A CMO Transformation is Underway

You may have heard some buzz recently about “the disappearing CMO”.

In case you haven’t, the sentiment is that the term “marketing” is outdated as a catch-all term.  In addition, the responsibilities that once fell to the CMO are now just piece of a larger growth puzzle, causing some brands to do away with the position altogether.  A CMO transformation is happening.

The stance has some merit (despite being a bit overdramatic), but I’d like to focus on a response to this idea that appeared in AdAge.

As I’m sure even proponents of the “disappearing CMO” idea would agree, the position has a long way to go before it becomes extinct.  There’s no doubt that it’s going through a transformation, so while these ideas directly impact the CMO, they’re easily seen across the entire marketing department.

You’re already aware of the ever-broadening responsibilities of today’s marketer.  Things like asking better questions about future growth, driving more strategic operations (rather than just making due with existing processes), and generally bringing a brand purpose from paper into action, just to name a few examples.

This change is well underway, and the CMO responsibilities will only continue to expand as marketing duties continue to shift within larger growth initiatives.

They’re things that every marketer needs to be thinking about, but they also need to extend to the coordination of your agency relationships.

At a high level, the modern marketing paradigm is all about driving efficient paths between the internal (your team) and external (your agency). With so many points of hand-off between your company and the agency, there’s bound to be friction.

Reducing this friction comes down to building effective operational “wiring”.  This is something that has also risen to the top of the marketing to-do list. Creating a more streamlined flow of assets, projects, and communication.

This operational work should be at the top your priority list, especially with the proliferation of project-based work demanding even more communication with and among your agencies.

Yet another reason it’s crucial to have a trusted, effective, and proactive voice on the agency side of the equation. You can control the internal factors of your new marketing operations – don’t allow a lackluster agency to drag down the external.

Building effective processes is your job, and a marketing partner you can count on to make the process easier is an asset that is already invaluable now, and will only grow in that value moving forward.

Don’t let the transformation of the marketing paradigm catch you off-guard – a solid agency relationship puts you in a position to be prepared for the future… not to mention the shifting present.

Need help finding better agencies for your business.  Agencies that can work within the context of the new CMO responsibilities and help them better address their challenges?

Give us a call (513-559-3101) or drop us a line (mark@rswas.com)

Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO Brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.

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