Are CMOs' Jobs in Jeopardy?
Jan 09, 2017
That's a good question. According to this Forrester research, 37% of CEOs, say the CMO will be the first to go if the organization misses its growth targets. In this article (http://www.destinationcrm.com/articles/Columns/Departments/Insight/Are-CMOs’-Jobs-in-Jeopardy-115517.aspx) the author seems to pin the cause on CMOs inability to develop a “post-digital era” approach to their business. In other words, too many are focused on marketing technology and what they can or are doing with it rather than focusing on the customer’s “one to moment experiences” (whatever those are). The author suggests that CMOs need to carry marketing functions and business strategies into the age of the customer. Say what? For all of my years in marketing, I have always been under the impression that it’s all about the customer. To wrap it all up, the author says that CMOs who want to succeed should follow the lead of companies like the Gap and Macy’s. Not a good idea of you want to keep your job. Evidently, the author hasn’t bothered to watch the news lately since both companies are having major problems.
As long as the CMO keeps the cash register ringing, they generally speaking aren’t going to have to worry about their job. And, to do that they are or should be focusing on the customer.
But the bottom line is that CMOs are going to continue being the person who gets the wrap for the organization missing its goals. That’s not going to change and it shouldn’t. Their goal is to attract and keep customers who buy and are profitable. And, they need to do it by having the right products, the right pricing, the right place (distribution strategy) and the right promotion which includes all communications and interactions with customers and prospects. I didn’t focus on digital because it’s just one of many media and distribution channels. But, the CMO that is going to succeed needs to find the right mix promotional channels, tools and activities. In the days of old, those tools included advertising, PR, direct marketing, face-to-face sales and sales promotion and despite the focus on digital those tools really haven’t changed, even though they have been downplayed and in some cases renamed. And, if a marketer is to succeed, neither has the focus on customer wants and needs.
Dudley Stevenson, founder and CEO of DWS Associates, has over thirty-five years’ experience in consumer marketing, business-to-business marketing, and direct marketing, including developing, planning, and implementing go-to-market strategies. He's also the author of "Marketing Direct: Breaking Through The Clutter." Working with organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, he and his team have helped clients such as IBM, Sony, Neiman Marcus, Arizona Highways, Marshall Field & Co., Mrs. Field’s, UNICEF, and Patagonia implement successful direct marketing programs. A longtime member of the Direct Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association, Stevenson is also a sought-after speaker. He’s given hundreds of presentations and workshops on marketing and direct marketing. His “Marketing Planning 101” workshop alone has reached more than 100,000 marketing and sales professionals.