Have you noticed that the pace of B2B marketing innovation is increasing sharply? Based on the many client inquiries and ongoing dialogues we’re having with marketing leaders, I’d say many of them have noticed. Buyers are buying differently, product and solution portfolios are growing, selling productivity is more important than ever, and marketing’s role is becoming more strategic to the organization.
This landscape of emerging and interconnected market trends has created an exciting and challenging mandate for CMOs to not just react to business change, but to drive it; and to recognize that new skills, realigned roles, restructured processes, new metrics and technology investments are shaking up the status quo across the marketing ecosystem.
The ability for marketing organizations to thrive in an environment of constant change has become a must-have capability, requiring CMOs to devote greater attention to change leadership. Below are 10 questions that can help CMOs assess how they stack up as change leaders:
- Do you anticipate and plan for the team implications of your marketing initiatives?
- Do your teams know why each project is important to the organization and how important it is to you?
- Do you consistently include a change management workstream in strategic marketing initiatives?
- Do you build a coalition with executive stakeholders and gain commitment to a common vision?
- Do you commit required resources to execute projects successfully?
- Do you foster a partnership mindset that engages and involves cross-functional groups in the project?
- Do you detect and deal with individual or team resistance swiftly?
- Are you focused on the impact of projects on functional alignment across the marketing ecosystem?
- Do you “inspect what you expect” through specific measurements and tracking?
- Do you have a management system in place with a leadership cadence of reporting and communication to sustain change adoption?
Thriving in an environment of increasing marketing change doesn’t happen by accident. It takes CMO commitment, time and planning. Even the best-conceived marketing initiatives will not deliver expected results if operational changes are not fully adopted or, worse, intentionally undermined.