Marketing and the C-Suite
C-Suite opportunities for those with a concentration in marketing have evolved far beyond the standard CCO. Technology presents a steady stream of new ways for both customers and competitors to intersect with companies and their products, and emerging titles in the C-Suite reflect a growing awareness of how marketing can shape those relationships.
CMO -Chief Marketing Officer
A CMO’s primary focus is to create and oversee marketing campaigns that will increase sales for a company’s products. This role goes far beyond “the people who do the advertising.” They shape the vision of the company’s overall marketing strategy. Additionally, they build individual brands within the company and determine the place of those brands in the overall marketing structure. CMOs analyze and interpret market research to determine the best placement for brands and products in an ever-growing spectrum of options. Product positioning has evolved as digital media shifts toward becoming the primary source for consumer information. A consumer interested in a product advertised on TV won’t react by going to buy the product, but will instead use the internet to research it.
Building relationships with agencies that represent bloggers, vloggers, and other third party marketers will provide tools a CMO can use to reach coveted demographics as consumers place increasing importance on those outlets. The influence of digital media has created a new level of intimacy between customers and the products/companies they choose. This has given rise to an additional marketing-based CCO position: the Chief Customer Experience Officer.
CCO/Chief Customer (Experience) Officer
The Chief Customer Officer Council defines a CCO as “an executive that provides the comprehensive and authoritative view of the customer and creates corporate and customer strategy at the highest levels of the company to maximize customer acquisition, retention, and profitability.” A CCO is responsible for driving customer experience and perspective throughout their journey with a company. CCOs will develop, deploy, and maintain a strategy for the customer experience that includes engagement with employees as well as customers, and includes defined metrics by which the strategy can be analyzed. Internal and external customer feedback along with metrics help the CCO determine “what customers need and want, and what they are willing to pay in order to achieve their objectives.” In the age of internet customer reviews and Twitter rants/raves, outlets for customers to provide instant reactions to customer experiences are endless, and a company’s response to that feedback can shape public perception of the company as a whole. Chief Customer Officers advocate for their company’s customers by smoothing bumps and filling gaps within the customer experience to create greater loyalty.
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