3 Roles The Modern CMO Must Fill


Many publications are citing lots of data and studies to show that the CMO is dying or dead.


Well, marketing seems to have less impact in the executive suite in a lot of businesses than ever before.

You also see many marketers trying to rebrand themselves as growth officers, growth hackers, or some other term to take the emphasis off of marketing.

And, in many cases, marketing has lost the ability to impact the entire business and has allowed itself to become a role that is really shorthand for promotion. Which in a lot of ways puts marketers in the position of being a cost center and not a profit center.

In my view, CMOs have 3 jobs that they should be focusing on:

Run the marketing department well:

I mean, let’s not lose the lede here.

If you are in charge of marketing, your first job is to make sure that the marketing department is influencing the business to the best of your ability and that you are achieving your goals.

Win the confidence of the other departments: 

We hear a lot about silos.

It is easy to get caught up in the internal politics of silos and defending your own turf, but the best CMOs need to focus on building bridges to the other departments.

This is especially important to me because I recognize that marketing impacts every decision that an organization makes so the need to bridge the distance between departments is greater than ever before.

So successful CMOs build their relationships and gain the confidence of other departments.

Partner with the CEO to achieve the CEO’s growth and profitability goals:

Marketing is a profit-center!

Marketing is a profit-center!

Marketing is a profit-center!

Now that I’ve got that out of the way. One of the ways, maybe the most effective way, for CMOs to regain their stature is by tying themselves at the hip with the CEO and focus on two things: growth and profitability.

If you read Peter Drucker, you realize that he is famous for saying that businesses have two jobs: innovation and marketing.

In my view, you have to create and keep customers and that you work on pricing based on the value you create and the impact you have on a customer’s life.

These are all things that should position you to be an asset, a trusted advisor, and a key to the organization’s success.

Do I think the CMO is dead or dying? No.

But I do think that CMOs need to get their focus back.

Want more of this kind of stuff, send me an email and get my weekly newsletter: dave@davewakeman.com 

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