TorchLight Marketing President Beth Wallace on how to tackle the CMO role in today’s evolving marketing landscape

by Susan Mullin

“The Changing Role of CMOs: the future of marketing leadership, teams and strategy.”

Recently, CEO and founder of TorchLight Hire, Heidi Parsont, and President of TorchLight Marketing, Beth Wallace, hosted a webinar entitled “The Changing Role of CMOs: the future of marketing leadership, teams and strategy.” In this video clip and transcript below, Beth gives her advice on how she would tackle the CMO role today.  

Beth: You know, if I were a CMO today, I’d really try to get back to basics.

Although I wouldn’t market my plan as getting back to basics. I’d come up with a much sexier way to market that internally. Develop a strategy that builds on this strong connection with customers and then pull that strategy all the way through the company – through everything the company does.

The first step is to connect with employees because they’re going to be your biggest advocates and they’re the front line. I really believe coming out of COVID that employees and customers are both hungry for that authentic connection. And the technology is going to enable the connection, but you have to have the humanity built into it.

The other thing that I would do is build a long-term strategy, but create milestones and metrics that show short-term measurement and short-term gains against it. So that you can celebrate the short-term wins, because hey, everybody loves a celebration, and everybody loves good news.

But then you have to continue to emphasize how those short-term wins are going to get you to a long-term goal. And as we talked about, managing up is going to be a big challenge because CMOs have lost the confidence of senior leadership. And, you know, many companies have said the CMO is obsolete.

So as marketers, we have to educate and inform so that we can regain that respect, and we can’t do it with just like storytelling. We’ve got to do it with data and facts and we have to have measurement in place. You know there’s already revenue measurement. And that’s what a lot of CMOs are held to, but you really need to help your leadership team – as well as the rest of the company – understand the other marketing measures and build that connection between your strategy and the revenue.

And those are measured steps that help you get there. I mean, being a CMO is probably the toughest job in the company right now, but we do have more tools than we ever did. We have a lot of smart people. So, you know, I remain positive that if we can embrace this combination of chief storyteller and chief data scientists, we can do this.

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