Prior to this crisis the role of the CMO was already seen as a relatively short term tenure.
Companies who thought they had years to transform have just had a very nasty wake up call.
The seemingly mismatch between a board simply needing execution of an existing strategy (more of the same please) yet hiring for growth tends to be at the heart of the CMO turnstile.
The Covid crisis has accelerated the need for businesses that dithered before to become increasingly digital. Covid has proven to be the transformation accelerator, and now growth is firmly front and centre of the leadership teams priorities.
As such the demands and expectations of CMOs will continue to evolve.
Losing their jobs every eighteen months seems to me to be a case of a CMO being employed, given six months to get their feet under the desk and then they try and 'do what they've always done' having told the board how great they were in their previous role.
Then within a year or so, the board decides to fire them for poor performance and the company needs to hire again.
The other scenario is that the board keep changing the goal posts because of poor performance and the dutiful CMO does as they're told and get fired anyway because they didn't speak up, simply because they're not going to tell their paymasters they're wrong or they don't know any better and just did as they were told
Pre-Covid CMOs were required to focus on being customer-centric and data-driven while offering personalised strategies. As the role morphed into becoming the communications department they were also being called on more to prove ROI on campaigns.
When business tries to return it's clear that CEOs will be expecting CMOs to be a "magic bullet" that can revive sales, grow market share and inspire customers.
These many, varied demands are often impossible for CMOs to meet, leading to increasingly shorter tenures.
Findings suggest that CMOs will have to significantly adapt to hold onto their positions, which is now opening up opportunities for the CMOs of yesterday to embrace the role of "CGO" (Chief Growth Officer) and look beyond typical brand advertising and digital communications.
The reason to hire a CMO is usually because you’ve got a big strategic problem to solve, you need to drive growth and become more innovative, or reposition the brand. That’s what the connotation would be in the CMO interview process.
What often happens in reality is ‘Deliver me a Q1 plan that drives growth of 3%’. The trap is that you’re hired for your thinking and strategy, but very quickly you discover what you are being asked to do is execute an existing sales and growth plan that post Covid is nigh on impossible.
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"?
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?
Whilst many companies still advertise for sales and marketing directors, this simple description illustrates that the hiring companies don't understand the current state-of-play in the revenue industry and they're still directing their businesses as if it we're the 1980's or 90's