Marketers are becoming more and more responsible for the communication aspects of the marketing mix – with social media, PR, CRM and ecommerce all increasingly under their control as the other tactical and strategic challenges dissipate.
By Mark Ritson's best estimate, communications should be about 8% of the marketing function’s duties. However, it increasingly appears to take up almost all of it along with a sizable budget spend.
In a world of rapid uncertainty, changing customer attitudes, tighter fiscal controls, and unpredictable trends, it seems that marketing is needing to evolve at lightning speed.
The role of the CMO must also change to fit the changing needs of the new order imposed on all organisations, by overseeing not only branding and marketing activities but also product and business growth, along with the customer experience.
So in a post Covid advertising budget scarce world just how do they and their teams stay in the role, and relevant to the company?
Very few of the CMO's I talk to rarely produce a personal blog. So, very much definitely a case of not 'walking the social talk'.
When the proverbial shit hits the fan as it's already done and they find themselves in the job centre next to previous employees they suddenly turn to platforms like 'LinkedIn' to tell the world the are 'available' and can offer so much.
Pre Covid (hopefully not post) companies would run the recruitment and interview process, a process that was/is significantly biased towards the paid media digital communication expertise a Marketing Director/CMO or marketing lead could bring - just check out any job role description for a marketing head on LinkedIn and you will see the absurdity of the incremental bias.
Is this really the extent of what businesses need from it's marketing leaders, and from those future leaders who are coming through today's marketing departments?
Today's Marketing CV's are littered with descriptions of paid media digital communications expertise and the awesome results they've delivered - seems very few have had shit results BTW.
It certainly seems like business has lost sight of the wider role of the CMO's ability and expertise in leveraging research and data to identify changes in consumer behaviour, organic growth opportunities, untapped consumers, along with opening up new sectors and markets.
This is something that when I sat in the CMO chair would be done in a collaborative way with the product development teams and my counterparts in the C-Suite as part of an internally aligned strategy.
Today, instead of being the marketing leaders that help identify the rationale for new markets and product development opportunities it seems they were/are judged on how efficiently they spent most of their time blowing large ad spend budgets and spewing corporate creative vomit to feed the fraud ridden ad-tech platform frenzy.
As the world of business looks to go back about it's business CEOs will no doubt be expecting CMOs to be the "magic bullet" that can revive sales, grow market share and inspire customers.
These many and varied demands will no doubt be often impossible for CMOs to meet, especially with reduced resource and without the availability of the bloated advertising budget which will inevitably lead to increasingly shorter tenures as results become nigh on impossible to deliver against.
So, I would assume we can agree that as a result Covid-19' has forced us to rethink how we might better work for the benefit of the planet and operate a more efficient business by taking action now rather than just cogitate and debate?
"If ever there was a better time for companies to think about using social media as an enterprise wide 'strategic opportunity' including upskilling the workforce for employee advocacy training I don’t know what is"?
If you're in retail in any sector no amount of quantitative easing is going to get customers back to the high street or shopping mall, in particular when the overriding message from government and health officials is to create a mood of physical social isolation that 'could' last for 3-4 months (possibly longer) at the very least.
Had your leadership team looked at one of the other global changes in human behaviour maybe they would be able to ride out this commercial storm better than most.
They didn't, and now you and them are sat at home trying to do their job but without your companies ability to continue to remain front of mind with huge spend on advertising - so how's that going to build confidence that you're all going to come out the other side with a company to work for?
So, does this crisis now set the scene for the C-Suite to let the CMO get back to what they're supposed to do which is to focus on growth, innovation, and product development - not just the corporate bullhorn?
"Once, the marketing manager role encompassed research, strategic planning and the full suite of tactics to take a product to market. Today, we are increasingly the communications department. And little more". Marketing Week