The study of 478 CMOs suggests that 55 percent believe that marketers will be responsible for the customer journey in three years. The article also quotes the Marketo CMO “Marketing is really the new sales function” and that “In three to five years marketing is going to be the de facto owner of the entire customer journey.”
The marketing only emphasis of the article is further down the path than I am prepared to go, especially with surveying only CMOs. However, there are considerable changes taking place in the role that marketing plays in an organization, and the seat that marketing has or does not have at the “C” level needs to change.
Most organizations have moved past seeing marketing as being only responsible for the development of sales sheets, websites, trade show set-up and branding. Marketing is now tasked with measured expectation for lead generation. With budgets more tightly connected to leads, marketing campaigns must track lead source throughout the sales process and out past closing. In addition, in some organizations the marketing spend on technology (marketing automation, web-site, and analytics) is outdistancing the technology department itself.
I do believe we will see more shared CSO-CMO roles in the futures, and perhaps the emphasis should be CMO-CSO. However, marketers must be willing to step up their game in this new role. They need to provide the data to a sales-dominated organization that the world has changed. Having “hunters” may not be the only (or most effective) means for prospecting. Being “hunted” through in-bound marketing efforts may be the organization’s future as we compete world-wide.
If marketers are held responsible for lead generation and customer retention, then they must be the ones to step up and take charge of the CRM system. This means data management and working to a clear alignment for the sales and customer retention process with solid reporting.
To paraphrase that famous management consultant Joan Rivers, “Can we talk – seriously now?” Sales just doesn’t have the orientation, interest or attention span to develop and manage data. A measurement is essential in this new sales world. Marketers must be out in front and truly become the architect and general contractor for building sales growth.