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cmo trends in 2016


I have the luxury of working with some of the greatest CMOs and one thing is certain – A CMO is a big job that includes running an entire marketing team successfully within an ever transforming field. This requires a high level of strategic thinking, oversight, and execution – as well as an ability to excel and lead all the different areas of a marketing department, from social media and demand generation to branding.

In order to stay ahead in an often overwhelming position, it helps to review the demands and requirements of the role of CMO, examine how they are evolving, and then apply this wisdom in-house. Here are the top CMO trends in 2016 to help you take your team to the next level.

What Matters Most to CMOs in 2016

Integration – As companies focus increasingly on their brands and customer interaction, thanks to the endless possibilities presented by digital marketing, CMOs are realizing that their jobs are ballooning. Successful leaders see the importance of integrating across varying functional groups. Cross-coordination is key for these professionals. They need to reign in all forms of communication to ensure a unified, cohesive messaging.

Content and digital marketing connection – The phrase ‘content is king’ isn’t losing steam in 2016, in fact, it is taking on new importance with an increased emphasis on video content. More than half of CMOs are planning on increasing their content marketing budgets over the next couple years.

Building a performance-based culture – CMOs are putting more emphasis on data analysis and ROI and measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Marketing enablement, is increasing in importance as CMOs realize that in order to take on more, they need to eliminate what isn’t working.

Navigating the marketing and digital landscape technology – The technology landscape today is dynamic and increasingly overcrowded. This is a challenge that all CMOs face, and one that can be overcome with value messaging. Fresh, unexpected, and personal are the keywords for today’s top marketers.

Focused skill training – 70 percent of marketers are self-taught, and many businesses are facing the problem of skills gaps with the broadening digital marketing landscape. With tight budgets and a growing need for skills investment, this year more and more CMOs are emphasizing targeted training. In-house seminars, conferences, and classes need to be evaluated after the fact to ensure that the skills learned are being implemented effectively. Competency maps and a clear path to application are essential for creating a successful enablement program and enhancing the professionalism and competency of your team.

Being a Successful Leader for Tomorrow

CMOs have a lot to focus on, from the control of brand communication to thoughtful upskill investing. To thrive in this complex environment, leaders need to align more with their team, demonstrating an expectation to evolve as a unit. And they need to look to the future, which means an ongoing focus on what the numbers are saying about today’s techniques. The insights gained today will help to drive the successful marketing trends of tomorrow. A professional marketing firm can help you get an objective look at where you stand in 2016, and how to effectively implement the most important trends in marketing.


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Shannon Prager is the President of Leadit Marketing. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of Leadit Marketing as well as the long term vision for the company.

A marketing leader with over 17 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed marketing strategy. Shannon’s background includes demand generation, marketing automation, social media and marketing operations. You can follow her on Twitter via: @LeaditMarketing