CMO Role Becomes More Diverse as Average Tenure Drops: Part 2 | Loyalty360 Member Perspective

According to a Spencer Stuart study, the annual tenure for a Chief Marketing Officer fell again in 2019 – down to an average of 41 months. This is two months shorter than the prior mark of 43 months that was found in 2018. Loyalty360 wrote about this topic in a previous quote article on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, which can be read here.
“The role of CMO is challenging because it requires the ability to quickly adapt to external changes like consumer tastes and technology,” Tom Caporaso, the CEO at Clarus Commerce, said. “What worked six months ago might not work today and on top of that, there is an expectation to show the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. With retail reopening, it’s tempting to focus on the short-term, but successful CMOs will keep the long-term in mind as well. That’s why focusing on loyalty is more important than ever. It may be tempting to leave your loyalty program alone after so much of the customer experience quickly changed recently. But these new customer expectations are exactly why you should be considering how to improve your loyalty program now. That will help solidify customer relationships over the long term. From a loyalty perspective, CMOs will need to challenge themselves to listen to their customers and innovate more than ever.”
Due to the timing of the report, it does not factor in any effects from COVID-19 and its overarching reach on the market.
“The shift in the last several years has seen CMOs take on a larger, more encompassing marketing remit that includes technology, digital platforms, and analytics,” Guy Cierzan, Managing Partner at ICF Next, said. “This isn’t a new trend, but it’s more and more becoming the norm. In a sense, the CMO skillset has expanded. Chief marketers now more than ever need to implement effective marketing strategies that are data-driven and agile to show return on investment – in a nutshell, going from ‘outputs’ to ‘outcomes.’”
The CMO might even be going out of vogue if a MARTECH Today article from mid-December 2019 is to be believed. This article states that the position might start to become reimagined due to changing expectations.
“The CMO title is really semantics,” says Keith Johnston, VP and research director for Forrester, in the above MARTECH Today article, “The significance of all this is really a final signal that whatever the title is, those in it need to rise to the skills and leadership requirements of what the diverse role of the modern ‘C_O’ must be.”
Another article from Marketing Land says that the CMO is a way to tell the long-term growth strategy of a company. There are multiple signals, focusing on the background of the new executive, that might provide insight into the strategy for the company going forward.
According to this article, which can be read above, some of the signals for companies, based on the background of the new CMO, include:

  • “Unfilled – Still undecided on growth strategy.
  • PR + Communication – Focus on storytelling and evangelizing the value of the brand.
  • Community + CX – Build or expand on the larger ecosystem of community, partnerships, advocates, and the overall customer experience with the brand.
  • Innovation/Digital – Transformation not only of marketing but expanding the operation and insight collaboration across the organization.
  • Product – Discovering new revenue streams, expanding offerings.
  • Revenue – Optimize and enhance the pipeline.
  • Retention – Improve customer success and developing advocates.
  • Culture – Responsible in shifting the recruitment, optimization, and retention of talent.”
While the average tenure for CMOs dropped, there was some good news. As mentioned in the previous article, the number of women and minority CMOs was on the rise, showing companies are becoming more open to hiring differing opinions and viewpoints in high positions.
“Even prior to COVID-19, we were in the midst of a tumultuous time in marketing, with great changes taking place in marketing technology, data security, and consumers' digital habits and media consumption,” Susan Frech, CEO, Vesta, said. “What the events of 2020 have brought into sharp focus is the critical need for CMOs to be agile, and to quickly understand and respond to a rapidly changing landscape. Certain fundamentals, however - leadership, creativity, and staying connected to their consumer - will remain the foundation of success in the CMO role.”

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