Today’s CMOs are more than marketers, they’re “Marketing’s CEOs.” That’s according to CMG Partners and their 4th Annual CMO’s Agenda, a study of the latest trends and issues facing CMOs today.
Based on interviews with 30 CMOs at U.S. companies, the study identified five trends affecting Chief Marketing Officers, including a reported increase in influence and credibility within the C-Suite, specifically with the CEO. It also outlines steps many CMOs are taking to cultivate this newfound influence, like framing recommendations in terms of ROI beyond the P&L of the marketing budget. Other trends range from increasing fluency in social media to finding new ways to manage millennials. More interesting though (to me, anyway) is this:
“If CEOs have internalized one thing about marketing, it is usually the lesson Steve Jobs demonstrated: the higher purpose of marketing is to create demand; to build the perception among customers that they need what you are selling before they know it themselves. ”
Granted, without Jobs’ design sensibility (not to mention instinct, guts, etc.) and the innate “cool factor” of an iPhone or iPad, that’s a tall order for most companies. But even if that statement simply means that bigger picture thinking is now playing a larger role than it used to, it’s a shift worth noting. After all, what’s Think Different if not the basic tenets of product positioning boiled down to two words?