CMOs: Brand relaunch? Not so fast. Part I

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In the past, newly hired chief marketing officers (CMOs) were able to quickly make their mark and demonstrate bold value with a failproof strategy: relaunch the brand.  These days, though, many companies are hesitant to spend the time and money to rebrand. Fewer and fewer colleagues in the C-suite believe a new advertising campaign is the silver bullet.

At the same time, CMOs are being held to much more rigorous standards. Performance and value are increasingly based on an ability to achieve specific and measurable business goals. For CMOs of business-to-business (B2B) companies, that ultimately means one thing: driving sales growth.

But success is within reach.  By better-enabling sellers to do their jobs, CMOs of B2B companies can gain fast traction with top executives and become heroes to their colleagues.  The key is to focus on strategic solutions that empower sales to have more meaningful customer conversations and interactions that generate sales growth while helping save millions in wasted marketing dollars. Still want to relaunch the brand? Imagine how much more effective you’ll be when you’re in synch with sales.

 

“A good brand strategy should last as long as it is the best strategy possible.  To change and rebrand simply for the sake of change probably won’t produce the results you wished for.” –Philip Kotler and Waldemar Pfoertsch, B2B Brand Management

 

Know thy seller, serve thy customer

A positive brand experience is essential to every sales transaction. However, most companies do a poor job of making sure that their most effective brand ambassador – the sales representative – is able to deliver on the brand message and value being promised in the market.

Successful brand strategies support both a unified voice and an integrated experience of the brand.  From brand awareness efforts to sales enablement and customer loyalty, it should be very all for one and one for all. B2B customers who have this kind of experience are more likely to become customers again. And given the lengthier sales cycles in the B2B space, the costs of acquiring new business is high—so keeping customers is as critical as getting them in the first place.

But ensuring this alignment requires marketing’s messaging to be in sync with sales’ efforts in the market—so the brand promise remains clear and consistent in every customer communication and interaction

In my next post, I’ll share a 100-day roadmap for launching a sales enablement program that will drive near-term wins (and learnings) for new CMOs and lead to the ever-elusive A-word: Alignment with marketing and sales.