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.
I was recently been contacted by several headhunters in relation to them wanting a CMO for their clients - the inevitable questions ensued around my digital marketing capabilities and do I have an up to date CV - "NO but I do have over 300 endorsements and recommendations along with 800 blog post about the sector on LinkedIn"
The latter question sums up how out of the date the recruitment industry really is and the former is yet another reminder that the CMO role is completely misunderstood.
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/should 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 our own health, the planet, and operate a more efficient business by taking action now rather than just cogitate and debate?
In summary it seems like business has lost sight of the wider role of the CMO's ability and expertise in leveraging research and data to identify changes in consumer behaviour, organic growth opportunities, untapped consumers, along with opening up new product opportunities in different sectors and markets.
This is something that when I sat in the CMO chair would be done in a collaborative way with the product development teams along with my counterparts in the C-Suite as part of an internally aligned strategy.
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.
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 'paid' bullhorn?
As prominent as e-commerce platforms, online shopping, and luxury gaming have become in the 21st century, it is unclear if these trends of digitalisation will continue in the long-run. Regarded a critical source of growth and a powerful way to increase brand equity, digitalisation has allowed companies to reimagine key enterprise processes, both at the front end and back of the house.