Demand Gen Report

The B2B CMO Balancing Act

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Karen Steele


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

Karen Steele: The biggest evolution for B2B CMOs is the role they play in the revenue process and in customer experience. Today, the CMO isn’t just accountable for demand generation and an inbound marketing motion, they are often responsible for the entirety of the go-to-market process, including outbound with sales development reps reporting to the marketing team. More and more, CX is under the umbrella of the CMO’s portfolio. This includes advocacy, advisory and adoption initiatives around the customer.

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

Steele: Most B2B CMOs have always been responsible for delivering a percentage of pipeline required to close business. The bigger risk issue is not being in alignmentwith sales on account-based programs. This requires CMOs to be in lock step with their sales counterparts on defining the ideal customer profile (ICP) of target accounts and the precision of execution of field-based programs.

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

Steele: CMOs, along with others on the management team, need to focus on the entire customer journey and how their product/solution’s unique value impacts the buyer’s journey. All exec stakeholders need to understand every customer engagement point from awareness to consideration to evaluation to purchase to renewal and upsell.

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

Steele: Design and architecture of a company’s global GTM strategy, the Customer Experience and Brand Strategy.

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

Steele: There are tons of great solutions in the sales and marketing tech space. It’s less about innovation as there are already lots of bells and whistles. The biggest issue continues to be the streamlining of data since these teams and the data remain fragmented and siloed.

DGR: Which technologies do you see as the top priorities for B2B CMOs over the next year or two?

Steele: Marketing automation will always remain the system of record for the Marketer in the same way CRM is for sales. That said, there are tons of great add-oncapabilities that enhance engagement for the buyer and customer (conversational AI, ABM tools, analytics/attribution) that must be integrated and mapped across the journey.

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