On average, CMOs are the shortest-tenured members of the C-suite. Their boards demand greatness from them—expecting top marketers to be customer champions, frontline defenders of the brand, stewards of internal morale and culture, and drivers of company growth initiatives. 

Yet only 26% of CMOs are invited to attend board meetings regularly. 

Expectations are high, but access and influence are low.

The role of retail and consumer behaviour is forever in a state of flux, to adapt we must be open to the forces that are shaping both the physical and digital world we and our customers operate in today.

The changing metrics required to support omni-channel organisations has meant that the traditional Marketing Director or CMO role is now outdated, some might say redundant.

The need to become deeply embedded in the entire business enterprise operating more as a ‘Chief Change Maker’ has created the requirement for a number of unique skills to sit alongside all business touch-points.

Do you spend the bulk of your marketing budget on paid digital advertising?

If you do you'll have seen the cost of those ads going up, factor in circa 50-70% of that budget is probably going into the pockets of ad tech fraud then the cost of you trying to recover the upfront customer acquisition cost are getting to near unsustainable levels.

With the influx of D2C brands (and their inevitable competitors) playing fast and loose in the digital ad space, more dollars are needed to compete for the same impressions.

As a result, COCA (cost of consumer acquisition) has reached a point where it’s outpacing customer lifetime value (LTV). 

This means the total amount a customer spends with a brand is less than the cost it took to acquire them, when calculating the marketing resource costs (effort and ad spend).

Retail has always had to work hard at getting people through the doors, this is equally true for all online retailers. 

In particular with the rise of 'social commerce' which is diverting traffic that would at one time have gone to your website, or that 'marketplace' you chose to sell your good through.

Have you recently looked at the underlying reasons why your website traffic is in decline, and why it will further decline in the future?

There are a few key drivers for getting people to your eCommerce site, they tend to a combination of direct (they know the brand and are existing customers) or indirect, which pre-covid means that your paid media campaign assisted in getting them there.

I started writing about the rise of 'Social Commerce' a number of years ago. 

It came to my attention some 8 years ago when I was asked to help a young start-up fashion business who had grown from very tiny beginnings by one person (single parent) and a £50 budget.

Yes, you read that right just £50, a whole lot of enthusiasm, and a much savvier understanding of how to leverage 'social media' than every corporate I had worked with out there. 

Without knowing it at the time this bright lady had tapped into the real power of social media, she had worked out all she had to do was not sell, but to be social.

This business had grown exponentially without lots of resource or finance, it didn't have a highly polished SEO friendly website, and all her sales orders were fulfilled from her home. 

It was built like so many others off an amazing presence on 'social media' and had garnered a following of circa 2m people who were hungry to see the next instalment of her 'social' post, where she and her growing team invested in listening and responding to feedback.

What we see when we benchmark CMO's and companies on social media is simply a transfer of the company bullhorn 'advertise and promote' mindset that got them where they are today. 

No employee or brand engagement, nothing from the leadership team, nothing that draws me into the culture, ethos, and values of the company. 

And worst of all, no sign of anyone listening to (if any) feedback.

So it's no wonder that with this kind of mindset we see retailers and brands thinking that posting pictures of this weeks 'special offer', or posting stuff that's all about the brand whilst completely ignoring ME is turning people away from your brand - not towards it.

Is it any wonder they then scratch their head and ask why they don't get the same traction as these bright young millenials who at one time were probably one of your customers.

Social Commerce without a shadow of a doubt is already disrupting your business, it will completely change what you assume eCommerce, retailing, and customer engagement is really all about. 

Today’s trends are made by neither brands nor media. Social commerce puts this democratisation of creating trends on steroids, as anything can be sold everywhere, by anyone and to anyone - even your customers and suppliers. 

Social commerce is the most direct and immediate form of relationship between people and products, and it begets the question of whether people now cultivate their own personalities in order to sell products and build a community, brands need to figure out what it is that they are doing. 

"Retailers are getting killed by their own customers". 

People are increasingly more likely to build their own brand—and develop their own products, services and experiences—than to endorse or be sponsored by someone else’s.

Today the pressure on the traditional CMO is changing due to the rapid developments, and adoption by the consumer, not of devices or other forms of technology, but social interactions. 

For the many CMO laggards who continue to use social media as a place to continue with the 'intrusive advertise and promote' thinking that's served them in fraudulent ad tech land are rapidly finding themselves, and their organisations being turned off by the digitally savvy, socially connected consumer.

 So, just how do they stay in the role, and relevant to the company?