What 5 years of the CMO brand has taught us about marketing leadership

As we celebrate 5 years of the CMO from IDG brand in Australia, publisher and editor, Nadia Cameron, takes a look at the big trends that have emerged, from marketing clouds to the rise of the chief customer officer


5 things for the next 5 years

So with all that in mind, what do the last five years tell us on the state of the CMO’s lot in Australia today and tomorrow? Here are 5 things I’d suggest need to be kept front and centre:

1.Tech is an ongoing investment:

Don’t count on your martech and adtech stack work to date as the be all of transformation: Tech keeps changing and digital capability keeps evolving. You have to keep investing and keep up to date.

Secondly, if the last five years have taught us anything, it’s that technology is only an enabler if you know what you’re enabling. Business objectives and ambitions have to be the starting point, and new ways of working are a given. I’d argue we haven’t got anywhere near knowing the best ways of team collaborating, workplace strategies and structures yet.

2. Evolution of the CMO remit will continue:

We’re not done on experimentation around the functional remit of marketing. Marketers today could have any of these responsibilities today: digital commerce and strategy, CX, customer service, sales, business and channel development, IT, corporate strategy, innovation, people and culture and the change agenda.

3.Commercial acumen is vital:

Marketers still need to work on building their commercial acumen. A recent Harvard Business Review piece suggested one of the major reasons for CMOs having the shortest tenure of all c-suite executives (2 years 10 months, according to our latest State of the CMO research) is a disconnect between CMO and CEO, because not enough CEOs see marketers as what they should be: strategic growth drivers. It’s not about marketing when you’re a CMO at the c-suite, it’s business.

4.AI will shake things up even more:

The rise of AI is going to transform front-facing and internal-facing capability, relationships and strategy. We’re only just at the cusp of this revolution.

Just think about the brand disruption voice-based interaction presents – take screens out of the equation and brand strategy becomes a whole new ball game. But as with every tech innovation, we have to think of the human element, brand purpose and ethics of what we’re doing. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

5.Continuous learning is the new norm:

Finally, it’s imperative marketers continue to cultivate resiliency and adaptability if they’re to keep up with all of these changes.

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