What are today’s CEO’s expectation from the CMO?

It is often said that a CEOs thinking revolves mostly around revenue and profitability and any department that doesn’t help him with it, is mostly irrelevant.  With this logic we commonly feel that marketing is seen as a cost center and therefore is not the confidant of the CEO. Fortunately this is a thinking of a past era. Today we are living in a digital era which is being powered by the cloud economy. This is an era where fast changing business models and disruptive trends are shaking the entire industry is a new normal. In these circumstances we are seeing a new partnership emerge between a CEO and CMO.

Against these as a back drop I feel a CEOs expectation from CMO are essentially these.

A.     Customer Experience: Today both the CEO and the CMO realize that customer experience, which traditionally has been a marketing domain, is the new competitive edge that will sustain the business. CEOs today are increasingly expecting the CMOs to provide the pulse of the customer behavior and help him/her understand what the customers want.

B.     Business Strategist: In these changing times CEOs expect his / her CMOs to invest their time in understanding the other departments and bring out the areas of synergy/ partnership in their digital transformation journey. CEOs expect CMOs to lead this change as they have the ability to adopt rather than be overwhelmed by, digital technologies.

C.     Data Analyst:  To understand the market better and to make informed decisions CEOs are increasingly expecting CMOs to provide them with concrete, understandable marketing metrics, which will lead to fact-based decision-making.

What are the top 3 things marketers must do for increasing revenue?

In the good old days the roles and responsibilities of an organization was clearly demarcated. There was a sales team to sell and then there was a marketing team to market. These demarcation are now just  blurred lines and in today’s cloud economy every department in an organizations has a role to play in reimaging the business model, and be counted for in this transformation journey.

Marketing as I mentioned is uniquely positioned to help an organization reinvent its business and be relevant to the customers. If I have to summarize three ways in which it can play a role in increasing revenue, they will be

a. Brining in Omni Channel experience:  CMOs will play a crucial in managing the customer experience by seamlessly integrating all selling channels and solutions into a single platform. It will help them provide their customers with a consistent, meaningful experiences at every touchpoint and on every device.

b. Customer retention and advocacy: Acquiring customers is important but retaining them is more profitable. By helping retain customers and building advocacy around them, marketing plays a critical role in ensuring sustained sales of an organization.

c. Analytical insight: Marketing plays a crucial role in boosting sales by leveraging analytical tools to better comprehend   market conditions and thereby create a suitable strategy boosting sales.

A marketing tool that you suggest for improving profitability?

I believe simplified front office solution from SAP Hybris is the ultimate tool to connect with customers and improve profitability.

Today as organizations compete to win over customers’ loyalty and wallets, there is an increasing priority on customer satisfaction. However, recent research from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and SAP Hybris indicates that this is easier said than done. The data shows that marketers have a limited view of their customer base — with just over 50 percent of respondents working on systems to extend marketing’s view of the customer to include insights from all impact and interaction points in the customer journey. Additionally, 96 percent admit that they are not powering every interaction in every channel with real-time, personalized experiences.

A simplified front office solution like that of SAP hybris seamlessly linked people, inventory, supply chain, pricing and customers together to boost profitability.

Your Secret sauce for magical customer experience?

As I mentioned earlier customer experience is one of the key competitive differentiators for any brand. It’s therefore natural that every company will take it seriously and invest in technologies that will improve its overall customer experience.

However I believe the magic sauce for it is not in technology alone. Technology is a means to an end. The real secret sauce is in the employees who have to feel and empathize with the customers. They have to put themselves in the shoes of the customer and think outside in.  Any organization which promotes this culture and equips their employees with suitable technology will be unstoppable.

Profile: Krishnan Chatterjee is  Head of Marketing, Indian Subcontinent at SAP. He is a core member and trusted advisor to the India Senior Executive Leadership team, responsible for driving business results across the Indian Subcontinent comprising India, Srilanka & Bangladesh markets. He is accountable for overall marketing strategy, thought leadership, awareness, demand generation, reputation & loyalty management and end to end pipeline acceleration.

Krishnan is a multi-disciplinary business and marketing leader with over two decades of experience across B2C and B2B industries. He incubated zCMO™ (Forbes Article) – a thought-leading offering for CMOs to improve marketing performance in digital transformation era. He was the architect behind the HCL-Manchester United deal, now poised to enhance the experience of 650+ Mn global followers. While at HCL– he created and led the Strategic Marketing function and in his last stint, was a founder member of the organization’s Beyondigital™ business unit. During a decade long stint at ITC Ltd he was responsible for some distinguished brand launches, including 555, Wills Lifestyle, Wills Sport and the John Players apparel brand which he also led as a business.

Krishnan is an economics graduate from Presidency College, Calcutta and has an MBA in marketing and strategy from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He shares his insights & perspectives on Technology, Life, Music, Marketing and more through his blog and also finds expression as the lead vocalist of a band called Contra Band.

Krishnan Chatterjee is going to be speaker at Great Indian IT Marketing Summit & Awards 2017.


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