The Modern CMO: Three Practical Skills to Boost Your Career

Who doesn’t want to be modern? After all, we’re driving Teslas, not Tuckers. We’re eating avocado toast, not Jello and tuna salads. We’re wearing… well, we’re not wearing this. We’ve moved on. Nostalgia is fun when you’re referring to fashion or food. But for a Modern CMO? Not so much.

For example, marketers too often fall back on the traditional, mass-market era bullhorn approach to marketing. We have something important to say (at least we think it’s important), so we blast it out to as many people as possible. And when that doesn’t work as well as we had hoped, we blast it out again, and again. And again. 

Modern CMO

The problem with this approach is we’re talking at people, not with people. Show of hands: who likes to be talked “at”? Right, I thought so. Me neither.

There’s another school of marketing. A more modern approach that treats marketing like a conversation. You’re not talking at your prospects and customers, you’re talking with them. You’re engaging with them like they’re real people. Because… they are. This personal connection helps to create an emotional bond, which is the key to marketing success. 

At the end of the day, a consumer purchase is an emotional decision. We may think we’re buying because of logical, reason-based analysis. But research shows that we often make decisions based on emotion, and then rationalize our choices after the fact. We buy the new car because it meets an emotional need. Then we tell our friends (and ourselves) about the great gas mileage and resale value.

The Modern CMO must understand and embrace these emotional needs to connect with customers and prospects in a way that creates genuine conversations and engagements.

And while this might be obvious for B2C selling, it’s just as important for B2B. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that B2B selling is a misnomer. No one sells to a business. You sell to a business person. And that person has emotional needs, whether they’re buying a consumer product or a business product. For the most part, every B2B purchasing decision comes down to two factors: will this purchase decision help my career, or will it hurt my career? That’s it. If the possibility of “helping my career” is higher than the risk of “hurting my career,” then you’re well on your way to making a sale.

Three Skills for a Modern CMO

The skills required to work in this modern marketing world have evolved. First, of course, you still need to be creative. This is the traditional domain of marketers and it’s not going away. I’d encourage you to continue to dive deep into creative. Watch, read, consume. Look at — and analyze — ads, past and present. Become a student of the art. Media and channels have changed, but the fundamentals remain the same. You ignore the past at your own peril.

Second, you need to be analytical. Become best friends with the data scientists. As marketers, we have access to more data today than we would have ever thought possible. Take advantage of this wealth of information. Learn how to analyze and understand it. A better understanding of the data gives you more control over the results, which will help your company and your career.

Finally, look at the customer experience from end to end, from the point of view of the consumer. You need a deep understanding of the customer journey from unknown visitor, to revenue, and ongoing support. Customer experience is the new brand, and in a world where everything is moving online, customer experience has become strategically critical for all organizations. 

I understand this first hand. Customer experience is an important part of my job (it’s actually in my official title: Chief Experience & Marketing Officer). I think about it all the time. 

Two Next Steps

Ok, I could have put this as a fourth skill, but instead I’m highlighting it as a next step: Continuous learning. Shift your thinking from “know it all” to “learn it all.” I guarantee it will transform your business — and your life.

Toward that end, Sprinklr will be highlighting videos, blog posts, articles, and events to help you hone your Modern CMO skillset. Anything and everything to accelerate your move to modern.

And finally, take a look at Sprinklr’s Modern Customer Experience Management (CXM) platform. It’s designed to help the Modern CMO create the best customer experiences possible.

It’s time to level up your creative, analytical, and customer experience knowledge. We’re here to help.