product are no more—all are focused on customer growth and customer enablement.

We have two articles for you on this subject, one that helps explain why this trend is happening and one that explains what these new roles are and the responsibilities of the leaders who fill them.

Mastercard on the ‘existential crisis’ facing CMOs and how it can be fixed

• Sarah Vizard, News Editor for Marketing Week

What is this about?
This post clearly articulates the challenges that ‘traditional’ CMOs face, and why. Many CMOs come from creative backgrounds with a focus on branding and media, but in the new world they’re required to understand and leverage financial models and complex technology to deliver real results.

Why does it matter?
CEO’s care less and less about brand awareness. As the article states clearly, they want to know “what is marketing doing to my EBITDA?”

Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, says that in response, companies “are not looking for a marketer anymore, you are looking for a general manager with a strong grounding, experience and understanding of marketing.”

How can you apply it?
CMOs tend to be at the front lines of this wave, but it will affect roles in every part of the organization, from sales to product. How are these changes going to impact your organization? How will they impact your current role? Studying the timing and likely scenarios will help you stay ahead of the curve and proactively plan your next moves as a digital leader.

Time
This is a fairly quick read at 5 minutes and does a great job of explaining new demands on marketing leaders.

Read the full post by clicking here.

Why every company needs a Chief Revenue Officer

• Nick Milani, Director of Solution Management for SAP Hybris

What is this about?
The key theme for CGOs, CROs (and similar positions) is that the role spans the entire organization, across divisions, teams and systems. The breadth of the role (and related responsibilities) are necessary because a company’s relationship with customers spans those same divisions, teams and systems. This article provides a brief overview of the skills and characteristics required to take on a CRO-type position.

Why does it matter?
CMOs aren’t just being replaced with someone who has more experience in finance, entirely new roles are being created and they come with immense power and responsibility. This article rightly explains that a CRO is someone “who is responsible for optimizing all revenue generation processes within the company,” and their goal is to “scale repeatable and predictable revenue,” which requires the leader to “centralize the way all products and services are offered, sold and managed.”  

If you’re not daunted by that job description, then you’re probably already a CRO or CGO. It’s a huge job that requires a very diverse skillset and deep understanding of technical systems. There simply aren’t many people who can jump in without significant support or upskilling.

How can you apply it?
No matter what, the plethora of skills and types of experience outlined in this article are going to be pulled out of organizations, whether it takes form in a formal C-suite title or not. No matter your position, as a digital leader you need to identify both your personal and organization gaps, then start making progress fast (that’s probably a combination of upskilling, hiring and outsourcing).

One of the very first steps you need to take is to begin the process of building productive relationships across sales, finance and technology.

Time
This is another quick read at about 4 minutes. The bite-sized bullet points that outline various responsibilities are straight-forward, helpful lists.

Read the full post by clicking here.

Click here if you are interested in learning how Yield Group can help you accelerate revenue by helping you design, implement and optimize a data-driven growth engine.

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