From CMO To CEO: Why Marketing Leaders Are Getting A Shot At The Big Time & How You Can Join Them

From CMO To CEO: Why Marketing Leaders Are Getting A Shot At The Big Time & How You Can Join Them

How customer-obsessed are you? The chances are your answer, as a marketing leader, will have a huge influence on the success of your organisation. Organisations that lead in customer centricity outperform competitors by almost 80 per cent¹and drive revenue between 4-8 per cent higher.²

That’s why many marketers are shifting focus from traditional marketing metrics, such as reach or engagement, to more significant achievement indicators, such as customer lifetime value, customer satisfaction, and advocacy. This trend also reflects the evolving role of marketing in the organisation.

High performing marketers are using understanding of the customer to connect sales, product, customer support and more with data-informed strategies that drive customer acquisition, retention and revenue growth.

It’s no wonder we are seeing more CMOs take the next big step and earn the CEO role when they have such a focus on the customer.

So how can you adapt and elevate your status? According to Forrester, customer-centric companies tend to have four identifying characteristics. They are customer-led, insights-driven, fast, and connected. These characteristics are evident at all levels of customer-centric organisations — from the C-suite down to the individual.


You can ensure that organisational strategies and operations align with customers’ behaviours by putting customers at the heart of every decision. Customer-led organisations have a strong focus on customers and a shared understanding of their key segments. They satisfy customer needs in a consistent way across business units and they deliver innovative services and products based on what customers want, driving growth through customer acquisition and loyalty. 

While customer-led approaches have traditionally focused on satisfying their customers, today’s most successful organisations are equally concerned with the needs of their employees and understand that a confident, motivated, and passionate workforce results in satisfied customers. But the key to a confident workforce is empowering them with knowledge to do a good job. This demands a deep and broad understanding of your customers.


Sustainable, long-term success in today’s fast-moving markets requires you to have a full picture of your customers, their world and the dynamics that drive them. You can, and should, be an expert in understanding your customer’s needs, desires and behaviours. The more you know, the better equipped you are to provide targeted engagement, products and experiences that resonate with your audience.

Data-driven models can help you identify the most effective and investment-worthy methods of acquiring new customers and driving repeat business.

You can create a 360-degree view of your customers’ journeys across all touch points including chat, the contact centre, webinars, calls and meetings along with digital advertising such as search ads or social posts by integrating multiple sources of online and offline data into one system. You can tailor your organisation’s offerings to meet customers’ specific needs and increase revenue by retaining existing customers and attracting new ones.

And you can analyse data from all touchpoints to disseminate actionable insights that help to deliver consistent, positive experiences across your organisation.

Fast and connected 

In an age of declining budgets, increased competition and employee burnout, it’s never been more important to prioritise your time and energy. Imagine being able to track every customer interaction across the entire customer journey at the time they occur. What could you learn, and how quickly could you act?

To truly break down silos, sales and marketing teams need to collaborate and align on process creation, measurement strategies and goals, especially technology. According to the Microsoft report Three Ways Sales and Marketing Alignment Reduces Costs, organisations with aligned sales and marketing teams saw a 20 per cent bump in yearly revenue. 

You can help map the steps from lead generation to customer acquisition and upselling by leveraging aggregated data and actionable insights. When each step is clearly defined, everyone involved knows what needs to happen when, how often and how it gets measured — increasing process efficiency and decreasing costs. 

By consistently collecting and analysing customer data, you will firmly establish yourself and your team as the owner of the customer within the organisation. You’ll soon see other business units asking your team for insights into customer behaviour to shape their decisions. 

Staying ahead

We have seen how leading marketing professionals are no longer just responsible for advertising, and how they are shaping customer experiences and driving new revenue streams.

These marketers extend their influence with a strategic approach to understanding consumer behaviour and translating insights into actionable strategies for the whole business. By using customer-led approaches and data-driven models to align sales, product and experience, you too can start picturing the view from the CEO’s chair.

Learn more

Watch the Elevate customer experience webinar where we discuss with the CMO of Unloan how to connect customer insights to shape organisational strategy and drive customer acquisition and loyalty.

Hear first-hand from industry experts how a powerful tool like Microsoft Dynamics 365 can support and transform processes to achieve higher efficiency in the mapping of steps from lead generation to conversion and beyond. 

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