Since rising to prominence as a part of the C-suite back in the late 1990s, the role of the chief marketing officer (CMO) has never been as critical to the success of organizations as it is in today's customer-driven post-digital age. And CMOs are taking notice, stepping up to the leadership challenge as a full partner in the C-suite. As marketers indicated in our report on The Evolved CMO In 2014 (subscription required), their business leadership requires them to optimize the marketing organization they oversee. Forrester believes that as empowered customers take control of their relationship with brands, CMOs must optimize their teams by redefining their organization in the form of a marketing operating system (MOS).

An MOS-based structure transforms every facet of a marketing organization requiring CMOs to inspire their organizations to think and act differently. It’s up to you, the CMO, to establish the vision, define the new values, and model the behaviors you want from your team as you implement your MOS.

While the MOS approach provides a business system framework to engineer the change, CMOs must exercise a high degree of leadership competence to sidestep the perils that derail many organizational change initiatives. My new report, Brief: Five New Behaviors Inspire Organizations’ Transition To A Marketing Operating System (subscription required), will help CMOs expedite their MOS implementation by mastering five leadership behaviors:

1.       Accept change dictated by empowered customers. Transform your organization with a model that ensures you can deliver valuable, contextually relevant information and offers seamlessly across multiple channels.

2.       Dare the status quo with nimble experimentation. Blaze new trails using data-driven customer insights, agile methodologies, and the right technology to deliver the seamless experiences customers now expect.

3.       Act with agility. Foster a culture that values agility to increase the speed of execution while expanding marketing capacity.

4.       Participate personally by modeling the behaviors you seek in the team. Encourage innovative thinking and establish expectations and success metrics that motivate your team to take a personal stake in transforming to a customer-centric MOS.

5.       Tear down organizational boundaries by rewarding collaboration. Facilitate collaboration and motivate your team to work together in new ways by rewarding the sharing of insights and best practices.

In the age of the customer, newly empowered customers mean that customer obsession is the most important strategic imperative. CMOs: It’s time to lead the journey to customer obsession to avoid being left behind. Are you ready?

I’d love to hear your comments and perspectives about this topic. Please reach out to me via email, on my blog, or on my Twitter account with your thoughts, or request an inquiry with me here.