The flip side of the CMO role's growing importance in retail organisations is its growing vulnerability.
As the CMO becomes more central to a retailer's decision making, the position also becomes a more likely scapegoat for business failures.
If you're currently one of those businesses in the market for a change in CEO or CMO in order to 'freshen up' and 'reinvigorate' the strategy, direction, and leadership of the company perhaps you want to try a litmus test to see if they're as good a fit as the CV says.
If it was me I would like to know if they really understand the strategic value of the medium they pre-Covid spent most of your marketing and resource budget on.
1) FOMO - Why are they on Social Media? A lot of people use LinkedIn and other social platforms only when they are looking for a new job or to announce how important they are when they get one - After that NOTHING, so how are they going to inspire the team and learn what's new? Do they know about 'TikTok' and do they talk about it, do they really understand the potential opportunity within social commerce and live streaming?
2) Check out their 'Social Proof' - are they a 'passive' or active user of social media. Does it look like they 'show up' on a regular basis and engage with others, just what is it they do on other social networks. Do they have a regular blog, do they produce and write industry articles. do they actively and proactively 'grow' their network. Are they seen as someone whose authentic, not just pumping out the corporate message.
3) Would you consider them as 'Social Influencer' - Do they 'actively' use social platforms to share knowledge and offer advice? Are they seen by others as someone to go to for advice, evidential knowledge. Do they 'listen' and engage in other people's post and articles. Are these not important leadership traits today?
"Effectively, the broadening of the CMO's scope means that they become tied to the success (or lack thereof) of the entire business, and can be quickly replaced if the business isn't performing as expected. Added to the struggle is the fact that CEOs are often ousted at underperforming retailers, leaving the rest of the C-suite at risk when a new leader is named."
With 60%+ of people on one social platform or another around the world simply handing social media to the guy with the beard, or the girl with the tattoo in marketing doesn't really cut it today.
Social media requires a strategy that sits across the entire business enterprise - WHY?
Because that's how today's social savvy consumer 'experiences' what you say you do.
"Usually when a new CEO is coming into retail it's because the retailer hasn't been making change fast enough and the obvious person who is supposed to be responsible for that change, and the consumer, is the CMO." Catherine Lepard Heidrick & Struggles, managing partner in Global Retail Practice