CMO meaning



The abbreviation CMO stands for Chief Marketing Officer, which essentially means director or marketing manager. The specialist holding this position must know everything about the company, as well as its product, target audience, market.

CMO meaning

For 8 years in marketing, I happened to observe that marketing directors (that is, Chief Marketing Officer or CMO) in different companies perform, at first glance, completely different functions:

one buys advertising like a god;the other is doing research;the third one performs a maximum of projects in marketing (for example, makes a website design, connects end-to-end analytics, sets up call tracking), etc.

There are so many of these areas that it is quite difficult to understand what exactly a marketing director should do. A few months ago I asked myself such a question, and … I could not give a strong answer.

Market scoring, audience analysis, and marketing analytics are critical, yet greatly underestimated, parts of a CMO's job. Misunderstanding of the market situation, its capacity, development trends leads to a misunderstanding of one's place in it and the vector of development. You can make as many cool ads as you want, but sell the wrong thing, don’t foresee the loss of your advantage, and don’t develop a new one in time.

Marketing analysis and generally working with data should be at the level of basic skills. Data is our vision, our navigator in the world of marketing, an advantage we can take advantage of now while others are learning.

CMO meaning


Who is CMO?

The task of the CMO is to build a marketing strategy that will bring the company the best result over a long period of time, and not just attract leads.

Digital marketing is a fusion of creativity and numbers, so the director must be a strong analyst and have a developed emotional intelligence in order to understand the deep insights of the target audience.

Be able to understand the audience

Note that the paragraph above does not say “have the basic skills of a buyer”, because marketing is not only about advertising, marketing is primarily about the market, audience, capacity, and only then about the impact on it with advertising.

Know and apply marketing analytics

Today, marketers should first have analytical skills, and only then marketing competencies.

What does this mean exactly? At a minimum, this means being able to extract qualitative and quantitative data, read them correctly and draw conclusions. As a maximum, collect reports in Google Analytics and upload SQL queries to Power BI.

Compose USP

A frequent association with "USP" (unique selling proposition, sometimes an offer) is "how to make a landing page". In fact, the landing is secondary. The primary thing is what exactly you offer the user, and here the work begins with questions (in the classic version of "5W Marketing"):

Who is this offer for?how many of them;what they want;what to offer them;what are the touch points on the CJM;what is important for a person to hear at each of the touch points;what funnel;what is the decision-making structure;what is in our USP and for which decision maker is important.

Understand brand and content marketing

Brand marketing and content marketing are two different things. The first answers the question: "where are we going and what are we talking about." The second is “how and through what channels”. But still there is one important intersection: in both cases, you control what people think of you.

You can buy advertising at least as much, but if the user has nowhere to read about you, find out why you are doing this, it will not be so difficult for you to live, but it will definitely be easier with this.

Therefore it follows:

know who you are;Who are you made for?what is the motivation and involvement of those for whom you were created (to know the position of your target audience in the Rossiter-Percy matrix);what do you want to let know about yourself;through which channels you convey it;how often and so on.

Understand the purchase of advertising (at least at the top)

The USP was determined, the landing was made, we declare ourselves. Now you need to make sure that as many people as possible know about you. If the UNIT-economy of the product allows you to advance for a fee, then it will be great:

reach your audience through targeted advertising tools on social or search networks;buy integrations from resources or bloggers;launch CPA networks and so on.

If you can't do it yourself, that's fine. You are a manager, not a buyer, you do not need to be able to work in this all. In one PAID channel, perhaps, it would be necessary, but in everything else, a good conceptual level is enough.

Of all the PAID channels, performance advertising can be singled out as the highest priority, since it can be used to quickly target any target audience in any corner of the world.

Be able to work with the OWNED channel

Work with the OWNED channel = work on customer retention brought in by marketing. However, this does not apply to marketing in all companies. Sometimes this is the task of the product, sometimes it’s CRM. In any case, the marketing director should understand how to keep his base and monetize it, whatever it may be:

phone numbers;subscribers in email marketing;social media followers and so on.
CMO meaning


CMO meaning: conclusion

So, here are the 9 functions of a marketing director:

Apply a “common marketer base”Be a growth driverKnow the marketInfluence the marketBe the best expert in your audienceDrive innovation in marketingBuild a brandBe a full member of the board of directorsBe a manager of at least three resources

Of course, not every CMO will be able to perform all 9 points perfectly. It is not needed

each marketing director has his own mix of strengths, so he should choose a team for himself so that it closes his weaknesses, and his strengths maximize the potential of the team and cover the weaknesses of others;every company has different goals;Every market has different stages.

What is definitely important is to be able to adapt each competency based on the conditions of the external environment: when changing jobs, when rearranging processes within the team, when changing the company, and so on.