Why aren’t CMOs looking more knackered? The only explanation can be industrial amounts of Botox and filler.
I say this because their role has expanded so much that CMOs are now doing about ten different jobs, and marketing seems to be the least of them.
During a discussion at Cannes on the evolving role of CMOs, PepsiCo’s Mark Kirkham said marketers need to be ‘general managers.’ ‘Chief growth officer’ is another job for marketing execs, according to Remi Kent, CMO of Progressive Insurance. Meanwhile, chief technology officer is an ever-growing side hustle for marketers as AI and ad tech take over. And, on top of all that, they’re required to be experts in DE&I, ESG, culture-building and recruitment.
Marketers drive lots of complex aspects of a business and are answerable to CEOs who want instant results. Yet they still have to fight for their place at the table and are always the first to get their budget cut. It’s no wonder they don’t stay long in the job. The average tenure for a CMO is at the lowest level in more than a decade, according to a report out last month.
While marketers are in the job, radiating positivity, even in a crisis, is advisable. Apparently Jane Wakely, PepsiCo’s chief consumer and marketing officer, jokes that she should also be called the ‘chief smile officer.’ At least we hope that’s a joke.
But, even with the Botox, the cracks are starting to show – as evidenced by this “I’m Still Branding” parody video featuring industry big wigs at Cannes this week lip-synching to Elton John’s ‘I’m Still Standing.’ Lyrics include: “You will surely know what it’s like. Your brand budget freezes just like ice. And there’s a bold KPI supplied by you. You’ll miss big without ad tech juice rather than platform schmooze.”
A cry for help if ever there was one.