Published under: CXO, Product Development, Business Processes, Marketing

Many CMOs at software development firms have been placed in a uniquely, paralyzing position.  There was a photo-1416934625760-d56f5e79f6fetime when marketing was a chief contributor to product development. As the one who interfaced with potential customers and thoroughly researched the market place, their input drove many new initiatives. A lot of that has changed in recent history; renegade developers acting as sales/product development have come to view the marketing department as “red tape” to be avoided at all costs.

The misconception is that marketing is there to slap the wrists of those who use the wrong product terminology or fail to include the correct color and logo in their email signature. The result is that software development firms are creating new solutions for every customer instead of capitalizing on a common need and developing a product that will serve a broad base.

Michael Klynstra, the VP or Marketing Geneca discusses this situation in his article for CMO.com. He offers that the remedy to this situation is for CMOs in software development firms to partner with the renegades; work to gain alignment on behalf of their projects and build bridges within the organization to gain the trust.

Once in, use your expertise to impact the project in ways that make it a better strategic investment. This not only showcases your own value but may bring in a few extra kudos for the renegade as well. It also provides you with an opportunity to ensure that the final product has that layer of finish that only a marketing mind can apply.

The role of the CMO will continue to morph as engineers and developers fill sales and marketing roles. This shift has increased the level of technical discussions and often results in products that better meet the needs of the customer; however, as a marketing crusader it is vital that the CMO continues to engage as an active force in product development.

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