The Top B2B CMO Challenges


Share on LinkedIn

The Top B2B CMO Challenges —Turning SMALL Failures into BIG Wins—Turning SMALL Failures into BIG Wins

My call to arms last week was for CMOs to go rogue, to be fearless in their marketing innovation and leadership. One particularly distraught email I received was from a senior executive who says he paid a heavy price for doing just that. He wrote that while it’s easy to think about going rogue, the consequences of actually doing it are not pretty. Clearly, this executive has experienced rejection and failure in the recent past and is still grappling with the aftermath. My advice to him was that while failure isn’t what we seek, one must see it as an essential step along the way to success.

Some of the world’s most powerful leaders who are known for their big success stories have a string of failures that people have easily forgotten. The important thing is to make sure you don’t give up when you fail; to keep working harder until you get to the final destination of victory. As I’ve always said, especially in B2B marketing and lead generation, you have to prepare for a marathon with a strong determination to reach the big win despite small failures along the way. Yes, you have made mistakes, but what can you do now?

If You Look Failure in the Eye, It Won’t Go Away, But It Will Lose Its Power

I’ll confess, I’ve been there too—failure is hard and even shocking when you least expect to fail at something, but you do. If you function with a Fixed Mindset, you’ll only slide further downhill. On the other hand, a Growth Mindset will help you shake off the dust and bring about a transformation. And that is The Biggest Lesson I Have Learned as a CEO. In one particular instance, I knew that the lead generation program we were running for one of our clients was not working as it should. I debated about whether or not to tell the client, but not for long. Before the program drained any further resources in time and money, I swallowed hard and gave it to the CMO, “This is not working; it’s actually failing pretty badly. We need to stop and revisit our strategy.” Just like that. No mincing my words. He surprised me by looking me in the eye and saying, “Let’s get this @#it sorted out. I’m with you, so just tell us what we need to do.” And we did. We turned things around 360°, ensuring the ROI from this second chance we were given was so phenomenal that the client not only forgave and forgot the earlier hiccups but was ecstatic with the new direction and measurable results. That is how MyLeads2Go was born. A big win from a small failure. Remember this—5 Ways to Recognize B2B Lead Generation Failure…and Move On.

Ashif Dhanani, CMO, Macquarie Telecom hits the nail on the head, The idea of failure does not align with the need to have defined KPIs with milestones and targets. I have yet to see a KPI that has a goal to fail, which is ironic, because it is only by failures that you can reach marketing excellence.”                   

Here is great advice on the 5 Stages of Rejection and How to Deal with it.

B2B CMOs Face these Common Challenges—Steps to Turn them into Opportunities

1.  Measuring Content Performance: This is the number one CMO challenge for B2B this year, according to the Content Marketing Institute. I am witness to it and I can’t say we have the perfect formula for measuring content performance yet. What I will say is that if you make the effort to understand what your audience is craving, you will get better at serving up content they will be eager to consume and share.

2.  Resisting the Lure of Numbers: Who doesn’t like to see an expanding fan following on Twitter or a huge spike in Facebook Likes? We all do. But as a CMO, that isn’t enough to demonstrate increased engagement and quality lead generation. Deliver value and relevance in your website content, your email campaigns, your weekly blog post rather a dozen Tweets, an insightful whitepaper, and so on. If your marketing communication is relevant and useful to your buyers, engagement will follow and it will be easier to keep it.

3.  Personalizing Customer Experience: The B2B buyer is extremely complex and changing more dynamically than the B2B marketer ever can. The only way to attract, engage and convert this new, complex buyer is through personalization. Robust tracking, monitoring and measurement processes will allow you to analyze buyer behaviour throughout the buying cycle. The data you capture may be predictive of conversion and repeat purchase. Ask whether your lead generation program allows a 360° view. Request a demo of the revolutionary, transformational lead generation program, MyLeads2Go.

4.  Socializing Data: Every CMO today is striving to socialize data and use it to build relationships in the real B2B world. Socializing data, however, is not simply gathering and analyzing data from social media. Your website analytics, email marketing, webinar participation, offline marketing events, sales meetings, phone conferences, are all valuable sources of insights about customer behaviour. You need to profile leads carefully and alert sales and marketing teams about updates and changes to these profiles. They are the ones most likely to directly interface with your customers in the real world.

5.  Defining the Right Metrics to Measure ROI: Data is great; it’s useful, it’s exciting, but it’s also a time-sink if you don’t know how to use it. Just because anything you can track online can be measured, doesn’t mean you should try to measure it all. As a matter of fact, the easier it is to measure, the less useful that data is likely to be in your lead generation strategy! What you should measure is a factor of what that information can empower you to do. For example, how many social channels your ideal B2B buyer uses is not important, which ones are used is important. Those are the channels you want to be seen and heard on.

What other challenges do you face as a CMO in a B2B organization? How do you rally your teams and work to resolve them? Let’s discuss this on my blog—please leave me a comment. 

If you would like to receive updates and information about B2B lead generation, please click here. 

Image credit: Shutterstock

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here