03 Apr, 2017

Will Chief Growth Officer replace Chief Marketing Officer?

 -Chief Growth Officer to replace Chief Marketing Officer

As the 2017 edition of Transformational CMO Assembly is underway, will we be planning an event called Transformational CGO in the near future?

Coca-Cola announced last month the decision to replace its CMO role. Coca-Cola CMO, Marcos de Quinto, is leaving the company after just over three years in the top marketing post, to be replaced by two other roles: Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Growth Officer.

Today’s CMO has not only the responsibility for the company’s marketing strategy but due to growing digital reliance and the birth of new technology, essentially act as a Chief Growth Officer and Chief Innovation Officer.

“They’re responsible for driving measurable, sequential growth in the current-state business and identifying and executing new opportunities to scale revenue via new channels, new markets, new products and new business models. They’re responsible for peering around corners and seeing ahead of the headlights, testing, learning, incubating the product, brand, and customer innovations for the future.” – Which5O

Coca-Cola’s decision is indicative of the company’s desire to innovate within the soda space. In 2016, soda consumption fell to a 30-year low. The company’s new focus on innovation and growth is obvious.

Consumer behavior has changed. 

Whether it be because of the renewed focus on healthy eating, which recommends staying away from sugary soft drinks, or a move by the socially-conscious not to support a global giant that has in the past been associated with a negative image that the company would take the world’s water, bottle it up, and sell it for profit; Coca-Cola just like many other beverage makers, are being forced to adapt quickly to consumer behavior.

This need to adapt is not limited to the players within the beverage market.

Many companies are facing an urgent need to transform their businesses, to better adapt to changing consumer needs.

Perhaps companies will follow in Coca-Cola’s steps, redefining their marketing and management structures? Or perhaps they’ll add more responsibility to the role of the CMO?

What is clear is that companies need to embrace digital transformation and quick!

The Threat to the Traditional CMO

The biggest threat to the CMO right now is the future. That unknown entity that many attempt to predict, some get right while some are way off the mark.

As technology takes us one step closer to the ‘Digital Industrial Revolution’, the CMO role is not what it was a decade ago.

CMO As A Business Leader

Increasingly, we are seeing a push for the CMO to drive business strategy. This is largely due to the customer-focused nature of the role.

Marketing as a function acts as the ‘voice of the customer’ within a business. In this age of customer experience, the position of CMO on the board has never been more pivotal.

Historically, marketing has served sales. In the future, marketers will be focused more on strategy, focusing on the long-term goal of increasing customer engagement, by improving customer service and offering unique customer experiences.

MarTech Trends Shifting the CMO Viewpoint to Echo that of a CTO

CMOs are increasingly looking to new digital technology to boost their marketing strategies, setting their businesses apart from the competition.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already having a huge impact on marketing trends and practices. With the uptake of messenger apps and chatbots, these tools present an incredible opportunity for the CMO in 2017.

Understanding emerging technology, how it can contribute to the growth of a business will be vital to success for the CMO. This focus on technology calls for the CMO to act more like, and work closely with, the CTO.

The CMO’s Personal Relationship with the Customer

Traditionally marketing has been a back-office function, formalizing processes and services to deliver leads to sales. This is changing.

Marketers, in particular, the CMO, are looking to personalize a brand’s interactions with the customer. This can only be achieved with direct engagement with the customer themselves.

Focus on the Intangible

The CMO needs to adopt data. Instead of focusing on the tangible like television commercials, advertising, branding, social media, email etc., the CMO is learning to focus on the Customer and the Data.

CMOs need to be driven by data.

Advice for the CMO of tomorrow

  1. Subscribe to publications that will help you keep on top of the latest MarTech. Keep on top of the latest technology, by regularly reading newsletters, listening to podcasts, and downloading expert content. MarTech today is a great source for CMOs, CIOs, and CTOs alike.
  2. Follow start-ups who are igniting new trends like Growth Hacking. Start-ups are always looking for quick wins. With little to no marketing budget or knowledge, their “hacks” has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for even established companies to cheat their way to new business.
  3. Think about the individual and how to authentically engage with them. The rise of individualism has changed the way marketers engage with their target audience. More and more, the customer is craving a more authentic relationship with brands, a 1-on-1 level of engagement. The incredible uptake of messenger apps is indicative of this.
  4. Learn the art of storytelling. Engage with your customer by telling them the story of your brand. This will lead to more authentic engagement and relationships with your customers.
  5. Real-time marketing, right place, and right-time messaging. Real-time marketing is not enough these days. Communicating in real-time at the right time and in the right place for your customer is the new golden formula.
  6. Close the loop. Make sure your message is unified and consistent across all marketing platforms you use.
  7. Resource your team effectively. Resource your team with a variety of strengths, that fill not only your knowledge gaps but gaps within the business as a whole. Marketing as a function is more important than ever. Don’t skimp on getting the right talent and nurturing them into future leaders. If you don’t believe that one day they could replace you, and do a better job, don’t hire them.
  8. Be a leader, not a boss. Create an atmosphere of respect, of innovation by facilitating discussion and leading your team towards common, agreed upon goals.

Transformational CMO Assembly 2017

Events provide you, the CMO of tomorrow, with insight into the latest trends, technology, and also tips on building a better, more efficient marketing team.

Russ Klein CMO leadership quoteThe Millennium Alliance is pleased to announce that application for the November edition of the Transformational CMO Assembly is now open. Following on from the success of the April edition, which included a superb keynote speech from Russ Klein, CEO American Marketing Association, the Transformational CMO Assembly will bring together North America’s most prominent Chief Marketing Officers, from all major consumer-driven industries.

C-Level executives around the world are anticipating a highly complex marketing environment over the next few years; making the role of the CMO more important than ever before.

The digital revolution has forever changed the balance of power between individual consumers and brands.

CMOs know that there is an explosion of information that is creating the digital enterprise. In addition, marketing leaders having an understanding that social media is the key channel for engaging with customers. Knowing how to measure these results will help organizations stay ahead of the competition.

A series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions will offer industry-specific topics and trends to ensure your company sustains its competitive advantage.

Visit the website for more information >

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