Has the Post of a CMO come to an Existential Crisis?

    CMO, Post, Crisis

    There has been a rise of posts like the chief customer officer (CCO) or chief experience officer (CXO), which are the rebranding of the CMO. But that does not change the core of marketing design and strategies

    The tenure of CMOs has become the shortest in C-suite and is shrinking. There is also talk that the days of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) are numbered. This actually shows a lack of understanding that marketing is a unique blend of art and science.

    Also read: The Changing Role of the CMO

    For CMOs, there is nothing more critical to success than delivering a seamless customer experience that drives profit, grows brands, and delivers meaningful and sustainable RoI.

    Experts believe that the problem is that many marketers are focusing on the tactical and executional aspects of performance marketing for too long. Since performance marketing delivers evidence of impact and real-time metrics, marketers have become used to the quick fixes and the instant high of the ‘here and now.’ This comes at the expense of long-term brand building. By optimizing the small things, marketing teams have narrowed their focus and work primarily on lower-funnel digital advertising. This has been done at the expense of building long-term and deep relationships with their customers.

    Also read: Hi Marley Elevates the Customer Experience

    The optimal budget was traditionally split between long-term brand building and short-term sales activation to a ratio of 60:40, which has changed since the 2007 global recession. This ratio has skewed in favor of short-term, sales activation. It has been observed that CMOs are investing too much effort; time and investment in short-term sales activation that has reflected in decreased effectiveness of the marketing spend.

    With digitalization, marketing has become more complex with an increased number of channels and partners to work and align with. This requires that the process of narrow specialization needs to be balanced with a broader perspective.

    According to data from the Harvard Business Review, marketers’ over-narrow the focus on marketing communications and social media. With marketing growing and covering other departments, many organizations have narrowed the CMOs’ responsibilities to just the two small areas. This is a major reason for ambitious CMOs to jump the ship as realize that their abilities are being short-changed due to the myopic view of what marketing can achieve.

    Also read: The Balancing Act – Creating Right Mix of Marketing Automation and Personalization

    Organizations are also getting into re-badging the post of CMO as Chief Customer Officer (CCO), Chief Experience Officer (CXO), or even President of Brands. However, this cannot change the fundamental need for the CMO to lead the marketing function and improve the end-to-end customer experience.

    If brands want to leverage data, analytics, technology and, customer experience design, there is a case to be made for holistic marketing function with representation on corporate boards. Given the rapidly evolving marketing ecosystem, CMOs and other marketing leaders must commit to a continuous process of development and stay grounded in the core principles of marketing.

    Must read: Reliving Customer Experiences to Enhance Marketing

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    Meeta Ramnani
    As a Senior Editor with Ondot Media, Meeta has the onus of developing credible content after collating inputs and opinions from global leadership teams – on enterprise and marketing technologies. She creates articles, interviews, and blogs from inputs of global CXOs, and ensures each article meets the challenge of interesting content, very interestingly written. An avid bike rider, Meeta, is a postgraduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, where her specialization was Business Journalism. She carries four years of experience in mainstream print media where she worked as a correspondent with The Times Group and Sakal Media Group in Pune.