CMOs must have courage to lead successfully

New report from Vivaldi Partners Group on the changing role of marketing in organisations says marketers need analytics acumen, commercial insights and collaboration skills to stay relevant

A new consultancy group’s report on the changing role of marketing has stressed the importance of courage, collaboration and commercial instinct if marketing leaders want to continue to be successful.

The Vivaldi Partners Group study, The Changing Role of the CMO was based on interviews with senior marketing executives globally and found respondents are now accountable for market success, not just market perception. CMOs have also adopted a critical role in shaping the strategy for products as well as driving the agenda of the management team, with a P&L mindset geared towards optimising marketing investment.

The report also highlighted the shift of brand power to consumers and pointed out channel-centric planning has been by replaced by real-time, consumer-centric planning.

“Successful CMOs morph into their customers and become their voice,” the report authors stated. “Telling one story is not enough – it is about understanding the consumers’ paths to purchase, being there at the right time, and bringing these stories together in a seamless and relevant way.

“Marketing is moving from a persuasion to an influencer model.”

Other major areas of change impacting the role of the CMO are organisational and operational transformation, and technology innovation.

As a result of its interviews, Vivaldi’s report identified three key skillsets CMOs must have to manage the levels of change being experienced today: Analytics acumen, collaborative mindset, and commercial instinct.

Partnerships are another important component of success across the organisation, particularly with the CIO, as is an ability to collaborate with and lead multi-disciplinary teams including technology, digital, social, CRM, sales operations and strategic talent.

Related: The changing role of the CMO

In addition, the report stated that CMOs must be able to shape the value chain, working with sales on increasing yield, utilise big data from social and multi-channel sources, and shift their thinking from pre-purchase messaging to customer experience design.

“When we asked about key qualities for a successful CMO, one answer that was striking was ‘courage’- courage to experiment, to take risks, to incubate and push boundaries,” the report authors added.

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