Top 3 Marketing Challenges & Solutions for CMOs

Today’s shifting landscape has created unique marketing challenges and changes in business.

CMOs like yourself are now tasked with developing and executing successful marketing campaigns that cut through the clutter and reach customers. Let’s take a closer look at how the digital shift has affected your role.


How The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed the Role of CMOs

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the role of CMOs. One of the biggest changes is the accelerated shift to a digital-first mindset for teams within organizations of all sizes. 

As a chief marketing officer, you have likely had to wrestle with the realities of the pandemic and newer marketing challenges while also ensuring that you are still at the forefront of driving business growth and revenue. You and other CMOs have to tap deeper into your digital fluency and already-honed skill in driving relationships via online channels.

In addition to this, CMOs have had to take a leading role in driving employment and community engagement. They have had to create certainty amid economic volatility for their customers, employees, and the larger market.

According to Forbes Councils Member Haseeb Tariq, CMOs must reinvent themselves and their teams to drive business impact.

With the backdrop of the pandemic and the ever-shifting landscape of the digital world, here are 3 marketing challenges that you and other CMOs are likely to come across as well as a few ways to address them.


Marketing Challenge 1: Measuring Marketing ROI

Despite technological advancements, methods, and practices, measuring return on investment can be a major marketing challenge.

On top of this, consumers’ attention is more fragmented than ever, often spanning multiple devices at once.

As a result, diversifying media budgets to keep your brand visible to audiences everywhere is critical.

Here’s something you can focus on to alleviate the struggle of measuring your marketing ROIs:

Prioritize customer experience metrics

Track marketing ROI like you’re Sherlock Holmes, where every clue (aka metric) must lead directly to the mystery of company goals. Those goals increasingly include winning the customer experience battle — for good reason.

Here are a few ways to measure your customer experience metrics, and ultimately improve your marketing ROI: 

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Think of this as a ‘customer effort score’ – measuring how much of a treasure hunt it is for your customers to get support, find products, or navigate your services. It’s like a game of ‘easy to hard’ in customer convenience!

The more effortless you can make the customer experience, the more likely your customers will buy from you again.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

This is the happiness meter for your customers, gauging their joy (or lack thereof) with your service.

Whether it’s resolving a support ticket or handling a return, you can adjust this metric to fit your business. You can use CSAT responses to figure out which specific areas customers are satisfied or unsatisfied with and make the necessary adjustments. 

Customer Retention Rate

This counts how many customers stay with your business over a given period of time, or keep paying for your services. It’s highly connected to your churn rate, which we’ll come to next.

With retention, you can get a better handle on customer experience by tracking certain points in your product life cycle or specific user groups. You’ll get an idea of how much users value your product over a given period of time and make improvements. This is something worth doing, as it’s far more expensive to onboard new customers than it is to keep current ones.

Customer Churn Rate

This counts the number of customers that are leaving your business over a period of time or are no longer paying for your services. Similar to the retention rate, it’s critical to keep an eye on the churn rate, as it’s more costly to find new customers than it is to keep existing ones.

The lower the churn rate, the more loyal customers you’ll have. Use the drop-off points in your retention measurement to see where or which group of users, are losing interest in your services. With this data, you can make the necessary adjustments to improve the customer experience in these areas.


Recent trends show that customer experience might soon overtake price and product quality as the key driver of consumer purchase decisions. That means paying attention to the length of customer conversion cycles, the digital and offline channels favored by your target audience, and the language that resonates with them.

By gathering these and other relevant insights, you and your team can make smarter, faster decisions about where to direct their limited budgets. Accurate measurement of your ROI is a major step in avoiding marketing challenges. 

Marketing Challenge 2: Developing Your Brand Voice

You’ve overcome the challenge of measuring your marketing ROIs, but your messaging might not be landing as well as it should with your target audience. This is a common, yet underestimated marketing challenge. It could be due to a disconnect between your brand voice and your audience. In other words, you’re not speaking your customer’s language.

The lead question when developing your brand voice should not be “what voice do we want?”. Instead, ask “what voice does my audience want? ” Here’s a checklist for developing your brand voice:

1. Document everything & be consistent

Similar to the documenting of your visual brand guide and your social strategy, your brand voice needs documentation, too. This will become a reference for anyone who writes in the brand’s voice. It keeps your marketing copy in check and consistent across all your channels.

2. Audit your current voice

Examine your current communications. Make sure to capture examples from all communications for an accurate overview of what the voice is like currently.

You may find inconsistencies because of different writers or uses of certain words over others. Note how your target audience interacts with you and how they speak. What voice traits do your top-performing posts and newsletter issues have in common?

From here, you’ll be able to note what your brand’s personality currently is and then begin the process of brainstorming more traits that you want to emulate.

3. Identify your audience and personas

Another great way of developing your brand voice is to observe who your audience and marketing personas are. For instance, if your target audience is younger, you’ll want to use language that resonates with them. Using language familiar to an older generation will only serve to alienate your younger audience.

Don’t deviate too far away from your brand’s current operations. You want to present your voice authentically and not robotically or give the appearance of just chasing trends.

4. Know your tone

Brand voice is what you say and brand tone is how you say it. Your tone may vary between audiences, so it’s important to document when to use certain tones in certain situations.

The way you announce a new product or service won’t be the same as responding to customer complaints. Pinpoint common scenarios you come across as a brand and categorize them into the different tones you would take on.

The most desirable voice starts with your customers. More often than not, the highest converting messages come from your customers. A great boost to your brand voice and relatability is to blend in-person social skills into the digital world.

Learn why executive branding is so important today and how to build your brand voice on social media.


Marketing Challenge 3: Staying On Top Of Trends

Executing great campaigns with great content is advantageous, but sometimes, it simply isn’t enough. Make your digital marketing campaigns more impactful and successful by making them relevant to the times and your target audience. Here are a few useful channels to stay updated on the latest marketing trends:

Social Media

This is a convenient way to check out marketing trends as they happen, which can help with predicting trends and shaping your strategy. Through social media, you can connect with colleagues and professionals within your industry. You can also follow the pages of top executives from standout brands. Twitter lists are great for keeping track of influencers to stay up to date on new trends and best practices.

Google Alerts

Whether you want to track a specific product or service area, watch what the competition is doing or stay up-to-date on content published about your business, Google Alerts is a great way to keep up with marketing trends at your convenience.

Trade associations and industry conferences

These can be great ways to network with other professionals, both within your industry and outside of it. As a CMO, you stand to gain valuable insight into what others in your field are doing to innovate for their company and also learn from the best practices of other industries.

Marketing Analytics Summit 2022 will be a virtual and in-person conference that will be held this June 20-23 at the Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Strategic Marketing USA is another insightful event slated for June 1st  to 2nd this year.

Industry articles and newsletters

Information sources like these are a wealth of knowledge on emerging trends, new data, best practices, and other relevant industry news that can help you keep current. Content Marketing Insitute, Convince & Convert, and DigitalMarketer are notable newsletters with great information, insights, and details on current marketing trends. 

Your team

Your team, employees, and peers are an excellent resource. Frequent communication is an accessible way to alleviate your marketing challenges. Their interest in finding trends matches yours and they already have an eye out for emerging marketing trends as well.
It is important to note that not every trend you come across is worth pursuing or integrating into your marketing. Seek out trends that align with your overall brand.

Marketing is constantly changing, and chief marketing officers need to be prepared. This article outlined some of the biggest digital marketing challenges faced by CMOs. It also provided information on how to mitigate, circumvent, or overcome them.

If you are looking to sharpen your skills in the digital sphere, book a strategy session with our team. 

Yvonne is a Social Media and Content Creation Specialist. With a BA in International Relations and a minor in Psychology, she ventured into the exciting world of writing with a focus on digital marketing. She is passionate about research and creating impactful content. In her free time, Yvonne enjoys reading and spending time with loved ones.

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