Growth CMO: Leadership in the Digital Economy

Maggie Chan-Jones, Chief Marketing Officer, SAP

The new digital economy brings with it pressures for organizations to be agile in their marketing. The outcome is a new breed of CMOs labeled entrepreneurial CMO – marketing executives known for their speed, agility, technical savvy and the ability to scale on a tight budget. This breed of leaders sees trends emerging from around the corner and leverages them to engage customers in new, innovative, powerful and disruptive ways.

As social technologies evolve, customer engagement takes on ever-greater importance. CMOs who behave like fast-moving entrepreneurs—combining scientific precision with artistic passion, marshaling financial and technological resources from diverse places, leading global teams, and exploiting new technologies to drive growth—will win.

As Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for global software giant, SAP, Maggie Chan-Jones cherishes the challenges that digital to her team, the company, and its customers and partners. She speaks about how technology is helping steer the direction of marketing towards more engaging conversations that are borderless and across multiple platforms.

CMO Innovation: What is different about the customer engagement environment today?

Maggie Chan-Jones: Companies that have dominated traditional channels are disrupted daily by customers who don’t think nor care about channels, who enter and exit on their own terms, and who journey through digital discovery, awareness, comparison, and purchase with little regard for tradition. Across verticals and across the globe, omni-channel customer engagement and commerce is a fundamental tenet of how business must be done today.

CMO Innovation: In the digital era, how do you form a genuine relationship with existing and prospective customers? What is the role of the CMO in this new imperative?

Maggie Chan-Jones: Marketing is changing. We have to engage, lead and ultimately champion the conversation with customers while delivering business results. It starts with the brand, but doesn’t stop there. A CMO must be both a business leader in marketing and a marketing leader for the business. The CMO’s imperative is to streamline and oversee complex data and product innovation platforms to truly understand (and predict) employee behavior, consumer behavior and generally understand your core audiences. CMOs must think like an IT leader and build customer loyalty by leveraging cloud-based analytics technologies to gain deeper insights, improve CRM experiences, better connect with stakeholders and ultimately generate more revenue.