Let’s admit it. The uncertain economic climate will stress the CMOs’ teams and make them produce outcomes in less than ideal conditions. For that, CMOs have to design and oversee a high-performance organization. Although this isn’t a new issue, the need for it is increasing in many organizations. A recent study by Forrester could help marketers to take actions that can enhance the impact of their job.
To the report’s creator Jennifer Ross, senior research director of Forrester’s CMO Strategies, “In high-performing B2B-based marketing firms, the marketing ecosystem revolves around a common understanding of the organizational structure of the target audience for the company. In the day and age of the consumer, Forrester believes that B2-B companies will outperform their competitors when the consumer is at the core of the business’s entire business model, and every function consistently delivers excellent customer service.
Companies focused on their customers likely have four distinct features: insight-driven, customer-driven, quick, efficient, and connected. These traits are apparent across all company levels, from the C-suite to the personal. Every design or process, every technology constructed or purchased interaction, employee interaction, and purchase can contribute to a marketing company’s ability to create outstanding customer experiences.
When the strategy focused on customers is implemented, the focus can shift to the organization’s design to support the process. Ross said, “Leaders must start by defining the capabilities needed to achieve the desired outcomes.” The list isn’t long – enhance the customer’s insights, improve the brand’s relevance, create demand, generate leads and improve conversions, provide better customer experiences, release new products, motivate channel partners, and help sellers maximize their media spending well as engage employees. You can also open new markets and organize successful events by creating compelling content and using your martech platform. Once you have defined the skills, Ross said, “You can more easily think about a natural grouping of those competencies that start to form what might look like teams in your organization structure.”
She added, “You can’t stop there. To maximize performance, you need to consider orchestration, which includes both the process that allows the job to be finished along with the operating models that aland appropriate lock.” Siloes, territorialism, fiefdoms, and silos can hinder an organization’s performance, resulting from disconnected processes and inconsistent customer experience.
Ross added, “It doesn’t matter how you believe that your building is. If you’re not running the proper infrastructure. If you’re not facilitating or encouraging the proper type of Culture aren’t accountable and governed for all the aspects that you’ve created it will alter your entire ecosystem.”
Dell Technologies’ CMO Allison Dew reiterated the importance of focusing on customer service. Dew said, “The most difficult part is the “how.” How do you go about doing customer-centricity work? And how do you transcend the blatant statements?” What has Dell accomplished to address the “how”? Dew said, “The most important thing we’ve done is concentrate on our customer data, guiding our programs and constructing an intelligent, integrated strategy for technology stacks. There are too many companies that are locked in one approach of a vendor. This integrated approach lets us keep building on the concept that privacy informed personalization is the future.” She also said that The company could apply this approach to good use in the early stages of the epidemic. “Our initial goal for the spring of 2003 focused on celebrating the achievements of small companies. With the world changing so rapidly, the message would have been deaf, at the very least, and even offensive. But there was a need from unexpected locations, and our ability to recognize this in our data and shift our focus to the urgent needs of working from home enabled us to better respond to our clients.”
Controlling cross-functional orchestration and individual Accountability is a significant challenge for many B2B marketing executives. Qualcomm’s CMO, Don McGuire, has taken action in the last year to address this issue. He explained, “Creating an environment where my team members feel an underlying passion for their work and team success is a key aspect of my job as an executive. We’ve redesigned our office to create an open, collaborative workspace where employees can enjoy greater interaction with their teams as well as across functional areas. We hold regular, corporate-wide reviews of performance where employees are evaluated on their personal improvement and performance and are encouraged to set targets to improve their professional skills. Alongside this, I conduct bi-weekly management forums, staff meetings that are extended as well as quarterly business reviews. bi-annual offsite team building events along with bi-annual planning meetings and regularly scheduled “One Marketing” sharing of the campaign and project’s progress. To ensure that we are moving forward and entrusted role is being created to continually examine innovative ways to do things in order to ensure that the pace of the marketing industry never ceases to innovate and that opportunities for both individuals and our team will continue to grow.”
Cisco’s CMO Carrie Palin endorsed Forrester’s opinion about the importance of the Culture. She said, “Culture is such a crucial aspect in creating an organization that is high-performing. After a year of working at Cisco, I am able to declare that our corporate Culture is among the most impressive I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing in my career. From the top,
we have an atmosphere of openness as well as Accountability, inclusion and innovation. We also have empathy – all of which are tied to our mission of empowering an open and inclusive society for ALL. It’s not just a few declarations on the wall. We actually practice what we preach. This is an important distinction in helping Cisco attract and keep employees as well as partners and customers.”
Chandra Pattabhiram, CMO of Coupa, has emphasized the importance of Accountability and Culture when creating a highly-performing marketing team. He explained, “Accountability is most effective when it’s achieved by fostering a culture of psychological security. Everyone makes mistakes. I’m not perfect. CEOs commit mistakes. Every person at the top of any business is prone to mistakes. The most important thing is to take our lessons from the mistakes we make. At Coupa, we strive to foster a pleasant workplace where professionalism, integrity, and passion meet to create the foundation for this.” Pattabhiram continued, “More strategically, goals should be clearly stated. Teams require clear goals to understand what they are being judged on and accountable to without a plan without a road. At Coupa, each initiative is accompanied by an outcome that can be measured. We look backward to determine and define the steps we must take to achieve our goals. We choose the tasks to be completed. We also track progress as we go. We believe in rewarding our success. We acknowledge and reward exceptional team members regularly. This improves participation and cooperation and enables team members to be proactive and make a difference.