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  • Christie Wade

Taking over as CMO: how your agency can help

If you’ve just started your new CMO role, there’s a good chance you have some ambitious targets on your agenda. Which means you need to work quickly to get to know the business, what is or isn’t working, and find ways to make an impact fast.

With a blend of under-the-hood insights and the perspective that comes with being an outsider, your digital agency partner should be able to deliver valuable information you won’t find in-house.

Historical insights

Knowing what’s been done in the past – and how - is critical if you want to avoid reinventing the wheel. But if your team has been hit by ‘The Great Resignation’ and is experiencing high turnover, getting access to historical information can be difficult. As people leave, they take invaluable company knowledge with them that often can’t be captured in processes or reports.

As employees come and go, agencies can often be the most consistent marketing presence over the years. It means they can help CMOs uncover the insights they need to understand where the business has been, what has failed, what has worked - and all the learnings in between.

An outside look-in

As partners with your business, agencies can provide that unique blend of understanding your business combined with an outside perspective.

Free from internal politics, they’re well-positioned to challenge established practices and offer new ideas. As outsiders looking in, they can bring fresh ideas and see things your team may not. They also draw on their broader experience with other clients and can be a wealth of knowledge on the latest practices in the industry.

“Because we’re in our clients’ accounts, day in and day out, our team is constantly finding new opportunities and ideas,” says Laura, CEO and Founder of Connected. “Some are implemented, but others might not be due to a variety of reasons. If you’re a CMO looking to make change, chances are that your agency has a host of existing ideas that might align with your new strategy”.

Actionable insights

As a new CMO, there’s a good chance you’ve been inundated with data. And while data is invaluable, it’s the ability to turn the data into actionable insights that forms the basis of new ideas.

This is where your agency can offer rich information, help you identify blockers in performance, and drive new ideas. By pulling together data from all the different customer touchpoints, integrated reporting can help refine customer profiles, understand behaviour, evaluate spend per channel, drive new campaign ideas, and more. While you may have access to data through dashboards and regular wrap-up reports, talking through the data with your agency can give you the added insight needed to inspire creative solutions.

Transformation ideas

Combining data from different sources can help transform your entire marketing function. If you have your sights set on transformation, your digital agency is the perfect partner to help you get there. Drawing on their data fluency and business insights, agencies can help CMOs identify the right metrics, identify blind spots, and close the gaps.

Connected case study example

When working with an education client, we found that while our campaigns were performing, the business wasn’t reaching its sales targets. Following a deep dive, we discovered that the sales teams’ limited capacity meant they couldn’t work through the sheer volume of leads and needed a better way to prioritise them.

Our solution was to blend online and offline sales data to help shift KPIs to focus on sales and marketing qualified leads. This helped drive higher quality leads with a 130% increase in sales and a 64% improvement in ROI.

Key questions to ask your agency

When meeting with your agency, here are some key questions you can ask to get the most out of their knowledge and experience:

  • What is currently working well?

  • What challenges are you having with the marketing team?

  • What have you recommended in the last 12 months that hasn’t been actioned Why?

  • What do you think is our biggest opportunity and biggest threat?

  • If you could change anything – what would that be?

  • What does success look like?

  • Can you walk me through the latest agency scorecard?

  • Does our current way of working together work?

These questions will not only help you get the information you need, but they’ll also help give you a feel for the agency and how they might fit with your future plans.

Leaving no stone unturned

As a new CMO, turning to your agency partners is a smart move. And if they’re not unlocking the insights you're looking for, find out why our clients see us as a critical extension of their marketing teams.


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