What’s Keeping CMOs Up at Night? Pre COVID-19 vs. Now, as seen on Heinz Marketing

Matt Heinz

So much has changed over the past few months, yet we soldier on.

But not in the same way as before; we all must adjust our priorities and actions to effectively handle these odd circumstances. In addition to this being true for everyone in their personal lives, it’s also true for B2B marketers and their businesses.

Compared to before COVID-19, CMOs are now switching strategies and doubling down on others.

To understand exactly how much has changed for CMOs and in what ways, we went back a couple of years in our blog post archives (Fall 2018):

Read on to see what’s currently keeping CMOs up at night and what they’re doing about it today, as compared to before our lives flipped upside-down:

  1. Then, CMOs were thinking about how to implement and perfect an Account-Based Marketing
    Now, CMOs and their teams are still focused on ABM, but to an even greater degree. As this crisis continues, companies are tightening up their target account lists and market focus.
  2. Then, CMOs were preoccupied with altering their marketing departments’ culture and team structure to support a focus on revenue responsibility, instead of the typical focus on lead and MQL volume.
    CMOs are now taking this transformation one step further by trying to implement agile marketing across the team.
  3. Then, CMOs were focused on planning and budgeting for the upcoming year.
    Now, CMOs are planning for the present, since most new marketing budget is frozen but current programs are still running.
    • Moreover, budget that had originally been assigned to events and other field marketing is now being converted into budget for long-form content like eBooks, since people working from home have slightly more free-time—and desire—to learn and grow their knowledge.
  4. Then, CMOs were determined to strike the right balance between encouraging marketing creativity and stressing the importance of meeting certain marketing metrics.
    Now, CMOs have generally chosen to encourage marketing creativity over conversions.
    • Moreover, marketing teams are now focused on providing prospects with creative, relevant offers and conversations that take the current state of the world into account. The idea is that focusing on the prospect experience and their needs now should lead to good marketing metrics and conversions in the long run.
  5. Then, CMOs were not explicitly focused on helping their marketing and sales teams build strong connections with prospects and customers based on our shared humanity.
    Now more than ever, CMOs are prioritizing strategies that leverage human vulnerability, imperfection, and empathy to increase engagement and build authentic connections. As a tool for this kind of communication, the use of video—in both 1: many content formats and 1:1 conversation formats—has increased rapidly.

Is your company leveraging video more often or in a different way than before? Have your team’s priorities shifted dramatically, or only slightly? Which marketing strategies have you  team doubled down on, and which have been left in the past?

We’re curious to know what parts of this blog post resonate with you; please let us know in the comments section below!

And to share your experience as a marketing leader in this tricky time or learn from CMOs, join us on Fridays at 8:00 am Eastern or 8:00 am Pacific at our CMO Coffee Talk series (presented together by 6Sense and Heinz Marketing). Think of it as coffee with colleagues– you can participate actively or simply watch and read what others are thinking. Get registered with a hands-free calendar invite here.

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