David Ramos is the President and CEO of Bzel, a multi-disciplinary brand consultancy agency leading the future of brand building.
As you might expect, there is no organizational model that fits every enterprise universally. In what we call “the new normal,” marketers will be racing to keep up with the dizzying pace of technology innovation. As a long-time CMO and now also a president and CEO, I’d like to emphasize and voice the importance of the CMO role for anyone leading a marketing organization. If you’re looking for a common denominator or pathway to how this role will shape the sectors we operate in, read on — this article is for you.
In examining a year of transformation, the core responsibilities of tomorrow’s CMO are shifting to a new set of competencies. CMOs are taking on new roles that promise to improve the inventive capacity of the marketing organization, positioning themselves to be the company’s growth driver and innovators of tomorrow. Even further, according to McKinsey, C-suite executives are becoming more supportive of the CMO to drive this growth. Arguably, there has never been a better time to be a CMO. With the support of CEOs to step up and think boldly, we can come up with new and radical thinking.
So, what can we do to position ourselves as change leaders and thrive in this new post-pandemic environment? In short, we need to pave the way or get out of the way. Let’s look at some of the dynamics that are expanding our roles beyond the realm of marketing.
The Change Leader CMO
By default, marketing is often considered one of the most data-savvy areas of our enterprises. We are tasked with sparking innovation and anticipating how audiences, customers and prospects react, change and evolve.
MORE FOR YOU
Tomorrow’s CMOs will be at the forefront of shaping innovation across the value chain. It’s no longer about boxed responsibilities but increasingly applying innovation in areas such as new revenue streams, market direction and business models.
In short, the pandemic ensued the need for predictive change to use data and real-time insights to inspire others in our enterprises to make bold decisions.
The Unifier CMO
While working from home in the middle of the pandemic, I came across the McKinsey study referenced above, which emphasizes the idea of a Unifier CMO, someone who fosters robust, collaborative partnerships across the C-suite. Post-pandemic, I see us forging alliances across the organization, leveraging the CEO’s support to help serve the company’s broader goals and objectives.
Tomorrow’s CMOs empower and encourage internal and external teams to optimize cross-functional collaboration to help meet the C-suite’s needs. Tomorrow’s CMO also establishes mutual accountability and a shared vision with other executives.
In doing so, we are defining the new rules of collaboration: gaining real-time insights into the work that’s being done by teams across the organization, enabling frictionless and secure sharing that can be utilized by collaborators inside or outside of the organization.
The Growth Driver CMO
Let’s face it: The world of marketing has shifted dramatically in the past year, and its pace is only going to accelerate. The post-Covid CMO must go beyond brand development, engagement and customer experience strategy. The next wave of the CMO will be a radical shift from brand-builder and experience-orchestrator into an enterprise executive who directs, accelerates and drives long-term, sustainable growth.
Tomorrow’s CMOs must start by making sure the C-suite understands how exactly marketing is driving growth. To accelerate growth, it is critical that we shift toward agile marketing and fundamentally establish squads with decision-making authority on detailed areas ranging from consumer/customer insights to digital marketing.
In addition, growth acceleration happens if we rethink our data-driven strategies. After the pandemic, some of my peers considered historical data as corrupted. Many CMOs are wisely updating data modeling and retraining algorithms to keep pace with consumer needs and expectations and anticipating shifts in customer behavior, thereby delivering sustainable growth.
Accelerating growth won’t be easy, but for those who get it right, it can be the start of a new era where marketing is ascendant, and marketing and the CMO are at the heart of decision-making.
The Data Lover CMO
I think it is accurate to say that the next normal is not “normal.” While researching to write this very article, it was surprising to discover that between March and August 2020, one in five consumers switched brands, and seven in 10 tried new digital shopping channels.
Tomorrow’s CMOs will need to know how to do data modeling with more precision and tap on new (and better) data. As a matter of fact, a recent article by Adobe reported that almost eight in 10 (79%) marketers regularly use data to make informed marketing decisions.
The Culture Building CMO
Apart from core strategic and operating skills, another area that has fallen unexpectedly to CMOs is internal culture-building. While most of us do not always think about employee marketing, organizations have often been leaning toward CMOs for direction on effective collaboration between teams.
Tomorrow’s CMOs are responsible for building transformational teams, enforcing effective collaboration, and recommending, suggesting and vetting technologies that will allow for such. Not only will we have a powerful voice, but we will also drive internal messaging and experiences our organizations expect from a post-Covid environment.
The CMO of today lives in an environment that continues to change and evolve in ways that uniquely promote outcomes that will shape the CMO of tomorrow. Marketing’s ample opportunity is here. With this new breadth of responsibilities — acting as hybrid creators, talent incubators, data magicians, accelerators, collaborators and change leaders — we are positioned to directly impact and be responsible for the organization’s P&L, success and direction.
To the above, organizations and CMOs that recognize the value at stake and embrace the evolution of this magnificent role will benefit greatly, as will their beneficiaries.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
Go to Source
Author: David Ramos, Forbes Councils Member