If you take a look at the LinkedIn job board and review the job descriptions for a CMO or eCommerce Director - most of them could be a copy/paste as they all match the same requirement which is to simply be able to direct, manage a budget, and execute digital ad tech campaigns.
So recruiters simply recruit based on a distorted brief because the board don't understand the role of marketing how can a recruiter?
Today we have many extremely bright and technically savvy people operating in this space who have learned their craft (probably in the same company) throughout the ad tech boom.
As such they genuinely believe that this is what the marketing function is for, so yes, it's just more of the same, they are essentially performing paid A/B ad testing tactics without an internally aligned brand, product/service growth strategy.
If you're a CEO, VC, or involved in Private Equity 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.
Well, that’s what the connotation should be in the CMO interview process.
What often happens in reality is ‘Deliver me a Q1 plan that drives growth of x%’.
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 prior to this pandemic was difficult enough but post Covid is nigh on impossible.
As Mark Ritson says “It sounds so basic, but most companies never do that,”
The process can show the market and perceived competitors in an entirely different context. It can also highlight a profound lack of understanding of what people outside the marketing industry bubble need or want.
If you’re a large established business with embedded practices, procedures, and the endless brand police sign offs, how on earth do you adopt 'agile marketing' and what exactly does that mean in today's digitally connected, tech savvy world?
Today, instead of being the marketing leaders that help identify the rationale for new markets and product development growth opportunities they are judged on how efficiently (pre Covid) 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 continue to inspire customers.
The one thing CMO's and budding CMO's need to really think about is a presentation to the board explaining that what they 'think' is marketing is most definitely not.
A sense of curiosity is immensely important to marketers, Philippe Pascal, former head of watches and jewellery at LVMH, demanded that his marketers be ‘street smart’, a trait nurtured by being curious enough to constantly ask customers and retailers what was happening and why.
They had an insatiable urge to “stick their nose in things”, to learn about the business and its customers, and a natural tendency to want to understand things.
Of course we are obsessed with communications and tactics. But these are only a third of what we do.
Before tactics comes strategy, and before strategy comes diagnosis. That is where curiosity comes in.
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.
“Our prime directive is not to do digital media or AI. Our prime directive is to bring the voice of the customer into the organisation. No one else does that except marketers.”