As a CMO, one of your main responsibilities is to ensure that your company is able to weather any storms that come your way. In this guide, we will take a brief look at the changing role of the CMO. We’ll discuss some strategies to navigate and even take advantage of market uncertainty.
Interestingly, market uncertainty is not necessarily a bad thing. It can actually be an opportunity for your company to stand out. By being proactive and ready for any eventuality, you can put your company in a position to succeed despite what the market throws your way.
So how can you be prepared and decisive even as market conditions change? Let’s dive in!
The Pandemic and the CMO Pivot
According to a McKinsey report conducted in the last 12 months, as many as 30% to 40% of US consumers switched brands or retailers over a three-month period. This was largely due to consumers’ search for value and factors such as product availability, quality, and purpose.
CMOs in various industries have had to reevaluate many ‘rules of thumb’ that were applicable before the global pandemic changed everything. For instance, it was a previously held truth that companies only had to compete against their competitors. When the pandemic struck, a new truth was revealed: You are competing with the last best experience your customer had.
It was not enough that the customer was king. Not anymore. The customer journey and experience became the focal point for many, if not most, marketing strategies. As a CMO, you had to lead the charge to revolutionize consumer experience, anticipate your customers’ expectations and solidify relationships not only with your client base, but also with your suppliers, service providers, and other stakeholders.
Through a combination of market research and studies, here are 3 strategies to enhance your decision-making under uncertainty and keep your team (and company) buoyant through tumultuous times.
A CMOs Guide to Dealing with Marketing Uncertainty
Invest in your team
During unpredictable times, when budget cuts abound and advertising is placed on hold, it is imperative to spot any gaps that might be present within your team. When it comes down to it, your marketing team is your most valuable asset in terms of creativity and innovation. They are who you will need to get through market ambiguity and different crises.
Though tumultuous times can pose new challenges, they don’t last forever. It’s important that you don’t waste this period. Investing in training and support for employees is a long-term investment which helps to create a talented, resilient, and competitive team that can handle what is thrown at them. Taking full advantage of affordable and accessible resources such as training courses is an excellent way to invest in your team in a manner that is within your budget.
Bolster your team by seeking out the talented individuals within the industry. You can also cultivate a culture of strategic thinking. Sarah Bruner of Credera had this to say about developing strategic thinking amongst your team members:
“A marketing team that efficiently completes [its] tasks with excellence is great. But if the team fails to think about the next big thing or loses sight of their strategic vision, they won’t be as effective or dynamic as they could be. Taking your team to the next level of strategic thinking will add a new dimension of insight to drive business results. But this kind of thinking doesn’t happen by accident.”
Another key focus area for your team to include in their strategic thinking is to have a deep understanding of consumer behavior. Let’s delve deeper into this.
Examine and Adapt to Consumer Behavior
The COVID19 pandemic changed not only the way people socialize, but also how they work and shop. With the exploding popularity of remote working and studying, people all around the world have grown accustomed to spending more time indoors and online. This has made digital media and advertising absolutely crucial for reaching and catering to consumers.
Keeping the focus on customers is absolutely vital during uncertain times. This is because consumers’ needs are always changing and also because you need to continue building trust and meeting their expectations, despite what is going on in the world around them. Your responsibility as a CMO is to understand these changes in consumer behavior and formulate the best ways to meaningfully reach them while staying true to your business’ brand.
A great approach to this is to invest in analytics and other monitoring resources that examine changes in consumer trends and values. These real-time insights can be the key to not only staying on top of these changes but even predicting and adapting to them.
Build trust and long-lasting relationships
In addition to nurturing better relationships with consumers, CMOs should also focus on developing their relationships with crucial stakeholders. This includes customers, colleagues, partners, vendors, service providers, and other third parties. You can leverage digital marketing technology to strengthen these relationships. By building trust with these key players you can find mutual ways to anticipate future needs, protect involved parties, and emerge on the other side better prepared, with enhanced situational awareness, and a competitive advantage.
As a CMO, you are responsible for handling marketing uncertainty for your company. We’ve delved into more insights on the changing role of CMOs and how to address some challenges you may encounter as you lead your marketing team. The most important starting point is to have a plan. Our expert team of marketers can help. Talk to us!