R.I.P. CMO (circa 2014)

As managing director of the marketing practice at TechCXO, I serve as a fractional CMO for several tech companies. So, it might seem strange for me to forecast the pending demise of the Chief Marketing Officer title.

Career suicide? Hardly.

Marketing’s role continues to expand inside most enterprises, driven by the need to get more granular with buyers, and because new technologies and automation platforms make discussions about marketing programs less arbitrary and more scientific. Instead of pointing at pretty pictures conjured by creative types in agencies and studios, today’s CMO’s are driven by metrics and numbers and big data. This shift is irreversible. Agencies will always have their role in driving awareness and revenue, but the core of the CMO’s job will be to capture and communicate value-based messages to buyers who are extraordinarily sophisticated, well-prepared and suspicious of any marketing-speak.

As this shift occurs, there’s no denying the CMO title is destined for the trash bin.

What title will sally forth to the management table as a replacement? I’ll suggest it should be that of Chief Value Officer. Here’s why.

Stated simply, buyers dictate what marketers must do these days. And buyers are demanding of marketers greater and deeper levels of alignment to buyers’ business needs and considerations. Buyers don’t care about marketers’ features and benefits, only how those features and benefits will drive value in the buyers’ organizations.

Marketing is storytelling for the benefit of the seller; value is storytelling for the benefit of the buyer. The latter is far more powerful and relevant.

So be on the lookout for a juggernaut of Chief Value Officers at an enterprise near you. They’ll still have marketing in their hip pocket, but their objectives will be demonstrably value-focused.




2 Comments Add yours

  1. keely says:

    Love the “value is storytelling for the benefit of the buyer.” Wish that understanding was more pervasive within organizations.


    1. andrewdod says:

      Thanks. There’s a shift happening…slowly but surely. Once it picks up speed, it will have a big impact on how marketers “go to customer” instead of “go to market” in the future. Market segments will be reduced to a single company with a precise value proposition. Generic marketing will fall off quickly.


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