The CMO role is shifting in 2017
- The traditional CMO role is in a state of transition per reporting by Campaign.
- The report specifically cites Coca-Cola’s recent elimination of the C-suite spot altogether, Citi combining its global consumer marketing and U.S. advertising and global entertainment groups under one CMO, and Mars’ consolidating the Chief Customer Officer and CMO titles into a single corporate role.
- The reasoning for creating “hybrid CMO” roles is to give those executives more power to shape brands and allow companies to speak with a single voice throughout the customer journey from advertising to sales to customer service, per the article.
The CMO position has always been something of an outlier in the C-suite having the shortest average tenure of any traditional executive position. In March, research from Spencer Stuart found the average CMO tenure was 3.5 years, shrinking for the second consecutive year. In comparison, the average CFO tenure was 5.7 years in the S&P 500 last year and the average CEO tenure was 7.2 in the Fortune 500.
The idea of a hybrid CMO recognizes the drastically different role CMOs have taken on within companies as the digital marketing age matures. For one, CMOs are becoming the leading technology buyers within companies because of the wide range of marketing technology they manage that also has to integrate with other corporate tech such as databases and business intelligence tools. CMOs also increasingly hold primary responsibility for driving revenue at a company.
Beyond the technology, the way marketing is practiced has changed from the days of interruptive advertising and bulk lead generation. Marketing is now much more customer-centric, personalized and data-driven, a far cry from the days when CMOs couldn’t, and didn’t have to, prove the ROI on campaigns and programs.
Perhaps by enabling CMOs to assume more control over a brand, this will provide some job security, something CMOs are likely to be interested in after a Forrester report predicted 30% of those in this role will be canned this year.