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.
Prior to this pandemic marketing communications should have been about 8% of the marketing function’s duties. However, it increasingly seem to take up almost all of it along with a sizable budget spend - something that also had 50%-75% ad fraud built in.
As such marketers were becoming more and more responsible for the communication aspects of the marketing mix – with 'paid' social media, PR, CRM and ecommerce all increasingly under their control as the other tactical and strategic challenges dissipate.
If this is the environment that today's CMO and marketing teams have 'earned their craft' then how do they fit into today's world, and in a post Covid advertising budget scarce world just how do they and their teams stay in the role, and relevant to the company?
Prior to this crisis the role of the CMO was already seen as a relatively short term tenure.
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"
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.
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?
The demands and expectations of CMOs and marketing teams will continue to evolve, but this time it's at Covid speed - not corporate!.
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.