Innovative CMOs searching for new ways to go to market may be best severed by disrupting their own operations. It sounds counter-intuitive, but according to Ed Breault VP, Marketing & Industry Solutions Aprimo, “challenging the default thinking” is one way to find new spaces and customers.

“Some of the best CMOs out there give their organisation a strategy around listening,” Breault said in an interview with Which-50.

The ultimate goal is to adopt a more customer-centric marketing strategy to reach the point where the customer feels the brand understands them.

Aligning marketing operations with the customer experience allows brands to innovate and better serve customers, he said.

“You’re going to find new space in order to reach the customer and keep them happy.”

One of the challenges of adopting new strategies is producing the supporting metrics and, today’s marketing department is “much more accountable than its ever been,” Breault said.

“A lot of CMOs are investing in measurement frameworks in order to do their data storytelling.”

“They need to be able to communicate what they’re doing from a campaign perspective, a customer experience perspective, and how that translates into financial performance.”

Data insights are giving marketers the tools to show the board exactly what’s working, down to a granular level, strengthening the case for operational changes.

CMOs that demonstrate their success are better able to collaborate and gain support across departments. According to Breault, a productive relationship with the CFO is critical and can “differentiate success from failure.”

“Some of the best CMOs can translate marketing into terms that the CFO can understand.”

“It’s an opportunity for marketing and finance to collaborate from a bottoms up perspective and a top down perspective,” he said.

“Ultimately, you’re being more accountable, transparent and data driven.”

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