03 Feb 2016 19:24 IST

When a chief marketing officer drives disruption

Once the CMO looks at things from a customer’s perspective, feedback becomes central to manufacturing

The previous column in this two-parter (January 27) looked at a scenario in which customers are becoming more demanding by the day, and discussed what companies must do to address customer expectations from a product or a service.

In the age of the customer, a CMO who thinks and acts like a chief customer officer (CCO) will ultimately stand out. This is because, at the end of the day, it is the customer who is central to your business. And placing yourself in the shoes of a CCO ensures that all organisational efforts, right from R&D to marketing campaigns, are streamlined – to satisfy or even exceed customer expectations.

Empowering the CMO in such a way can have truly disruptive consequences. Here are a few of them.

Addressing problems

Once the CMO puts on a customer’s thinking hat, he looks at everything from the latter’s perspective. Suddenly, customer feedback becomes important and central to product manufacturing. The CMO instructs the R&D team to look into customer data, and derived customer insights, before modifying/changing the product. Therefore, any changes to the product design or specifications are what the customers have asked for.

Growing with the brand

The added responsibility means that CMOs now have a higher chance to succeed and shine within the organisation. What earlier used to be a very mundane role is now highly instrumental in determining the organisation’s roadmap itself. This motivates CMOs to perform better and embrace challenges, contributing to their own personal development as well as to that of the brand.

Co-create value

This is something every company needs to get absolutely spot on. Your value proposition is what ultimately makes the customer want to buy from you. Hence, it is important to make sure that your value prop doesn’t deviate from its course. To help build a highly focused value prop, the CMO can be of great help — a blessing in disguise. Why so?

Well, the CMO carries with him the customer’s game-changing perspective. Therefore, by creating your product’s value proposition with the inclusion of inputs from the CMO, you will be able to precisely narrow down the points that need to be addressed clearly, and filter out the redundant, irrelevant factors that do not add value for the customer.

Stay relevant

An organisation spearheaded by a highly customer-centric CMO is bound to stay on its heels, proactively meeting customer expectations, and dominating the marketplace. The CMO’s new-found dynamism helps organisations prioritise customers over and above everything else. So, while your competition relies on assumptions, raw instincts or a great product that may in no way align with customer needs, your CMO continues to steer the boat towards the customer!

The role of a CMO definitely gets reinvented now, given that organisations are leaning towards customer-centricity. In the coming years, it will be exciting to see how organisations rack up responsibilities and autonomy to the CMO and how this fuels growth, both internally and externally.

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