The relationship between the Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief Executive Officer has never been more important, especially as we enter the high-stakes year of 2021.
Why is this a high-stakes year?
With so many companies shuttered, or struggling alongside the road, there is opportunity in the air, especially for well-financed companies with a solid, strategic marketing plan. Such small businesses may be poised to disrupt entire industries with a new technology. Others may simply be eyeing significant new market share. Regardless, now is the time for small business owners and entrepreneurs to take advantage of future opportunities with the help of their marketing leader.
I believe the primary focus of that marketing effort in 2021 should be on creative strategies that leverage technology and the innate desire that customers have to help other customers, all while keeping a focus on the always-important customer acquisition cost. This might involve retooling your website to focus on lucrative niches or building engaging webinar campaigns.
As for that innate desire, what I have found in my years as a serial entrepreneur is that customers not only want incentives for themselves, but also their friends. In such scenarios, everybody wins.
Regarding costs, the plan needs to deliver a measurable ROI out of the gate, while leaving room to navigate changing consumer behavior and opportunity in the unpredictable 2021 climate.
But while the bottom line is important, this must be carefully weighed against the opportunities. What I have noticed in the short time we have been in a pandemic is that people become ultra conservative. There will also be a hangover effect with this, where it will take a while before small business owners and their marketing teams get into the passing lane again.
This fear is very natural. Many entrepreneurs and marketers are not sure how to cope with it. And that fear is compounded by the isolation and the fact that we are not able to collaborate as much in person as we used to.
Move through these challenges, however, and engage your CMO or marketing team. Your company will be richly rewarded. Now is not that time to pull back. It is time to grow!