Michael Brenner’s 5 Skills You Need to Become the Next CMO

Professional Development


The marketing world today is a whole different ball game than it used to be. You have to come up with big ways to stand out to capture the attention of your customers and prospects. It is about knowing what content your customers and prospects want to consume. It’s also about knowing when to take action to engage them with those stories. This new era of marketing is all about storytelling and curating customer-centric content.

Michael Brenner recently uncovered the five critical skills a CMO needs to produce content with the customer at the heart while also demonstrating business results through leads, revenue, and ROI.

In this blog, I’ll recap those five key skills so that you can apply them to your own best practices. 

Take Accountability

One of the first tasks of the CMO is to look at why your marketing organization exists. It is important to know and understand the goals of the organization to ensure that everyone within the organization is aligned with those goals. The marketing team needs to work together as one with a belief in those goals to achieve results. Being aligned will allow the CMO to hold the marketing organization accountable for contributing to the results of the business.

Take on the Art of Storytelling

This new wave of marketing demands for marketers to look at how their efforts are serving customers. It is crucial to start to market from what Michael calls, “a culture of empathy.” This means putting the customer first, and at the heart of what marketing is doing. Additionally, the marketing team is developing content that customers can relate to, to know that there are real people behind each of the efforts sharing their stories and expertise. Becoming a customer-centric and obsessed marketing organization is the best way to show results.

Talk to the Business

Not only is it necessary to ensure your marketing organization is aligned with your mission, but it is imperative to establish relationships across the business. Marketing should not act in isolation. Developing partnerships and space for collaboration with other parts of the business will ensure that you are all working towards the same goals: being customer obsessed and driving revenue & ROI. This will allow you to create a customer base that has continuous and evergreen engagement from the stories you are telling as a company.

Courage to Take on the Culture

Marketing is more than creating content to sell a product or service. It is also the ability to engage your audience with thought leadership and content to help them learn and grow in their profession. This allows for you to have a discussion with your customers and to encourage two-way dialogue to foster and build your audience.

Leadership (To Reach Across the Business)

As the CMO, it is your responsibility to ensure the broader organization understands how the marketing team operates & contributes to the overall business results. It is about communicating and demonstrating how the marketing organization can move the business forward.

Final Thoughts

Your customers need to be at the heart of everything your marketing organization does. Specifically, aiming towards curating content that keeps your customers continually coming back for engaging with your brand. It is vital that this content is aligned not only with your marketing goals but with the broader business. This will, in turn, lead to better business results with growing ROI over time.