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 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' forced us to rethink how we might better work for the benefit of the planet and operate a more efficient business by taking action now rather than just cogitate and debate?
Today's Senior Marketing CV's are littered with descriptions of 'paid media' digital communications expertise and the awesome results they've delivered - seems very few have ever had shit results BTW!.
This is as a result of years of internal promotions from senior marketing people who today know nothing about brand marketing other than deploying 'paid media' bullhorn campaigns, believing that this is 'marketing' - its an echo chamber of what they have always done, and simply stifles growth and innovation.
Prior to the 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?
It certainly 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.
So does this 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?