The CMO Was Never Really Dead
 

The CMO Was Never Really Dead

 
Natalie Munio, Advertising Week

Over the past several years, you’d be hard pressed to find an article about the role of the CMO without the mention of its demise in the modern marketing world. While it’s true there’s been plenty of concern around the value and impact of the CMO on business, largely because marketing impact has been woefully hard to measure to date, surely that’s not a basis for the brash assumption that the role was entirely on its way out the door?

As was true with most jobs in the creative industries in the last decade, the role of the CMO has been wholly transformed by what many have called one of the most significant disruptors in our recent history — the digital revolution.

Data, information and technology have advanced in the marketing world, forcing the responsibilities of the CMO to advance along with it ­– now reaching vastly beyond traditional marketing. So as marketing has quickly transformed to become more sophisticated, businesses have been forced to redefine exactly what it means to be a modern-day CMO, a role that was once so brazenly simplified.

When data threw its hat in the ring a few years back and utterly changed the way brands do business, it also handed an unforeseeable amount of power to the consumer. Today’s consumers dictate the content, trends and products that govern the rest of the industry, and maintain control of where, when and on what devices they choose to do so.

With the emergence of the consumer and their newfound power, brands have had to completely rethink how they reach them, meaning that mar-tech, and therefore the CMO, is more important than ever before. As the need for brands to reach and understand the consumer becomes increasingly vital, there becomes a heavier reliance on the function of mar-tech and data’s ability to target audiences, and thus, on the CMO to drive that business strategy.

To be successful in today’s fast-paced, data-driven, digitally-savvy marketing world, chief marketers must play a role that goes beyond just overseeing the marketing bulk of their business. Though the role inevitably varies depending on different areas of business, the customer-focused nature remains at the helm, with other additional roles, like driving revenue, leading innovation and providing vision for the long-term, following suit.

The CMO was never really dead — it merely entered a temporary crisis of identity when technology, data and digital were added into the equation. Rather than a sole focus on brand guardianship and the tangibles like television, branding and advertising, the CMO of today is focused on setting their business apart from the competition through data-driven insights, improved customer experience, and creating strategies that carry out the company vision in a multi-channel, multi-platform world.



Advertising Week, which returns to New York for the 14th year this September, has announced an initial lineup of featured speakers to appear at the event that include CMOs from some of the biggest brands in the business.

The lineup of speakers includes:

  • Esther Martín García, Tecate
  • Jerome Hiquet, Tough Mudder
  • Elaine Leavenworth, Abbott
  • Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard
  • Karin Timpone, Marriott
  • Keith Weed, Unilever
     

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