How CMO’s Roles Have Changed & Where It’s Going in the Future

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Written by Pete Sena,
• 3 min read

I had a conversation yesterday with one of my friends who is a CMO at a big brand and what shows up for me is just lots of empathy. The average tenure of a CMO today, I just recently saw it online, is under three years. That’s like a blink in someone’s career if you really think about it. I empathize with them they’ve got the board of directors crawling down their throats, they’ve got the CEO crawling down their throats, they’ve got to produce results and they’ve got to produce results quick. I’m talking quarter-to-quarter shareholder value.

So, how do you create stewardship? How do you create a long term trajectory for an organization to really enact change but not fuck it up in the process? And that’s something that I have a deep amount of empathy for not being in that role. So one of these I think a lot about where we can add value and that is thinking about it as a marathon, playing that long play so you’re not compromising your brand or your mission as an organization but really understanding what are the sprints that you can achieve on a quarter to quarter basis to really move the needle. What are the things you can do every quarter that are within the brand strategy that are incremental innovation to drive and move the needle without compromising the long-term value of your brand? For me, a few things show up immediately really looking at what are your customer stats? What are you hearing from your customers on social, in your NPS scores, in the different metrics that show up? What are the small micro tactics, the surprise and delight moments that you can drop that are gonna get buzz and move the needle now but not compromise the long-term strategic value of the organization?

And when I look at the CMO of the future one of the things I think they’re gonna be much more inclined to do is understand the role that data and MarTech plays in how all these decisions are being made and I’m a huge fan of Scott Brinker from Chief Martec, if you don’t read his blog and you’re a CMO I would definitely suggest it. Chief Martec has a great amount of resources, Scott wrote a book last year I think that really does a great job and demystifying all the crazy complex words that are in the MarTech stack and that’s one of the great reasons to partner with an agency, someone that understands this landscape that can help you achieve those quarterly goals through incremental innovation or different marketing programs but also stay mindful of the long term play and the implications that you have as a CMO with a four year or less tenure in an organization.