For decades, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) have been guardians of the brand. Often, especially in B2B, CMOs have also been the public face of the company at events and in the press. Increasingly, this role is changing and an opportunity has arisen for CMOs to become the primary drivers of revenue growth. This opportunity is driven by an increasing amount of data available to marketers, providing commercial insight into the prospect and customer journey. This change also signals increased influence at board level, and the role of the CMO is beginning to firmly establish itself amongst the C-Suite. But are CMOs ready to adopt this change and make the most of this opportunity? INBND’s Managing Director Lev Cribb has interviewed CMOs from leading companies, including IBM, PA Consulting, Blue Prism and RealVNC. In this post, we provide an overview of the findings.

Jo Scarlett, CMO of global consulting firm PA Consulting has a clear view on this opportunity. “CMOs who don’t understand marketing technology are time limited in my view. It’s not the most complicated technology in the world, and the data you get as a result is fascinating. No excuse for not knowing enough to ask the right questions.”

The role of CMO is quickly becoming the focus for digital transformation and revenue growth. As a result, senior marketers have an opportunity to further establish the marketing function and themselves at board level. This comes with increased responsibility and influence as the generators, providers and guardians of both data and insight. Providing this insight impacts all commercial aspects across marketing, sales and product development.

This focus is endorsed by CEOs and other C-Suite leaders, and expected by customers. The result is the ability to develop a sustainable competitive advantage, founded on metrics.

Recent Research By The CMO Council

Recent research by The CMO Council and Deloitte shows that 68% of senior management and board members now have “high expectations” or see the CMO’s “primary mandate” as being a driver of growth within the organization

However, in practice there is a strong discrepancy between the CMOs’ ambition and the reality of their day-to-day work. The majority of CMOs’ methods to drive revenue growth are still dominated by a campaign-focus rather than a revenue-focus. This shows the need for an intentional and planned transition towards a revenue growth mandate for CMOs.

In order to make this transition, CMOs need to get answers questions such as:

  • What is the new growth mandate?
  • Which skills does the modern CMO need to acquire?
  • How do the CMO’s strategy and focus need to change?
  • How can the CMO drive growth?

CMOs benefit from acquiring new skills to successfully own and drive the revenue growth mandate. In particular, these skills cover commercial and technical aspects. CMOs who put themselves at the centre of the commercial operation and align with peers across sales, finance, and product development, are most likely to succeed.

CMOs need to change towards revenue growth

It is important for the CMO’s strategy and focus to change. Putting their new skills into practice allows CMOs to extend their commercial and strategic view, while interrogating existing processes and strategies to revise them for growth. Data and insight are the lifeblood of modern strategic marketing, replacing the need to pitch ideas based on individual experiences.

At a macro-level, CMOs should start with the identification of a quantifiable goal and the strategic vision. This is followed by the creation of measurement processes and criteria, targeting of and alignment with the sales funnel, as well as process automation and output analysis. The main drivers are technology and a highly qualified team.

This transformation towards growth is complex. The most successful CMOs will work both ‘on’ and ‘in’ the marketing function. In practice, this means combining new skills, processes and insight into a modern marketing function that is led by an innovative Chief Marketing Officer.

INBND has published the CMO Guide To Driving Revenue to help CMOs and organisations on this journey. What are your thoughts on this opportunity? Is this old news for you, or do you work in an industry where this opportunity is still largely untapped? Are you a CMO who disagrees with this view, or are you proactively working on adopting your revenue growth mandate?


About INBND Growth Marketing:

INBND provides Growth Marketing Consultancy Services to B2B organisations.

Lev Cribb started INBND to address one big problem: the disconnect between lead generation and sustainable revenue growth. Or in other words, between marketing and sales. He saw too many companies grow in spite of their lead generation efforts, not because of them. INBND brings the passion, expertise and focus to drive change in your organisation. Get in touch today and find out how a modern approach to revenue generation can help accelerate your growth.