The job of the CMO is arguably the most difficult in the C-suite. The average CMO lasts just 20 months, so they have to move fast to make an impact. The marketing industry, too, has become increasingly complex over the past two decades, and the CMO’s role has grown exponentially.
At its basic level, the role of the CMO is to define its company’s strategic direction. Digital marketing leads the charge in what is deemed desirable content for a go-to-market (GTM) strategy, and content marketing solutions have become a sine qua non of internet-age marketing.
A GTM strategy can make or break marketing plans. The strongest ones create simple frameworks that promote change, encourage repeat purchases, and focus goals.
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If you’re a strategy-focused CMO, you’re at the forefront of your company’s innovation efforts and go-to-market plan. Here, a CMO is likely to take a goal-driven approach to planning.
This CMO is most likely found in multi-brand firms and those that offer B2B services. The role is likely to involve designing growth strategy, customer insight and analysis, and product design.
Those with a focus on commercialization work primarily on using marketing and communications methods to sell the products/services of their company.
To achieve operational excellence, they will develop and monitor a company-wide marketing system and be responsible for advertising in all its mediums.
Enterprise-level duties combine both strategy and commercialization into one role with company-wide responsibilities. With such a broad range of expertise, a CMO’s typical workday could range from creating a SaaS marketing strategy to product design, distribution, and pricing.
In the digital age, marketing efforts go far beyond the “4 Ps”. One major responsibility of today’s CMOs is to help guide corporate strategy from a marketing perspective. For example, they could suggest the best markets to compete in, consumers to target, or partners to align with.
The CMO’s role is all about achieving objectives. This means being able to define success with measurable targets, metrics, and milestones.
SaaS CMOs must invest in strategies that will yield long-term returns. It takes ongoing focus to deliver consistent results, and the aim should be for continuous optimization and improvement.
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Building a marketing budget is another responsibility of the CMO. You should prioritize essential resources and plan for unexpected eventualities. You should also consider your growth goals and factor those into your budget.
CMOs are responsible for the results produced by their marketing programs. It would help if you stayed on top of the latest tools to help achieve marketing success.
Reassess your programs regularly to make sure you are taking advantage of modern marketing solutions. For example, you might consider a SaaS SEO strategy to improve your digital traffic.
To achieve any measurable success, a company must connect with its customers. CMOs should regularly re-evaluate strategy based on consumer feedback. They should make sure the customers’ voice is heard and that their preferences align with corporate decisions.
Sustainable competitive advantage is tied to customer loyalty. The CMO should be a customer champion, influencing the boardroom towards customer-centric decisions. Marketing should interact with other company functions, sharing customer insights to help shape other business processes towards a customer focus.
SaaS marketing teams need to deliver on both financial and non-financial metrics. In terms of customer acquisition and lead generation, CMOs should build trust with consumers, use PR initiatives to promote their product, and engage existing clients with offers and new features.
Once a customer has signed up for your service, CMOs should focus on their customer satisfaction metrics to increase retention. The more a client succeeds using your software, the more likely they are to remain an active user.
Generally, a good SaaS conversion rate ranges from about 3-5%. A strong content marketing strategy for SaaS will supercharge this. CMOs should focus on driving relevant traffic to their websites and using A/B testing to measure performance.
Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your team and use their skills to your advantage. It’s important to acknowledge when your in-house team doesn’t have the skillset for a job and hire external agents where appropriate.
Aim to be a domain authority, able to communicate your company’s vision externally and understand exactly what’s needed from your content marketing.
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The importance of building solid communications for business growth can’t be overstated. Making sure your brand message is consistent across geographies and platforms prevents confusion and disengagement.
Clarifying your budget will help you set goals and understand where to focus your efforts. Ensure your marketing initiatives align with corporate spending expectations and that ROI estimates are as accurate as possible.
Set realistic goals for growth and conduct frequent reviews to ensure you’re making progress.
Clearly defined target markets promote long-term business success. A CMO should understand the product their SaaS company offers and who benefits most from its use.
Building a detailed customer persona helps to clarify who target consumers are and how to access them.
Similarly, a profile can help you make essential design decisions for your service, informed by customer information.
SaaS businesses create a large amount of data. CMOs should manage their datasheets track KPIs accurately. Essential KPIs for SaaS CMOs include revenue, conversion, organic traffic, and behavior metrics.
It would be best to carve out your company position relative to the competition, customer expectations, and future growth potential. Marketing is all about improving the perception of your brand in the minds of customers.
Compare your current metrics to past performance and plan new opportunities when existing strategies fail to produce growth.
Use lead tracking software to stay on top of leads. This will show you which of your touchpoints are the most valuable and allow you to prioritize these.
An effective content management strategy will help you increase web traffic. Targeted and high-ranking content enables you to capture the right audience to engage with your products and services.
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Master SaaS digital marketing with an SEO strategy. By boosting your search engine results and increasing web traffic, SEO can drive sales and ultimately increase revenue.
CMOs should be able to leverage their platforms to best effect and take advantage of new features. Social media provides an opportunity to build connections with customers. A good SaaS GTM strategy will plan for the creation of regular content to maintain engagement.
Conducting experiments to see the effect of your marketing strategies will help you understand the efficacy of various campaigns. Marketers should test brand messaging and advertising and receive measurable feedback on these.
Avoid metrics that aren’t key drivers for growth. Instead, focus on smaller metrics that are key to each business function.
Remember to filter your data and remove anomalous figures. For example, if you’re monitoring web traffic, you might remove visitors that have spent less than five seconds on your website.
Social media managers should be agile and able to pivot at a moment’s notice. Hire teams that can adapt their strategies to landscape changes and harness connections with your customers.
Hiring the right “influencers” can attract customers in your targeted growth segments. They also help build trust with consumers and can facilitate unfiltered consumer feedback.
Make sure you’re delivering consistency across your platforms. The customer journey should be as seamless as possible.
Be aware of changing expectations among consumers. An outdated advert can negatively affect your brand reputation.
Picking the right marketing partner is essential for achieving top-line growth. Choose an agency based on their experience, expertise, and favorable client reviews.
Use UTM tags to generate data from your campaigns and ensure you’re achieving the most qualified leads.
The role of a CMO is undoubtedly a demanding one. In the long run, it requires dedication, being conscious of new developments, and producing a top-level but flexible marketing strategy.
Now that you know what it takes to build an effective GTM strategy, it’s time to implement one and reap the benefits. To maximize the impact of your plan, consider investing in high-quality SEO and content management to complement your marketing efforts.
Nick Brown is the founder & CEO of accelerate agency, a SaaS SEO agency. Nick has launched several successful online businesses, writes for Forbes, published a book and has grown accelerate from a UK agency to a company that now operates across US, APAC and EMEA and employs 160 people. He was also once charged at by a mountain gorilla