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The Role of a CMO is Balancing Strategic Leadership and Hands-on Team Engagement

Hello Marketers,

Do you know that the role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has evolved significantly in recent years?

Once solely focused on marketing strategy development, brand messaging, and advertising, CMOs today are expected to be data-driven strategists, customer experience champions, and even culture builders. But with all these demands, how much time should a CMO spend in the field, working alongside their team?

Several compelling arguments exist for CMOs to get out of the office and into the field. With my experience, I would love to share these values.

  • Gaining firsthand insights: When I spend my time with customers and frontline employees as a CMO, I can gain a deeper understanding of their needs, challenges, and opportunities. This on-the-ground perspective informs my marketing strategies and campaigns that are more relevant and impactful.
  • Boosting team morale and engagement: When I show my willingness to roll up my sleeves and work alongside the team, it sends a powerful message of value and appreciation. This helps me to boost morale, improve communication, and foster a more collaborative culture.
  • Identifying gaps and inefficiencies: Fieldwork helps me to identify operational inefficiencies and communication breakdowns that might be hindering team performance. I can use this firsthand knowledge to drive process improvements and create a more streamlined customer experience.
  • Building stronger relationships: Spending time with my colleagues in the field helps me as a CMO to build stronger relationships with the team members. This leads to better collaboration, trust, and understanding.

I always make sure to strike the right balance. While the benefits of being in the field are evident, I as a CMO avoid micromanagement and maintain focus on strategic leadership.

These are some areas I manage:

  • Define Clear Roles: Clearly defining roles and responsibilities within the team is essential. This allows me to provide guidance and support without impeding the team’s autonomy in day-to-day operations, This will help you too.
  • Effective Delegation: Delegating tasks appropriately empowers my team and allows me to concentrate on strategic initiatives. It ensures that responsibilities are distributed based on individual strengths and expertise.
  • Regular Check-ins: Implementing regular check-ins and status updates allows me to stay informed about ongoing projects without becoming overly involved. This maintains a connection with the team while preserving me as the CMO focus on high-level strategy.

If you are a CMO, you often have demanding schedules with a multitude of competing priorities. Finding time to spend in the field can be difficult, especially for those in large organizations. In such situations, a bigger portion of your time is best spent on high-level strategy and vision setting while delegating day-to-day operations to others but allocate at least less time to field engagement.

So, how much time should a CMO spend in the field? The answer is, it depends. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The ideal amount of fieldwork for you will vary depending on your company, and your industry. Ultimately, the key lies in finding the right equilibrium that allows you to guide your team to success in a rapidly evolving marketing landscape.

Good luck

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