Why Your CMO Doesn’t Like You

A cold shoulder in the hallway, a steely gaze in the weekly meeting: these are the signs that lead many marketers to ask, “Why doesn’t my CMO like me?

Marketers might blame it on a clash of personalities or a personal grudge. But often personality isn’t the problem; it’s performance. And marketers can address these issues head on.

Stick to the Strategy

Ideas are the currency of marketing. But if you fire off ideas without tying them to organizational goals, you’ll quickly irk the CMO.
“There are an infinite number of things we could do,” Jeff Whatcott, CMO of Brightcove, explained. “Strategy is about what we’re not going to do. People should be able to describe to me how what they’re doing is on strategy and how that connects to business goals for the organization.”
As Rod Brooks, CMO of PEMCO, put it, coming forward with tons of ideas that are disconnected to corporate strategy, is “almost like having no ideas at all.”

Don’t be a Victim

CMOs notice when a marketer looks like a deer in the headlights.
“People coming to me and saying, ‘What do you think we should do?’ drives me nuts,” said Jim Bell, CMO for Jaspersoft. “Take ownership of your area, whether it’s demand gen or product marketing or online marketing.”
If you want to impress the CMO, you need to take responsibility for projects and not ship the work off while expecting a great return.
“I find all too often that managers lacking experience expect others, or more commonly vendors, to go away and do the work and return it to them when it is done,” said John McAuliffe, CMO of VFM Leonardo. “They should be thinking – this is my responsibility and this is the team I have assembled to accomplish the project/task… how do I get everyone to be successful?”

Don’t Go By Anecdote

Marketing is all about telling a great story, right? Not if you’re a CMO. For them, it’s about telling a story that moves the needle. “One of the things that can ‘quickly turn off a CMO’,” McAuliffe told me, “is anecdotal success measurement. If you don’t know how to measure it quantifiably, don’t do it.”
Marketers should still test new ideas, but they need to have a concrete way to measure the success of those ideas. A lot of marketers have “found their demise” by blindly repeating programs that worked in the past or throwing campaigns up “without any idea of what the quantifiable measurement is for ‘worked,’” McAuliffe added.

Think Like An Investor

If you want to get inside the CMO’s head, “you really need to think like an investor,” said Bell. And investors have one thing on their minds: return on investment. For CMOs, their investment is the time, energy and resources they put into marketers.

Read more: http://blog.eloqua.com/impress-the-cmo/

Karol Pokojowczyk

Karol Pokojowczyk is the CEO and Founder of Colibri.io – an online Growth Hacking Tool. Previously founded 2.0 Web Solutions (Drupal Agency), managed developers and helped number of companies grow online.

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