Learning Goal: I’m working on a marketing discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
Please respond to the two discussion responses below. use in text citation and include a reference list.
Response post No. 1:
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is responsible for the myriad of marketing activities a company needs to stay relevant, including promotions, branding, advertising, communications, public relations, data analyses, outreach, product management and innovation. They are also responsible for interfacing with the majority of the other teams in the company as needed to execute these activities effectively (Saltis, 1). One of the most critical aspects the CMO is also responsible for is the connection with the customer and their experience with the company through all stages (Salpini, 2). A CMO and their team are crucial customer advocates (HBR, 3). This connection includes Voice of Customer, storytelling, collaborating, and satisfaction.
Revenue and market share growth are also essentially the responsibility of the CMO (JWI, 4). Strategy and execution are essential elements of this growth, with the CMO involved in both. Organizations with a CMO perform roughly 15% better than those without (Germann, 5). Today’s CMO also is expected to be knowledgeable and capable of working across many technologies and platforms (Saltis, 1). Indeed, they are the Renaissance women and men of today’s business world.
Linda Boff, CMO of General Electric, is one of those individuals. Boff has been at the company for almost 19 years and has served as CMO for the past seven years (Matlins, 6). Boff is both a leader and an influential marketing executive with several awards to her name (GE,7). Though her credentials are impressive, the one trait I find most impressive about Boff is her innovative approach with non-traditional marketing platforms, such as hosting a sci-fi podcast (Public Relations, 8). This innovation allows GE to connect with audiences they may not be able to reach using traditional marketing methods. According to Boff, “We’re always thinking about how to make sure as a brand we’re relevant, we’re contemporary and we’re interesting” (8). Boff is also willing to take risks in her approach to marketing which facilitates innovation and allows GE to stand out as a brand.
The other aspect of Boff that stands out is her customer-first mindset. Being passionate about customers prompted her to spend months travelling and meeting with customers to better understand what comprises a world-class customer experience (Mixpanel, 9). As part of this focus on customers, Boff and her team also work hard to understand what the different markets want and how to offer them products in a method that makes sense for each of those markets (9).
I also admire that Boff is involved in activities at GE beyond marketing as she manages their philanthropic and global learning group and co-leads their Women’s Network (Matlins, 6).
Response post No. 2:
Responsibilities of a CMO:
According to the job description from a healthcare SaaS company on LinkedIn, a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is “responsible for all aspects of marketing across a broad portfolio of brands, products and solutions” (LinkedIn, 1). Some of the essential duties and responsibilities of a CMO include growing the brand and creating brand awareness across all channels available to them. “You need to have expertise across multiple (social media) channels, while also taking the time to study how consumers use gaming consoles to browse the web” (Saltis, 2). If a CMO lives and dies by one marketing method, they will not be in the position for long. They need to broaden their outreach to attract more customers and get the company’s name out in the market. They, of course, cannot do this alone. Being a team player will be crucial to their success as part of the leadership team. “Ensure that team is fit to serve, up to date with their marketing knowledge, executing their tasks, sharing knowledge with other team members and more” (Saltis, 2). When a CMO is designing a marketing plan and campaigns, they should be able to assign duties to their subordinates and be confident that they can implement them. Something that I believe is unknown about the responsibilities of a CMO is that they should be data literate. A CMO should “incorporate data it into your decision making whenever possible, and continue to tweak everything based on emerging data” (Saltis, 2). The stereotype of Marketing is that it is about design, colors, and fonts, but never thinking that the department and leader of the department should be data-driven. However, this makes a lot of sense when considering how companies generally limit marketing efforts. CMOs need to be fiscally responsible when creating their marketing efforts. The pandemic brought this to the forefront and gave CMOs the “opportunity to be able to show that it can be fiscally responsible as well” (Salpini, 3). In today’s day and age, the goal is to reach a greater market segment at a smaller price to help a company maintain a high revenue. Revenue is the key performance indicator of a company. It is what the CEO and CFO care about the most. It helps them determine how much the company is growing and its stock price as a publicly traded company.
Fortune 500 CMO: William White
I chose William White, CMO of Wal-Mart, as my CMO profile. Wal-Mart is number one on the Fortune 500 list, and for a good reason. Wal-Mart’s bio on William White states that he is “a consumer-centric and innovative marketer and a passionate leader who thrives on building, developing and nurturing teams” (Wal-Mart, 4). He was previously a CMO for Target (number 32 on the Fortune 500 list) and held other leadership positions at Coca-Cola (number 93 on the Fortune 500 list) before his current role at Wal-Mart.
What I think is impressive about William White is that he has developed some strategies for the consumer in all his positions. He is credited with driving sales and building brand loyalty at Target. Janey Whiteside, Chief Customer Officer at Wal-Mart, stated, “William White is a customer-centric, innovative marketer and is a passionate leader who loves to build and nurture teams” (Repko, 5). In each company he has worked at, he had a loyal customer base and a specific market that shares similar worldviews—his efforts built upon each target market with his team-building skills and data-driven mindset.