The Rise of the CMO

I was delighted to see in BtoB Magazine’s 10th Anniversary issue that one of the major trends over the past 10 years in the business-to-business space is the rise of the CMO. Admittedly biased, the addition of this key function to the c-suite is a must for any company who really is serious about growth in today’s marketplace. If marketing is all about creating and retaining customers, pray tell me, how can the CMO role not be critical?

As the article stated, “The CMO is really a business strategist and the owner of the customer experience who has the ability to work with every facet of the organization to optimize the customer experience.” Many companies give lip service to being “customer centric” but have not taken the necessary steps of having a key internal champion in the c-level suite (the CMO) to truly be so. Until they do, it will continue to be lip service, and the company will continue to get less than optimal results in the marketplace.

No doubt it’s been a transition for many CEOs to come to recognize that a very good CMO is worth his or her weight in gold. I have personally found that there is a direct correlation between the value that a CEO places on marketing and the value they place on a CMO. Those of us in marketing should then take heart that the CMO position has become increasingly important over the past decade and that more and more companies are seeing the real value of outstanding marketing. However, the CMO function is also one of the most challenging positions, with tremendous expectations to produce results like never before.

I’ll have several things to say in my next blog about these expectations and what that means for the CMO. Stay tuned…

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