Demand Gen Report

The B2B CMO Balancing Act

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Corinne Sklar


Demand Gen Report: How has the B2B CMO role changed/evolved?

Corinne Sklar: With the rise of Marketing Automation, Public Cloud CRM and all the new channels of engagement and the technologies that support them, we have seen the rise of the science lead marketer emerge over the last decade. Now, creativity and human engagement is coming to the forefront. How b2b marketers leverage emerging technologies to drive deeper personalization through true human connection and storytelling will emerge as our next evolution.

DGR: As expectations for driving revenue and growth increase, does that put CMOs at risk as potential scapegoats for failing to hit sales milestones?

Sklar: Sales and Marketing is one funnel. If we want to be part of revenue growth, itcomes with the full funnel. However, alignment and recognition of give and get become part of that process and both teams need specific KPIs to keep each other accountable.

DGR: In addition to increased pressure to drive revenue and show ROI, what are some of the other top challenges that CMOs are facing?

Sklar: The same challenges we have seen in B2B marketing for a decade still persist, but with emerging importance. CMOs still struggle with Sales & Marketing alignment and adding ABM to your mix won’t resolve those upfront. The CMO & CIO are becoming better aligned and CMOs who can dive deeper into how to harness and leverage unstructured data for personalization are winning. This means that

CMOs still need to get deeper value from their technology investment and align withIT and other departments to truly transform the prospect, employee and customer experience. Another main challenge is how to organize your teams for scale and innovation. Many teams are experimenting with Agile Marketing and aligned revenue operations to drive more execution scale. The biggest challenge is how to harness all this investment around content and programs that really engage the human experience around your solution or offering. Creativity still reigns in Marketing and will become even more important as AI and new emerging technologies drive automation.

DGR: What do you see as the top priorities for B2B CMOs in the coming years?

Sklar: Creativity with automation, brand marketing, martech rationalization and hiring talent.

DGR: Incorporating tech and aligning it with strategy has become a biggerimperative for marketers, but has the approach to technology changed for CMOs?

Sklar: At IBM iX and Bluewolf, this is a question we get every day. In my work with CMOs and CDOs, we see an emergence of ROI analysis and simplification. The valueof technology is to use it. Many marketing and IT organizations buy technology to solve human, business process or workflow challenges, but never structure the teams in a way to take full advantage of these investments. Now is the time CMO and CIOs are teaming to align technology, staffing and process for innovation at scale.

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