Forbes Questions the CMO Role

Forbes Questions the Value of CMO, Says “Clinging To Old Marketing Models May Be Hurting Rather Than Helping Drive Growth”


Perhaps it’s the simple job description of the CMO that is outdated or maybe the complexities of today’s marketplace are too much for any one person to deal with.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.

Coke CMO Defends TV as Cola Giant Rethinks Digital Approach | CMO Strategy – AdAge


My thoughts: It’s interesting to see someone as big as Coca Cola defending television as a stronger platform than digital – but it can also make a lot of sense if you think about it. We’ve been hearing a lot lately about how video is the future for digital … but video is exactly what TV has been all along. Getting your visual story out there in front of people is what TV is best at – and since Coke is such a broad audience brand, it’s not like they need to do microtargeting.

Maybe TV will see a resurgence in value as marketers learn to start using it as a brand storytelling medium again rather than just a place to shove an ad in the consumers’ face. Might it not be that the message and approach in advertising is more important than the medium?

Coca-Cola Co. global Chief Marketing Officer Marcos de Quinto on Friday defended TV advertising as providing the best bang for the buck while questioning the beverage giant’s past digital spending practices.

Source: Coke CMO Defends TV as Cola Giant Rethinks Digital Approach | CMO Strategy – AdAge