Perhaps it’s the simple job description of the CMO that is outdated or maybe the complexities of today’s marketplace are too much for any one person to deal with. Whatever it may be, it seems like the CMO position may be at a crossroad whereby it either needs to be redefined or eliminated.
That’s what Forbes asks in its latest leadership column, CMO Or SCHMO? Clinging To Old Marketing Models May Be Hurting Rather Than Helping Drive Growth
My Thoughts: Though the article headline may be a bit inflammatory, there’s a lot of valuable thought here. While I don’t think the CMO position should be eliminated (in fact, I’d argue it’s more important than ever) – I do think that what has traditionally defined the role of a CMO has to change. CMOs of today need to be closer to customers than they’ve been in the past, fluent in both data and psychology, and not only willing to change but be champions of change in our ever-more-fluent world.
There’s a huge space for CMOs today, but the version of a CMO that churns out ads and tries to speak at the customer is nearing its end. It’s the CMO that understands the modern two-way communication, the different channels those communications take and how to build a relevant, trustworthy brand that brings true value to the consumer that will be the winner as time marches on.
The other day I was having a discussion on Twitter with digital marketing folks where I bemoaned the lack of participation by the supposed leaders in the marketing world in everyday conversation. I mean, there’s honestly not many CMOs out there sharing information on Twitter, writing blogs or showing real leadership in the space beyond their own backyards. Yes, I might be patting myself on the back a bit, but I do think my success thus far as a digital marketer and CMO has been in staying close to things. Being in the “clouds and dirt” as Gary Vaynerchuk might put it.
The ones who aren’t are quickly becoming irrelevant. I don’t plan to be one of them.