Why CMOs are lasting as long as Spinal Tap drummers

Why CMOs are lasting as long as Spinal Tap drummers

My new column is live in The Drum:

What has happened to the CMO role is the business equivalent of a person being drawn and quartered by four horses. But talking the right way to CFOs might keep you from that nasty fate.

Ancestry’s new chief growth officer will start next week. Coca-Cola got rid of the CMO job and also merged it into the same type of position. EasyJet combined marketing and sales together under a chief commercial officer role. 

On Unilever’s website leadership team page, there is no chief marketing officer; the company had been expected to eliminate the position after Keith Weed retired, although it has recently claimed otherwise (although there is still no one in role many months after Weed stepped down). I could go on.

Traditionally, marketing had covered everything that makes money — analysing the market, deciding the strategy, creating a product, determining the price, setting the distribution, communicating the value, building the brand and increasing the sales. Everything else was essentially finance or operations. 

In that environment, the CMO was arguably the most important executive after the CEO because he brought in all the money. The CFO just counted it.

But over time, everything changed.

Click to read the rest in The Drum.

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