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As Chief Growth Officers, individuals can add on a multitude of skillsets to benefit their organisations Image Credit: Shutterstock

The pace at which technology is invading marketing processes raises questions on the role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). And why the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or Chief Information Officer (CIO) cannot replace the CMO.

The proliferation of AI and MarTech has reduced the role of CMO to creating campaigns and planning marketing strategy, which in major FMCG companies are handed down from the global headquarters or in many cases, get handled by their ad agencies on record.

Worse, the CMO often fails to rein in the tech tools from failing the very objective for which these were bought. When a customer takes a call only to find that it rings on the other side alerting the sales fellow to pick up the phone to talk to him/her, the customer experience turns into instant irritation. Similarly, with automated sales calls that interrupt a customer at work - and he/she can’t even scream at them.

Evolve into CGOs

The evolving market landscape calls for a transformation of the CMO’s role. Traditionally responsible for brand management and marketing strategies, CMOs should perhaps now be tasked with a more expansive and strategic role – that of Chief Growth Officer (CGO). By leveraging their unique skillset, strategic mindset, and customer-centric approach, CMOs can become indispensable contributors to organisational success this way.

According to a Deloitte research, 80 per cent of CEOs believe that marketing will undergo fundamental change over the next five years, with CMOs playing a critical role in shaping the future of organizations. The rise of the CMO as a strategic business leader is poised to shape the future of organizations in several ways. This shift is driven by traditional marketing functions that are no longer limited to brand promotion and advertising.

Use that data skills

A study by McKinsey reveals that companies that effectively use data-driven marketing strategies are more likely to have achieve above-average growth rates. In fact, businesses that extensively use customer analytics are twice as likely to outperform their peers in terms of profitability.

By harnessing the power of insights derived from data, CMOs can optimise marketing strategies, enhance customer experiences, and identify new growth opportunities. Data-driven decision-making is a crucial aspect of the CMO’s role as a strategic business leader.

A Forrester study shows that customer-centric companies experience higher revenue growth compared to their competitors. In fact, customer-centric organizations achieve 17 per cent higher customer retention rates and 55 per cent higher customer lifetime value. CMOs, with their focus on understanding customer needs and preferences, can drive the organization towards a customer-centric approach.

According to PwC, companies that prioritise innovation achieve higher revenue growth, with 63 per cent of them outperforming their competitors. CMOs, with their ability to spot emerging trends, can foster a culture of innovation and ignite more growth opportunities.

Here are some thoughts to become successful Chief Growth Officers:

* Understand the shift from marketing to growth.

* To be successful CGOs, CMOs must align with the broader enterprise goals. Aligning with other C-Suite executives than just the CEO, COO and CTO will be needed.

* CMOs can leverage data analytics to make informed decisions, identify growth opportunities, and create great customer experiences. Integrate marketing technology to achieve this goal.

* CMOs turned Chief Growth Officers must prioritise customer-centricity. Who other than the CMO can undertake customer journey mapping, customer feedback, mechanism and innovative approaches to customer experiences in driving growth?

* Chief Growth Officers must embrace agility and experimentation.

Transitioning from CMO to CGO requires effective leadership and change management skills. The challenges during this transition are many, but worth undertaking.