Let’s face it, being a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is hard work. Every day new challenges arise. New vendors, tactics and ideas are coming at you from every direction. It’s easy to get lost in the noise and try to do it all – especially when you’re new to the role. The number one thing that new, and even some experienced, CMOs forget is to align the marketing plan directly to the business goals. It may sound easy but it’s not.
What do I need to watch out for?
Everything. For the first few month’s observation is key. At least, that’s what a book called The First 90 Days taught me. The smartest CMOs set appropriate expectations with the CEO right off the bat in regards to this observation technique. It’ll be hard not to jump in right away, but hold yourself back. Every marketing department acts slightly different. Pay close attention to what’s working and what’s not, and ask questions – lots of them!
Marketing teams can get lost very easily in the glitz and glamour of flashy new ideas or buzzwords. Observe at the start and understand why they’re doing what they’re doing.
What should I do to move forward?
As the new CMO, it’s your job to realign your team to the goals of the business. This may mean completely changing the entire marketing plan or making small, incremental tweaks. Are you focused on awareness or sales? Are you focused on a certain group of early adopters or are you trying to boil the ocean? As yourself the tough questions. Without a clear strategic marketing plan that aligns to the business goals, you’re up the creek.
Write “Does this align to the business goals?” on a sticky note and leave it on your desk. Refer to it often. Bottom line: Make sure everyone on your team knows the plan and how they help in achieving the business goals.
What resources can I utilize to keep me on track?
Once your plan is aligned you need to show the tangible value of your marketing and communications efforts. Shoring up your marketing budget is key in this phase. To get you started, our team created a free workbook on how to “Win the Budget Battle” and show tangible value.