Tom Denford and David Indo from ID Comms: why do CMOs never last?

On this week’s #MediaSnack Tom and David discuss the lifespan of the typical Chief Marketing Officer, typically the company’s most senior marketer.

Inspired by Harvard Business Review’s recent paper Why CMOs never last, which reveals that 80 per cent of CEOs don’t trust their CMO, they discuss how CMOs are under pressure thanks to a lack of trust in the C-suite.

HBR also clarifies different types of CMO and creates a framework – presumably for CEOs – to identify which type of CMO they need for their business.

This study reflects some changes at key companies. Coca-Cola recently replaced its departing CMO with a Chief Growth Officer, which seems to blend a sales and marketing role with more pointed focus on making marketing investment more accountable.

Such appointments also reflect the pressures on businesses to deliver more short-term results and growth moving the focus away from long-term brand building.

Other companies such as Colgate, Coty and Mondelez – also large consumer FMCG/CPG businesses – have also moved to this Growth Officer role. Tom and David ask if this is because these companies can often have rather large gaps between marketing and sales culture.

Alison Lewis, the CMO of J&J argues in Marketing Week, that there is always a need for a senior executive in charge of the brand and that the CMO has always been in charge of growth. So why would you need a new title?

Tom and David say that the evolution of the CMO role has got to be a good thing, improving accountability and placing far more scrutiny over marketing investments and especially the huge media budgets they are responsible for.

Question of the Day: Will we see more Chief Growth Officers replacing the traditional CMO?

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