Thursday, January 8, 2009

20 CMOs at Boston CMO CLUB Dinner Last Night- Jan 7th

The weatherman had forecast a major storm, and many businesses and schools declared snow days due to ice, snow, sleet, and freezing rain. But one thing was hot in Boston last night: the CMO Club dinner. Almost twenty CMO'ers turned out, with five first timers and not a single no show. How did we all make it? All those classes we take in school on how to walk like a penguin!

Once we penguins all sat down for dinner (yes, there was fish on the menu), we had a great discussion about marketing ROI led by Chris Charyk of MarketingNPV. Chris's company specializes in helping CMOs establish the financial impact of marketing expenditures and how CMOs can build credibility with CFOs and other executives for whom numbers do the talking. Chris presented on the four things CMOs can do to establish financial credibility:
Define and Communicate the Role of Marketing
Prioritize Key Questions
Assess Current Knowledge
Establish an Implementation Roadmap

The discussion covered a wide range of topics, including dashboard, metrics, search optimization, and the measurability of anything. To learn more, check out MarketingNPV's website which has lots of great tools and articles.

Equally fascinating were the introductions at the beginning of dinner when Pete asked what issues are top of mind for everyone. The economy was a common theme, as you would imagine. CMOs are universally working on how to do more with less, and sell to buyers who are working to do the same. One CMO is adjusting their marketing mix in anticipation of reduced travel by buyers, shifting from trade shows to virtual events or local events where the company travels to the buyers' cities. Another CMO is focusing their marketing efforts on existing customers, achieving better penetration where there is an existing permission to sell.
While we are clearly in an era in which "flat is the new up", it was also interesting to hear how many CMOs are working on very strategic changes to their businesses: how to add services to the product set, how to fund new products from existing products, and how to drive change management to support a repositioning of the company.
All in all, another great dinner for the ever-growing Boston community of marketing penguins.

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