The CMO’s Job

A CEO needs continuous assurance & support that business plans are on target.

One set of assurances (as we all know) are provided by the CFO, based on real-time financial data available with him.

The other set needs to be provided by the CMO, based on current market data available with him.

Laundry List

Everyone will agree that it’s not easy to define the job of a CMO. 
To start with, here’s a list of tasks that your average CMO is expected to oversee:

  • Sales targets
  • Brand equity & negative publicity
  • Marketing/media mix
  • Competition’s activities & sales
  • Excess targeting (overspend)
  • Cost efficiency
  • Track markets, categories & identify potential
  • Track mktg. investment to revenue ratio by market
  • Track Marketing ROI

And many more. Most important, while delegating these activities to individuals/teams, the CMO must ensure that every marketing activity is aligned to the company’s business plan.

High-level Definition of a CMO therefore, could be to constantly maintain a good degree of correlation between marketing KPIs & the company’s business plans. So that achieving marketing KPIs would automatically help the business achieve its targets.

To achieve this objective, it is necessary for the CMO to deeply understand the company’s business, its current targets and relate the same with marketing.

For example, business targets are usually linked to sales turnover. But social responsibilities could impact the morale of both internal & external stakeholders — thereby affecting sales. (Not to mention recruitment & product quality.)

Based on deep understanding of products & markets, the CMO needs to define a set of Marketing KPIs. And constantly update them, so that they relate to the business targets.

Marketing KPIs would typically include:

  • KPIs related to building brand equity
  • KPIs which directly affect sales
  • Marketing activities at sales outlets
  • Temporary, demand-boosting promotion schemes
  • KPIs to track competition
  • Sales
  • Marketing Investments
  • KPIs to track marketing efficiency
  • Effective rates vis a vis market rate
  • ROI tracking by campaign
  • Marketing Investment to revenue tracking by brand, category, markets
  • Inflation tracking
  • Effectiveness of campaigns
  • KPIs which affects employees, associates, clients & vendors
  • Team morale
  • Talent acquisition
  • Desire to register as vendors
  • Pride to associate as clients

And so on.

Expert Knowledge is what’s expected from today’s CMO. The CMO’s expertise should include customers, markets, sales, creative, communication … along with a deep understanding of the business & its immediate as well as long-term goals. This helps ensure that his marketing team stays aligned with the business.

When the CMO shares current market knowledge with the CEO, it provides vital assurance that business plans are on target.