New B-to-B Research: A CMO’s Checklist

January 18, 2017

By Kerry Breen, senior manager, marketing knowledge center at ANA

B-to-B marketers struggle to be viewed as drivers of growth for their businesses. The ANA conducted new research to find out why this occurs and learned that in B-to-B companies, CMOs have the ability to elevate the marketing role from tactical to strategic by doing a few key things. According to Michelle Smith, VP of marketing at O.C. Tanner, “We need to pivot from producing marketing campaigns to developing strategic marketing plans that support the company’s overall goals.”

Here’s how you can make a difference as a CMO (ANA members can follow the links for a deeper dive):

  • Elevate the role of marketing in your company by ensuring that your customer’s voice informs not only marketing tactics but overall business strategy. The ANA’s Marketing Strategy Toolkit can help you create a comprehensive marketing strategy.
  • Improve how the marketing function is perceived in your organization with a strong brand positioning that all teams, including sales, are aligned on. The ANA’s Brand Activation Toolkit is full of resources that can help you build your brand’s image to drive specific customer behaviors.
  • Align your marketing objectives and processes with other teams using the Organizational Culture Toolkit, which includes a business alignment tool. CMOs in profitable B-to-B companies are more likely to agree that departments, such as research, sales, and IT, are receptive to marketing efforts.
  • Develop your team’s content, mobile, and social media marketing skills. When asked where B-to-B marketing will be in the next three to five years, 71 percent of respondents said that digital marketing and tech skillsets will be required of them. However, only seven percent reported having effective processes in place for capturing data on buyer behavior, attitudes, and engagement.

According to Todd Kaiser of the ANA’s Marketer’s Edge research program, it’s also critical that CMOs inspire marketers to be more strategic. “Our research revealed a disconnect between senior management and marketing managers. CMOs can close that gap by providing their teams with the tools they need to demonstrate the ROI of marketing and by developing skill-building initiatives. Marketing can be viewed more as a strategic discipline, rather than an extension of sales, by driving customer-centric marketing plans and building unique brand positioning,” says Kaiser. Here are some other ways that marketers can create strategic campaigns.

 

 

To participate in future research, reach out to Todd Kaiser (tkaiser@ana.net) from the ANA’s Marketer’s Edge program. He’s always looking for senior marketer perspectives on today’s critical marketing challenges.


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