The job of the modern-day CMO involves juggling many different priorities, but it really comes down to one overarching goal: making sure that the company is customer focused.
This has never been more critical than today when customers are empowered by many different technologies that allow them to access more information anywhere they are, to switch brands easily and to use social networks to praise or criticize companies. The empowered customer challenges CMOs to embrace data, use customer intelligence strategically and build ongoing relationships with customers.
In his article for Forbes.com, Vision Critical CMO Tyler Douglas says that because CMOs have more power to drive business strategy today, they are more similar to entrepreneurs than the stereotypical Mad Men. "The best CMOs either come from an entrepreneurial background or have that mindset going into the CMO role," Tyler writes in the article. He shares three reasons why this is the case:
- Customers make or break a business.
Today, companies don't have a choice but to cater to their customers - their success depends on customer happiness. Entrepreneurs understand that better than most. They're on the front lines with customers every day, trying to sell and create profit. Marketing is a huge part of that staircase - it's important, if not the most important part of entrepreneurship.
- Entrepreneurs, like marketers set the path.
Company leaders set objectives and outline the needed measures to accomplish them. Business owners are often responsible for creating a story and delivering its promise - something marketers know all too well.
- Brand is critical to both.
As spokespeople, entrepreneurs care about how they and their products are represented. Everything that makes up a brand including messaging, customer experience, product marketing and public image is something CMOs drive. So when entrepreneurs move to CMO roles, they're highly mindful of the elements that make up a brand and the reputation a business has to build and maintain.