An Open Letter to B2B CMOs

Dear CMO:

A new year is upon us and with that so are new (maybe not so new) expectations.  I spent a good part of 2013 meeting and working with many CMOs and I feel compelled to write to stress the importance of your role and how it is key to transforming your organization.

In looking back at 2013, it sure seemed like it was much like many of the other years in the recent past.  B2B marketers report again and again listed quantity and quality of leads as their biggest challenges.  There were discussions I had with top level marketers that surrounded the increase in budget to focus on Content Marketing – this was all being done with out a defined strategy.  I heard many CMOs discuss the pressure they are feeling from their counterparts in the C-Suite in terms of demonstrating value and ROI.  More CMOs were spending on technology, but with little to show for it and Demand Generation was still being viewed through a very tactics-driven lens.

I am writing to ask that 2014 be different.

ANNUITAS an OPEN LETTERI hope 2014 will be the year when B2B organizations begin a transformation that is led by none other than marketing.

I hope for a transformation where CMOs are strategic in getting into the minds of their buyers and deliver an exceptional buying experience through a defined content strategy, and as a result, reinforce their brands. This is needed considering that according to multiple studies more than 50% of the buyers journey is complete before they engage with a vendor.

A transformation where CMOs enable their teams and develop the right skill sets needed to address and keep pace with the modern buyer.  Versus the common refrain of most marketers who are self-taught.

A transformation where CMOs understand the complexity of our new, modern marketing world, versus the 52% who according to IBM, feel unprepared for it.

A transformation where CMOs stop investing in tactics and focus on the strategy of reaching their buyers and customers.

A transformation where CMOs come to grips with the fact that the technology they have either purchased or are going to purchase, is not the answer, but can only enable the strategy that has been developed.

A transformation where CMOs realize that change is needed and rather than shy away from this change, embrace it and drive it.

CMOs – 2014 must be different.  Let’s stop with the status quo – let’s make sure we are focused on developing core strategies, driving lifetime value, and revenue-based outcomes.  The times have changed and it is time for more CMOs to lead and drive this change through their organizations.

My hope going into this New Year is that we will close it by looking back and saying that 2014 was the year of marketing transformation.

Author: Carlos Hidalgo @cahidalgo CEO and Principal, ANNUITAS

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