Roll over sleepless CMO - the CGO is here

Apparently marketers can’t get to bed before midnight as per a study by Wakefit. And they can’t sleep late either – 44% sleep less than 6 hours a day. The recession is putting a lot of new pressure on businesses and of course, sales and marketing. Yes, the world just changed overnight, but targets are targets. It’s all very well for the likes of Kunal Shah of Cred to philosophize about the purpose of consumption in general but most people have targets that are giving them sleepless nights! It is a good question to ponder though – what happens if demand shrinks across the board? What does the rollback look like?

But back to the targets. If category consumption goes down then the only way to grow or even sustain is to snag marketshare as I wrote about last weekWe are all in the same storm but not in the same boat, as a famous, er, Whatsapp author said. This will require revisiting your marketing plan. A model I suggest is the good old AIDA – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action, with the whole program directed towards existing users of your category. With the heightened interest in sales and marketing to recoup the company fortunes there is renewed debate about who is responsible for revenue targets. So here’s the thing – traditionally marketing takes care of only up to the stage of Desire. In B2B that would be a BANT qualified list of prospects. After that it is Sales’ job to get the conversion done supported by marketing in the form of nurture programs and account based marketing.

Ecommerce and digitization are muddling this traditional structure.  A recent study (pg 55) shows that marketing owns ecommerce in 25% of the respondent organizations. If sales is increasingly self-service then that muddies the water some more. If your sales is remote and digital you could consider merging sales and marketing into a growth function.

This week I attended a webinar hosted by the CureFit founders to explain their business troubles. One interesting point is that they were defending their use of celebrity trainers which apparently really helps their online classes. At a crore a month, these trainers amount to a couple of days of their total wage bill. When you do something digitally only the best can attract an audience. The reason to choose local experts is only proximity – once that goes nothing is left. You will see disproportionate marketshare controlled by a few top people. It happened in music when you could listen to recordings, and to theatre when movies made it possible to enjoy the best actors in a location dependent way. As an aside – folks, rethink your webinar strategy – bring in your global best, your keynote class people. Webinars are no longer the training ground for the big conferences – they ARE the biggest platform you have.

Here’s an interesting piece from The Hindu Business Line on how COVID will change the way we eat, shop and play.

I know that right now things look a bit gloomy for most. So here’s a quiz about companies founded before 1947 who have overcome all kinds of trials and challenges in their long history. It isn’t as difficult as the one on recessions brands from last week.

Roll over CMO – welcome, CGO!
Let’s merge Sales and Marketing for Growth When I joined Infosys in 1998, Marketing and Sales had different bosses. After a couple of years it changed with Sales and Marketing having the same boss. The squabbling came down quite a bit, though not entirely.  

Philosophically I was never a big champion of reporting to sales. I felt that reducing all of marketing to measurable immediate revenue does not do justice to the power of the function. But as long as…read more

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