How to Grow as a CMO

The marketing sector has experienced transformative growth, but have you kept pace with it? It’s an important question for anyone in marketing to answer, but it’s especially pertinent to CMOs who set the tone for their entire organization’s marketing activities. Let this road map to growth help you reinvigorate yourself and your staff.

Stretch Yourself

Do you know your own skill-set well? If so, look just outside it and reach. Innovation is a muscle, and you develop it by stretching a little beyond your comfort zone. If you consider yourself an analytical expert, try flexing your creative side. If creative content is in your blood, dive deeper into metrics and discover new insights from them. You’re still within your marketing kingdom, but by exploring different phyla within it, you become conversant with different aspects of your field.

For CMOs who have worked in the industry for many years, it’s easy to rest on success, but marketing has evolved. Get comfortable with the latest in marketing technology. Play with your marketing automation tools in sandbox mode or develop a pilot program to sharpen your skills and those of your team.

Indulge Your Curiosity

What makes you insatiably curious – inside or outside of your industry? What do you feed your mind to help it grow new insights? What do you seek out first when given a Google search bar and a block of free time? That curiosity is an asset every C-level executive needs, particularly those who work in an intrinsically creative field such as marketing. Immerse yourself in the ideas that make you curious and let the breadth and depth of your learning inform your marketing strategies.

Know Your Numbers

Curiosity and creativity aren’t the opposite of analytics; they work in tandem. Get familiar with your metrics on everything from demand generation to lead scoring to website traffic numbers, and you’re equipped to see new relationships and shifts in these figures. With the right software tools, your analytics offer some useful insights into your marketing strategy as a whole as well as with individual campaigns. Studying up on the numbers can be a surprising spur to creativity, too; when you discover more about your audience, your content, and your most effective channels, you’re able to prioritize in ways you wouldn’t if you didn’t have the facts and figures to back up your intuitive knowledge.

Forge Stronger Connections

Marketing is an inherently social job. To do it well, you need a good understanding of people. You can get that understanding by talking to clients and prospects, but another group of people also have great value to you: your marketing colleagues. Talk with team members, mentors, proteges, and anyone else who shares your passion for marketing. Then, widen your circle and have lunch with other executives who can contribute new perspectives. The more you share information with others, the more you’re able to put your knowledge into context and make the abstract insights you get from reading concrete.

Work with Sales

Of all the people who influence your decision-making, your sales team is near the top. Many marketers face a disconnect between sales and marketing even though both are working toward the same goal because the teams approach it from different directions. Align your work more closely with what sales personnel are doing by synchronizing your information with your CRM, pooling customer knowledge, and finding out what customers most want to know.

Growth isn’t just for the marketing industry as a whole. It’s also important on a personal and professional level for individual CMOs.

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