Heinz Marketing hosts a quarterly CMO roundtable breakfast in Seattle. Our focus is facilitating and informal peer-peer conversation on a range of topics and challenges that marketing leaders face.  Our latest breakfast included CMO’s and marketing VP’s from some of the largest tech, rapid growth startups and established companies in the Seattle area.  These conversations always reveal interesting ideas as well as provides confirmation that common challenges transcend organizations.

All CMO’s face common issues regardless of the size of the organization or industry.  B2B Marketers at all levels must have ‘full-stack’ capabilities and operate as a hybrid on the team.  Measuring the right results, technology strategy and management, staffing, sales alignment, and finding the balance between strategy and tactical execution.

Here are the top 6 takeaways from our latest roundtable:

Discover a Peer Group – The CMO’s all expressed how they want more opportunities to interact with and discuss ideas with their peers.  Intimate and informal gatherings are a valuable way to converse and learn how others have succeeded, or failed, with various processes or technologies.

Strategy and Execution – B2B marketers continually struggle with finding the balance between strategy and execution.  The responsibilities that the CMO’s face are incredibly vast and setting priorities is critical.  Several executives use agile techniques to ensure strong communication and consistent progress against plans and objectives.

Revenue Focus – The CMO’s are increasingly accountable to revenue contribution and some have joined marketing teams. The hard part is making sure the marketing team doesn’t get caught up in activity

Sales Alignment – A common theme – sales leadership lacks sophistication. Sales managers always ask for more, but can’t articulate what they want more of.  More leads? More conversions? Data management with sales teams creates huge problems because they don’t have the discipline to focus on helping with quality.

All the MarTech – Technology and the data that comes with it are a significant burden.  There is strong curiosity to find new tools for effective customer engagement and revenue operations.  Switching platforms is common for a variety of reasons that include poor customer experience to poor fit for the business. Some of the execs are happy with the vendors and the tech and others are disappointed.  It’s a continual challenge to find people with the right martech skills and experience.

People and Teams – Marketing execs struggle with finding the right people with the experience necessary to create effective programs, analyze data, and run the variety of technologies.  Many marketers have worked for teams that are focused on activity, and not revenue results. This shift often makes it hard to find the right people.

How do these issues compare to the ones you face as a marketing leader?

We will host our next invite-only CMO Roundtable in September and look forward to the next conversations.