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How The Role Of The CMO Has Changed


The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) role is one that has been subject to plenty of transformation - a study by Accenture found that 88% of organisations agree that CMO's remit has changed in the last two years, and McKinsey thinks that few roles will be subject to as much change as the CMO's in the coming years. Increasing customer expectations, as well as new business focus, has meant that CMO has had to adapt and become a more imperative part of an organisation than ever before. How has the role of the CMO changed?


CX is King


Traditionally, the CMO's remit focused on advertising, marketing, and communications. However, with customer experience becoming a core business initiative (a one-point increase in CX scores can translate into approximately $10M’s - $100M’s in annual revenue), the CMO has now also become accountable for CX and customer relationships within their organisation.

According to Accenture, customer experience has become the new battleground for brands, with traditional experiences no longer being enough to satisfy customer demands. As CMO's already have access to their customer base as well as the tools to communicate with their customers, they have naturally had to take on the role of building relationships and driving positive experiences with the customers they sell to.

Business Growth


In addition to CX being integrated into the CMO role, the position has also become responsible for driving sales and business growth. This is evidenced by a survey taken earlier this year which found that nearly 50% of marketing leaders reported business growth being their #1 challenge.

In 2017, Coca Cola took a completely new approach to its marketing leadership, by retiring the CMO position altogether. Instead, the conglomerate created a new role called the ‘Chief Growth Officer’ (CGO) which focused on a customer-centric approach to their marketing. 

This approach, which was introduced in response to declining sales, allows Coca-Cola to respond to the changing needs of customers 'around the world'. 

“We have always been big but now we are obsessively pursuing growth not in the sense that we want to be richer but in the sense we are looking at those consumers who are not our consumers right now. We’re asking how can we grow? How can we satisfy more and better consumer needs?”


Coca Cola Vice-President of creative, Rodolfo Echeverria 



With the CMO being accountable for CX, business growth and marketing, the need for the CMO to be able to work cross-functionally is more than ever before. Accenture dubs the modern CMO with such capabilities as the 'CMO collaborator' - able to work across the company, departments, locations whilst also uniting the entire organisation on brand vision and aligning the CX strategy to achieve this vision. There are two key relationships the CMO must foster: The CIO and CCO relationship.

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) holds vast amounts of company and customer data which could be powerful for the CMO to adopt. With AI and Big Data technologies becoming more prevalent, it is vital that the CMO is able to tap into the resources of the CIO in order to better understand customers and deliver a customer experience that meets consumer's needs. 

The second key relationship the CMO must foster is with the Chief Customer Officer (CCO). The CCO holds the key to unlocking the voice of the customer as they oversee the most human element in the customer journey, the contact centre. According to McKinsey, 56% of senior leaders say they occasionally use customer interaction data from contact centres to inform decisions. This clearly under utilises the information at hand. By using customer interaction analytics, organizations can help build customer loyalty and increase revenues by 5-10%.

In conclusion, the role of the CMO has changed in various ways. The modern CMO carries more responsibility and is accountable not only for marketing but also business growth and customer experience within organisations. The modern CMO must be able to collaborate across the organisation, leveraging other influential C-Suite executives including the CMO and CIO, as well as the data each department brings in order to drive customer experience.


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