The New B2B CMO Profile – 5 Types You Could Be

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    Chief marketing officer (CMO) roles have started to look like your lockdown reflection. You might recognise the person in it, but there’s a lack of definition, a lot of sprawl and some lingering angst around growth management.  

    We, at Gripped, find this troubling so we’ve taken the time to compile a list of five profiles that CMOs — and those responsible for hiring a CMO — can adopt when deciding where to start with B2B marketing tactics

    CMO profile #1: The customer champion

    This approach puts the customer experience at the heart of everything. The marketing plan is driven by data and analytics and the goal is measurable business results. In this scenario, the CMO acts as the voice of the customer at the leadership table. 

    What are the benefits of this approach?

    The principal benefit is that you provide your customer or client with what they actually want. This is achieved by personalising your marketing efforts, customer service and more. Gen Z already makes up over 25% of today’s workforce and studies show they crave a more personalised experience when engaging with businesses.


    Spoiler alert: The idea that this level of tailoring is a bonus is fading. It’s becoming a prerequisite.


    So this profile is ideal for any organisation that is struggling to connect with the needs and aspirations of its customers. That said, building strategy and execution around your prospects is unlikely to ever constitute a dereliction of duty. 

    What you need to make it happen

    Data, the capacity to read it and the skills to make the interventions that will enhance UX at every touchpoint. Start with a forensic examination of in-house capabilities to establish what you have and what you lack.

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    CMO profile #2: Capability builder

    This CMO profile is about securing the future of your organisation through amassing and deploying new and robust marketing capabilities. Harnessing technology, basically.

    What are the benefits of this approach?

    Capability builders make gains by finding new ways to apply customer insights. The key to success is to get there before the competition. This approach to procuring and implementing new technologies will see CMOs working across the organisation. It presents an opportunity to operate as a strategic, C-suite partner and not just a marketing professional. 

    This profile is ideal for any organisation or individual that believes a CMO should take a holistic view of their role. It requires CMOs to think less about specific tasks like market research or social media and more about how the insights gleaned can be adapted into new capabilities.

    What you need to make it happen

    Unless you moonlight as some sort of tech guru, you’re best sitting in front of your favourite search engine and trying to find third party expertise that can help you develop your infrastructure accordingly. Props if you already know how to do that, though.

    For those of you that don’t, fear not. Third party consultants can save the day. For example, 101 Ways are industry-leading technology consultants that will work with you to determine your requirements, strategise technological outcomes and deliver them seamlessly. 

    CMO profile #3: Innovation catalyst

    This CMO profile is all about breaking new ground in an effort to meet customer’s digital expectations now and in the future. Go down this route and the CMO will be enhancing marketing communications by experimenting with everything from that scary new distribution channel to alternative media. 

    What are the benefits of this approach?

    The most immediate benefit is that the organisation will be heralded as an industry/ thought leader — assuming, of course, your marketing efforts aren’t sabotaged by poor execution. Furthermore, your chance of cutting-through with a new technology platform is likely to be higher so it represents a great opportunity to increase market voice, market share and ROI. 

    This approach is for any organisation that is looking to make waves and transform the company’s market presence. It’s also applicable in instances where the CMO is considered central to the company’s growth agenda.

    What you need to make it happen

    As with other CMO profiles, success is likely to hinge on the quantity and quality of data/ market intelligence at your disposal. If you don’t have it, you need to work out how you’re going to get it.  

    It is also advisable to look deeper into the product portfolio and product development with the anticipation of identifying opportunities that others have overlooked.

    CMO profile #4: Growth driver

    The growth driver profile is perhaps the most progressive—and arguably relevant—of all. The growth driver CMO is central to the company’s wider ambitions. It involves a shift from overseeing brand and experience to adopting an enterprise executive’s outlook.  

    In this model, CMOs have a strategic input into everything from supply chains to driving the gross margin.

    What are the benefits of this approach?

    The most obvious benefit to the organisation is that the CMO — usually the executive with the deepest understanding of customer needs — can bring their insight to every facet of business-critical operations. This approach can be transformative provided the incumbent receives sufficient support. 

    This profile is ideal for the marketer who has the capacity to take a finance-focused view of their position within an organisation. It’s for companies who need greater cohesion between the C-suite executives — it’s for anyone who is prepared to invest in joined-up thinking across all senior roles. 

    What you need to make it happen

    Take a closer look at the entire customer value chain in the hope that you’ll discover new — and lucrative — routes to revenue. This could mean anything from optimising the supply chain to squeezing more from internal operations. 

    Sustainable growth

    CMO profile #5: Chief storyteller

    This profile draws on the deep-rooted assumption that marketing is founded on creativity and the CMO is ultimately responsible for brand-shaping through storytelling. 

    What are the benefits of this approach?

    The principal benefit is that it can turn a transactional customer or client relationship into an ongoing one. The fact that this profile will feel familiar to most marketers means placements may be seamless and that the appointed individual might thrive sooner. 

    This profile will be relevant in instances where companies have struggled to maintain relevance or consistency. In truth, however, all organisations should be aiming to construct compelling narratives that move customers/ prospects.

    What you need to make it happen

    • Top tier content: Creating content that can be shared across all your social media platforms and customer touchpoints requires a clearly defined strategy from the outset. 
    • Brand messaging: Establishing the core themes and tropes of your company’s narrative—and what role your prospects play in it—is often the best place to start. 
    • Brand consistency: Once committed to a brand narrative, you need to ensure uniformity across all the content you’re putting out there. 

    From there, it’s about creating hordes of accurate, shareable, relevant content. This can be time-consuming and expensive to do entirely in-house.


    Hint: Instead of committing yourself to massive overheads with various salaries, equipment and infrastructure to form a killer B2B tech or SaaS marketing team to strategise and align your content, consider outsourcing some of this work. We, at Gripped, can help you with this, check out exactly how we could support you here.


    The secret to mastering all the profiles

    If you’ve been reading this article thinking any or all of the following — 

    • Surely these profiles overlap
    • Hmmm, I can see the value in each
    • I want them all! 

    Then it is our distinct pleasure to inform you that you have solved the riddle. While these profiles can help you plot a path, the truth is that the modern CMO needs to wear most, if not all, of these hats at once.

    Sounds impossible? We agree — if, of course, you choose to do it alone (or if you have five heads). The smart, savvy CMO will enlist the support of a digital marketing agency to supplement existing capacity or to lead the way. That could mean outsourcing —  

    • Digital Marketing Strategy: In general to transform the efficacy of your digital sales and marketing performance.
    • B2B Inbound Marketing: Through high-quality content strategy and delivery that generates market presence, builds trust and engages your audience.
    • Lead Generation: Curate tailored generation plans that suit your business requirements to deliver more, better-qualified leads.
    • B2B SEO: Leverage our optimisation expertise to boost your brand exposure and increase traffic to your site.
    • Paid Search And Social: Harness the power of PPC experts so your brand becomes more visible, your audience grows and your convert leads.
    • Martech & Marketing Automation: benefit from our technological expertise that can create a tech stack for you that delivers more.
    • Sales Enablement: Strategically align sales and marketing, for a cohesive approach to your value proposition, in turn driving better outcomes and bigger growth. 
    • Website Development: Design and deliver a website that meets your requirements and prioritises conversions.

    Given we’ve already established your intelligence and that we suspect you’ll know where this is heading, we’re just going to come right out and say it: we do all those things pretty well. 

    Why not drop us a note or give us a call and we can walk you through how Gripped can make CMO stand for ‘constantly meeting objectives’ (as opposed to ‘c’mon mate, overkill’).

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