The evolving role of the CMO

Tim Tez

They say that “change is the only constant”. It’s fair to say that in the 20 years I’ve been in marketing positions, the role of the CMO has changed completely.

During this time, I have seen marketers move beyond the traditional marketing tactics and become adept at digital, data analytics, customer segmentation, product development, pricing and innovation.

Technology and the role of data have been game changers for marketers and undoubtedly transformed much of the way we work and how we engage with our customers.

While it has always been important to work closely with the IT team, today IT and digital is becoming part of the marketing function rather than a separate team. Accessing data to pinpoint opportunities means organisations can engage customers in an impactful way that’s relevant and authentic. This is especially important in highly regulated industries such as life insurance where you don’t have the opportunity to connect and engage with customers on a daily basis.

As the role of marketing has changed, one of the CMO’s most important responsibilities is bringing the organisation on the journey to evolve the customer experience. Here’s how we’ve gone about this at MetLife:

  • First and foremost is nurturing the right culture. It is important to create work environments that encourage people to be dynamic, innovate and to champion the customer internally – from the call centre staff to the CEO. This is of course easier said than done but at MetLife we have worked hard to build the right environment for people to pursue their ideas. This is not just digitising existing products and processes but inspiring others to re-imagine what the outcome might be, and as a CMO it’s my responsibility to nurture this at MetLife.
  • This leads me to another important responsibility that will continue to be more and more critical for CMOs - recruitment. Recruitment into B2B marketing can be difficult. The life insurance industry can sometimes struggle to attract the top marketing talent. However, if you have the right strategy, the right culture and the right focus on developing individuals then you can be an attractive destination. Our people today are much like our customers in that their world view has been shaped by the tech savvy era they have grown up in. This means they are less patient for career progression and as a result it’s really important that as leaders we genuinely care about their personal development and not just pay lip service.
  • Finally, a leadership commitment to supporting new ways of doing things is critical. Many of our organisations have more on our ‘to-do’ list than we can actually deliver so if we, as leaders, don’t show commitment to driving change and innovation we will never actually make the changes we need to. At MetLife, we have completely changed the way we develop products and have invested in training all our product teams in an effort to put the customer at the centre of our product development process. In addition, we have created a hub to fund innovative start up ideas that we can test to see if they work and, if not, allows them to fail cheaply and quickly.

While our environment has changed the underlying attributes and principles of what makes a stand-out CMO remain the same – we just have a few extra hats to wear in the process.

Tags: marketing careers, CMO role, marketing strategy

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

State of the CMO 2019

CMO’s State of the CMO is an annual industry research initiative aimed at understanding how ...

More whitepapers

Blog Posts

Does your brand need a personality review?

There are five tell-tale signs your brand needs to take a long hard look at itself.

Charlie Rose

Senior Strategy Consultant, Principals

How to create profitable pricing

How do we price goods and services? As business leaders, we have asked ourselves this question since the history of trading.

Lee Naylor

Managing partner, The Leading Edge

Sport and sponsorship: The value of event sponsorship

Australia’s cricketers captured the nation’s attention during their recent run to the semi-final of the ICC Men’s World Cup. While the tournament ultimately ended in defeat, for over a month it provoked a sense of belonging, hope and empowerment for millions of people across Australia. Cricket, and sport in general, has a near-unique ability to empower individuals, irrelevant of their background, demographic or nationality.

Nikhil Arora

Vice-president and managing director, GoDaddy India

I should check these guidelines. I think it's important for me. Thanks for the info!

Juana Morales

IAB releases social media comment moderation guidelines

Read more

I didn't know about that. Thanks!

Jamison Herrmann

Twitter 'recap' helps you catch up with missed tweets

Read more

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

Max Polding

What it takes to turnaround an iconic Australian brand

Read more

I spend a lot of time in my professional life as a provider of marketing solutions trying to persuade customers that CX, UX, UI and Custo...

sketharaman

Gartner VP: Why CMOs and CIOs must band together to make CX a discipline

Read more

I live the best deals at LA Police Gear.

Tyrus Rechs

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in