The First 6 Things CMOs Need to Do in the Initial 90 Days

Ready? Set. Grow! The First 6 Things CMOs Need to Do in the Initial 90 Days 6 Minute Read

First impressions last. What leaders do within the first few weeks sets the course for their tenure in an organization. Given that the 25% churn for CMO’s that aren’t data driven is up, it isn’t just a cliché to get off on the right foot, it matters on a practical level. Leadership is all about getting things done through other people and resources. Leaders can’t succeed if they do not build the relationships that get them the help, advice and resources they need to accomplish their goals and break the 44 month tenure. Here are the six things that every new CMO should do right away from the simple to the complex.

1. Introduce Yourself to Strangers.

It is important to see what the culture of an organization looks like inside and out before immediately going and changing processes and systems up. Go through the training, even sales training, to see how your brand is internally and externally representing itself. Go through your new hire training as if you were a new marketing associate, the people that your relying on have done so and you’ll learn a lot walking in their shoes.

While you should be familiar with the C-Suite, get to know as many board members, directors and employees as possible. Set up one-to-ones and take lunches with your team to build trust and a greater understanding of the dynamics that currently exist. As you open organic conversations about the company and what’s worked well and what hasn’t you’ll be able to examine what holes exist in the team and processes. Take note of what people you need to surround yourself with and as Jim Collins says, “get the right people on the bus and in the right seat.” While keeping it informal and light you’ll figure out what skills they have and what others you need to hire or surround yourself with.

2. Clarify Responsibilities.

Today CEO’s are expecting their CMO to drive revenue through every initiative. To succeed and have longevity in the C-Suite it is essential that the responsibilities of the role are clearly defined. A CMO must understand where marketing can have the most impact in order to know where to focus. First, clarifying with the CEO what the goals and objectives of your role are will ensure that there is clarity on what the most important initiatives are and what to prioritize.

With everything being able to be tracked, analyzed and measured it is needing to justify the ROI on nearly everything that you do. The days of “set it and forget it” are long gone, and that includes ad tech and media buys in-house or with an agency. With the CFO, CRO and CEO demanding reports and recommendations on consumer-centric practices that will drive revenues, CMO’s need to clarify what roles, resources and partnerships they need to align with.

82% of marketers are held accountable for ROI on marketing spend— but only 33% have access to marketing’s contribution to revenue. – Source

Internally, building and understanding of the priorities of others on the team and in supporting roles is critical in fortifying a strong and flexible team that can help you fulfill your goals. As the weight shifts from Sales to Marketing and Sales to drive revenue, aligning with your internal team to cut across the divide and break down siloes is imperative. Leaders are fostering a liquid workforce that is able to be forward facing and proactively bring in new people, technologies, partners and solutions that curtail issues while supercharging the company’s revenue are sure to maintain their job, if not more.

3. Align Your Structure with Your Goals.

A marketing organization should be designed around the marketing strategy – not the other way around. To future proof your organization you need a flexible team that has the ability to respond rapidly to changing requests from around the company. Marketing teams have often grown ad-hoc in the past, adding competencies as needed and sharing resources with other teams or using external agencies. Ensure that the organization you design is well adapted to dealing with the demands you’re about to place on them.

Flexibility is King. As the pace of the customer changes, so does that pace that the enterprise needs to adapt and be proactive. This not only means being able to be agile in your marketing strategy, content and creative, but in your tech stack as well. Lack of time (69%) and a centralized marketing metrics dashboard (66%) are the top obstacles holding marketers back from consistently analyzing their data. Working with performance partners that are able to bring in dashboards and analytical tools that unlock the potential embedded in your data assets is sure to increase the understanding of customers in real-time across channels. Leveraging that insights into actionable recommendations that drive your creative, channels and strategy are helping leaders increase their revenues and customer engagement like never before.

Forward Facing and Future Proof Your Team. A new information ecosystem that allows enterprises to evolve rapidly and have access to a unified source of their data gives companies a digital edge. Having the flexibility to integrate new tools, resources and partners into the organization in a digital market is what will enable companies to constantly test, refine and disregard old tactics that aren’t serving the organization. Leaders that are taking ownership of their entire customer path and how it drives revenues are reaping the rewards of customer adoption, retention, loyalty and purchase frequency in the short-term. The long-term potential of companies that adopt a flexible structure are sure to set the standard as brands like Apple and Amazon have.

4. Find Three Things that Increase Revenue.

Marketing that drives revenue, that is your objective. In the first 90 days find the low hanging fruit that will make a noticeable improvement in revenue quickly. Get results now. Look at things within the organization like:

  • Growth hacking
  • Enhanced lead generation
  • Website performance and conversion tactics
  • Social marketing
  • Data centralization for improved analytics
  • Brining digital media buying in-house
  • Business and competitive intelligence
  • Refined demo for the salesforce
  • Sales channel programs and incentives
  • Sales training
  • ect

By quickly finding avenues to make the company more profits the organization will view you as an asset. As new talent you’ve been brought in to overhaul the processes and bring a fresh set of eyes. This means that a fresh set of tools, resources, technologies and partners can help facilitate the growth and make each initiative trackable. To create a success story in 90 days evaluating where redundancies, inefficiencies and opportunities reside is urgent.

A new Chief Marketing Officer exclaimed, “The smartest thing I did when I started was to go out and hire four or five of the best people and a few key partners in their disciplines.” Similar to Henry Ford when was about to be fired and asked why he should stay, CMO’s don’t have to know every answer, they just need to have the right resources at their fingertips. Utilizing the best world-class tools and industry partners not only quickly makes an impact, but justifies results.

5. Find Three Things that Decrease Cost.

Reducing costs and improving productivity are atop the CFO’s and CEO’s list. Anyway in which you can assist them in being able to reduce costs is sure to make you memorable and irreplaceable in the company. A few ways in cut unnecessary costs quickly include:

  • Trade show budget
  • Excessive ad agency mark ups
  • Head count
  • PR
  • Travel
  • Multiple or redundant systems
  • ect

As exists on the revenue side, there are often low hanging fruit that will make a noticeable improvement in costs. Cut costs, it’s your job. Eliminating costs where you are not able to track or justify the costs is a great place to start. Brining systems that consolidate and improve the performance of your team is another way to cut duplicate costs. One of the largest and unnoticed costs resides outside of the enterprise and has been unquestioned for years. With the modern technologies that exist today enterprises are able to bring their digital media buying in-house completely or with a performance partner that allows for full transparency and control of the media budget. Getting rid of excessive tech fees, third party vendors and buying ruminant inventory is a way to not only save on garbage media through an agency, but enhance and control the performance with a pulse on every campaign.

6. Agree on Metrics & Goals.

A map will get you to your destination, but only if you know where you are. Getting mutual agreement on what the organizations metrics, KPI’s and goals are is one of the most important components a CMO would address in their new position. Not only does this provide direction, but it give a reference as to where you are and what other people, tools and partners you need to align with to track your progress and achieve your goals. Get everyone to agree on what the essential metrics and performance indicators are now. What are we tracking? Where are we tracking it? What’s the “single source of truth” for our metrics? Eliminate confusion and disagreements by making sure everyone knows what is being tracked and how.

If you’re making marketing decisions from subjective lead ratings that your sales reps forgot to complete or incomplete data that your agency is providing you, your data is useless. What are the inaccuracies of data that you should be tracking? Can an ad agency do that or would an internal system and eye from the team be able to help keep you on track with a real-time pulse on the metrics that matter?

Going from product-centric to customer-centric means placing the customer at the center of your organization and utilizing the roadmap to ensure that the customer path is personalized, optimized and tracked across channels. What processes do you have to do that? Can your agency track people from your call centers or their click patterns to be able to position the appropriate message to them throughout their customer path? Leaders are finding that partnering with performance partners that specialize in bringing in the appropriate technology and solutions to become forward facing instead of reactive. It is enabling them to have full control over their customer path and track the micro-moments they have with their customers to capitalize on each experience to each persona with data and metrics to support them.


For more information about how RevvedUp Digital is empowering enterprises to gain control of their valuable data assets and supercharge their media performance in-house please visit us at or inquire at

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