During the recent CMO Club Summit, Leeya Hendricks, CMO at Delta Capita led a discussion about how the CMO can build and leverage relationships to accelerate growth and improve marketing outcomes.

Collaborative persona creation

Leeya described how, in a previous role, the traditional division between sales and marketing led to duplicated work. Marketing may be tasked with generating 75% of new business with sales making up the other 25% through existing customers, but this creates a problem, “Marketing, please don’t touch our CRM data, we don’t want you to actually engage in any way with our customers because that’s our customers, right?

Instead, Leeya suggested pooling data and insights and both teams’ experience – combining CRM data and marketing automation insights to create finely tuned personas. 

Based on how marketing engages customers and how sales are looking at CRM data, why don’t we create dashboards that would actually integrate that information and make sure that we’re speaking to the same type of customers?

Don’t forget the CPO

CMOs are well aware of the importance of maintaining working relationships with the CEO, CFO, CIO, and CSO – but Leeya believes neglecting the product manager may be a strategic mistake, believing that the CPO (Chief Product Officer)  is understated as a role for marketing to enable strategy.

Working with the CPO can develop a deeper knowledge of the product and development roadmap and help the CMO better understand their target personas and tailor messaging for greater success. 

The connection between the two of us was very strong. Enabling that messaging, agreeing on the persona buying points, making sure that the CRM Salesforce data aligned to the product sale, meant that marketing automation data was actually stacking up.

No one cares about new titles

The discussion moved onto the importance of new job titles and whether they had any effect on how we do our jobs. 

We actually need to step in there as CMO’s and say, “Well, we don’t need new special job titles. We just need to lead as we are actually driving the business forward and we are taking you on this journey with us.

Instead, Leeya suggested that CMOs needed to be more proactive, driving strategy instead of passively having the business dictate actions. Another participant suggested that although titles are of minimal importance, clearly defined roles and responsibilities are crucial. 

If there are no clear roles and responsibilities assigned from top-down, then this just promotes the silo culture.

Leeya agreed that collaborating upfront to define roles, targets, and plans is critical to success for the whole business and further discussed the importance of mandates and expectations, as clear mandates will ensure clear outcomes

Key Takeaways

  • By collaborating with the Sales Manager, the CMO can create a far more accurate, effective persona for use in their campaigns.
  • The product manager is an under-utilised resource. Working more closely with the CPO will help the CMO further refine their messaging.
  • Well-defined roles and responsibilities are much more important than job titles.
  • The CMO needs to be more proactive in driving business strategy rather than allowing the rest of the business to define marketing activities.