McKinsey & Company’s five imperatives for the CMO

Your next CEO should be your CMO,” says Milosh Milisavljevic, Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company, emphasising the idea that companies need to be much more customer- and market-oriented today.

Milisavljevic made his comments on the importance of marketing at the ADMA Global Forum last week, in a presentation entitled “Five Big Imperatives for CMOs — exploring top issues for CMOs based on the new role of marketing.”

According to Milisavljevic, everyone needs to be a marketer in the company these days.

Some description

For CMOs the five imperatives are:

  • Thinking customer and not customers Marketers should focus on the individual as much as possible in terms of experience and engagement.
  • Fix everything, it’s not a trade-off Companies need to stop thinking about optimising around the trade-offs and compromises, and instead learn to optimise everything at the same time. Milisavljevic says that satisfying customers drives growth and that motivating employees is critical for customer experience and productivity.
  • Compete with your bricks Basically don’t overlook the importance of the multi-channel experience, and use your physical infrastructure to your advantage. Milisavljevic said incumbents faced a difficult task responding to insurgents with a digital-only —and often lower — cost base, but that the smart use of online and offline integration could offer not just a bulwark against threats but an effective counter attack.
  • The digital dollar game This speaks to the heart of how marketing dollars are spent, the shifting nature of channels, the effectiveness of the spend and how the various channels are performing, and whether companies are over engineering their digital spends — in other words, are they spending too much? (This is a McKinsey guy, after all.)
  • Buddy up with your CMO Among McKinsey’s recommendations for the CMO’s role in the organisation, CMOs need to sit at the executive table and become the “bonding agent” that connects the organisation. They need to ensure the CEO becomes an active marketer and connects to the customer, and they need to develop and stick to a marketing blueprint. They should seek to expand marketing’s influence across the organisation.
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