When the going gets tough, only the tough gets the going!

That’s one of my favourite mantras and I live by it. Unknowingly, I also fell in love with the most “criticised” function, that is marketing. Deep down, challenges are what gives me a kick and I don’t feel shy in unlearning, learning and then re-learning. Taking this head on, getting my head banged, bruised, but then getting recovered, dusting everything off and then back to business of marketing!

Being in leadership team is one thing, and getting the due credit is another. One of the biggest challenges which is being cited by the marketing leaders. Yes, totally understand, that it depends on the industry/ business/ team etc but this came across as one of the common thread during the different b2b marketing events which I happened to attend.

I was also thinking that the function of CMOs is here for a while, and they do receive a fair bit of backlash. Talking about CRO’s, which is a new function, I am not sure how CRO’s are welcomed! I feel for them.

I wanted to check the pulse of the marketers before hosting CMOs at the panel discussions and posted on various communities, that what will be their top questions for CMOs. And the list did become big! Sharing these with you here and feel free to let me know if you have some more additional ones! Yes, you bet, we take it all!

• What’s that one word which sums up the essence of Marketing?

• What’s your pet peeve when you are discussing the marketing strategy in the boardroom?

• How important are communities when creating your annual marketing plan?

• Dark Social. What do you think about it?

• Founder/ CEO- When did you have your first marketing hire? during initial setup or later?

• Who owns GTM?

• What’s the biggest/most important/ most impactful challenge you’re facing today?

• What are your biggest sales and marketing challenge right now?

• Say we’re having coffee in three years, and we have worked together, and you’re extremely happy with the progress and results we’ve made, what has happened in those three years?

• What is the #1 characteristic of a successful CMO? Or can you describe first 90 days for a new CMO?

• if B2B - What is the future of measurement and how do we get execs, finance to really understand and buy into a shift in measurement (buying groups vs one lead, the dark social, and all the other “non measurables”) and how do we still deliver value for the marketing investment in some fashion that can be substantiated.

• How are you going to move away from “marketing-sourced” and “marketing-influenced” pipeline and revenue to a true team-based metric for marketing success?

• When did all of you first invest in marketing operations?

• Marketing Operations is a long-term commitment to delivering relevant and timely customer value and showing business value. How do you keep your team engaged with MarTech and celebrate the short-term wins?

• Where do you see Marketing evolving in next 5 years? Would social media still be relevant in next 5 years?

• If each one of them had all the resources, they needed what is the first thing they would try to solve.

• How much does it hurt when the CEO takes the major marketing decisions and not you?

• How do you know that everyone on your team is focused on exactly the right thing at any point in time?

• What is your single biggest challenge working with sales?

• What steps are you taking to support your teams during these tough financial times.

• What worked best when you started owning functions where you lacked experience? Relatedly, how did you feel confident that you were on the right track?

• what’s your superpower that makes you the best fit for the CMO role?

• What do you think is the outlook for 2023 in the economy and how you will address your approach and plans based on it, if at all.

• What do you see as the key levers for improving marketing ROI next year?

• If only 5% of your TAM are in-market at any given time, how are you planning to reach the other 95%?

• Biggest failure and biggest success

My key takeaway from all these questions is: Just like other C-Suite functions, CMO is aligned with the business and their key objective is to make an impact by x% on the pipeline. That’s their driver and the matrix.

Let’s honour the work done by all the distinguished marketers. It’s not an easy job, trust me, to ignite the trust among the prospects for the unknown.


Shikha Creates the Zing factor in Marketing | Books are my Best Friend , Tea is my favorite beverage & Travelling to places is my hobby | A story teller.
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