CMOs: Under-Performing Agency Partners Are Living On Borrowed Time
But here’s a finding that stands out: Very few CMOs view outside agencies as strategic partners, and many are downright unhappy with their agency relationships.
According to coverage published in Direct Marketing News, just 12% of marketing leaders say their agency partners are “extremely valuable.” Nearly half, by comparison, say the agencies they work with are “average, underperforming, or not producing at all.”
Liz Miller, VP of the CMO Council, says the underlying problem is a lack of strategic vision:
“Marketers are saying, ‘We asked them for a lead-generation strategy, and they gave us a lead-generation campaign,’” Miller says. “[CMOs] are tires of having to pay several divisions of the same agency to get a patch work of disparate, loosely driven programs. Agencies are overselling and under-delivering.”
It sounds like this should be a wake-up call for agencies that can’t or won’t step up and address “the vision thing” for their clients. If just 1 in 10 CMOs is truly satisfied with their agency partners, you don’t have to look very hard to see a big opportunity for more forward-looking competitors.
Does The World Really Need Another C-Level Job Title?
The universe of C-level job titles has been going through its own Big Bang lately. Besides the usual executive-suite suspects (CEO, CFO, COO, CIO and so on) we now see companies with their own chief talent officers, chief privacy officers and chief innovation officers.
And then there are the chief reputation officers, chief risk officers, chief apology officers, chief geeks, chief ninjas, and for all I know, a few chief chiefs lurking in Silicon Valley startups.
Oh, and of course there’s the chief content officer. (We’re fine with that, by the way. Honest.)
I understand the goal of these titles – they’re designed to emphasize job roles that their companies consider important and, perhaps, often undervalued. They’re also designed to stand out from the crowd, start conversations and even stir up a bit of controversy.
And if some of them are just plain silly, I guess that’s the price you pay for life on the bleeding edge.
I understand why this idea makes sense, at least in theory. There’s the often-cited Forrester prediction that by 2017 CMOs will spend more on IT than CTOs will. There’s the impact that Big Data, and all of the baggage it carries with it, will have on marketing organizations.
And, of course, there are all of the marketing VPs who don’t want to wait for their CMO to get fired before they get a shot at a c-level position. (CMOs stick around a lot longer than they used to!)
But I’m not buying it just yet. Anybody who jumps into a CMTO position had better have eyes in the back of his head. The CMO will view him as a threat and try to toss him under the nearest bus.
The CTO will probably be driving the bus.
Am I wrong about this? Will the technology changes that are reshaping marketing organizations also reshape their org charts? Or is it time to stick a fork in the job-title inflation balloon?
Poll: CMOs (Still) Can’t Get Any Respect
We’ve all seen claims that the average CMO has the same life span as a snowball in hell. The good news is that’s changing: CMO tenure has risen from an average of 23 months in 2006 to 43 months today.
The bad news is that having a job doesn’t necessarily mean your boss thinks you’re doing your job.
According to a recent study by The Fournaise Marketing Group, 80% of CEOs “admit they do not really trust and are not very impressed” by their CMOs. That’s compared to the 90% of CEOs who say they do trust and value their CFOs and CIOs.
Technology isn’t helping: 71% of these CEOs think that the new marketing focus on CRM, marketing automation, lead generation, and other tools has turned into an obsession with the bells and whistles – not with bottom-line results.
This brings me back to an often-cited quote from SiriusDecisions VP Jonathan Block: “The marketing automation platform doesn’t care whether your processes and skills are optimized or not. It will automate them either way.” A lot of CEOs seem to think that their marketing organizations are investing in technology, plugging it in, turning it on – and only then thinking about what they should actually be doing with it all.
Don’t get me wrong: Marketing automation and CRM aren’t just important, they’re indispensable. The technology makes marketers more efficient, more responsive, and more open to innovation.
But technology alone will fail without the right processes – the right content, the right campaigns, the right strategies – to give it a sense of purpose and direction.
Fix this disconnect, and CMOs just might start getting the respect they deserve.
Strategizing Your Marketing Organization Design: Tips To Accelerate 5 Changing Roles
Today’s B2B personnel wear so many hats — from content to social media optimization — there are a variety of operations that require an “all hands on deck” approach.
This morning at the SiriusDecisions Summit, John Neeson and Marilyn Reap highlighted the current marketing structure, and how it’s changing as a result of market factors and increased sales requirement.
As a result, today’s marketing disciplines cannot be confined to individual marketing functions; instead, they are required in various phases.
So what’s going on? Market changes are impacting and challenging the CMO, as well as the traditional marketing structure. And what should we do about it? We need to assess our team’s marketing skills and determine the most appropriate development to align the organization and drive efficiency.
Marketing roles are emerging due to changing buyer journey and sales needs, so it’s time to plan for these new roles and skills:
1. Social Media- product marketers, demand gen professionals need social media skills; those communication skills need to be embedded in the company culture.
2. Customer Marketing- the customer experience begins before they are an actual customer, and kicks into high gear once they become one.
3. Marketing Technology- marketers need technology to optimize their processes and operations, and this requires an investment in marketing technology, as well as a new skill set to leverage its full potential.
4. Content Marketing- the buyer calls the shots, and content is an integral part of the purchase process. Organizations need to empower personnel to understand target buyers and the most appropriate content offers across different phases and interactions.
5. Digital Marketing- as noted previously, technology and content is driving the change in the organization-wide approach to digital marketing. Companies need to understand how to leverage digital marketing in conjunction with other operations.
Most CMOs, the speakers noted, comment that some roles are being reversed, while others are changing in scope. For example:
· Event marketing is integrated with the program manager;
· The Marcomm manager now has an increased use of marketing agencies;
· Big ad agencies are out, while small, boutique agencies are in;
· Corporate communications overlaps with content strategy and social operations with a greater focus on the entire enterprise;
· Web marketing is now a centralized strategy executed regionally, while it used to be contained to one team; and
· Campaign managers now have a broader role that’s more strategic as an integrated journey manager.
If you were given 10% more budget, where would you spend it?
While marketing dominates, branding is often viewed as a luxury and is becoming more integrated into traditional marketing. In a SiriusDecisions survey, 35% of respondents said they’d take their extra budget and optimize demand creation while 17% said branding. A smaller percentage (13%) said content, as the high volume of it still needs to be more current and aligned to buyer’s journey.
Today the CMO faces pressures around measuring ROI
CMOs commented that most marketing discipline are going through change; the following 3 are priorities:
1. Demand creation- Changing from outbound campaigns and direct response — to inbound campaigns, outbound campaigns, sales-driven campaigns, demand centers and web resource federations. This model must be accelerated for success.
2. Sales enablement- Changing from sales role, part of sales operations, part time marketing role — to specific sales role, new marketing role, product marketing capability, which is becoming a more specific role than marketing.
3. Customer Marketing- Changing from part time role to a customer experience and service-exclusive role, including a product marketing capability. It’s also becoming more of an exclusive role reporting directly to the CMO.
SiriusDecisions Key Takeaways:
1. Start with the buyers journey
2. It’s not what’s in each marketing box, it’s about how they collectively operate in the ecosystem
3. Some roles are enablers
4. Others are disciplines
5. Technology and content are needed throughout the ecosystem