Not Your Father’s CMO

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?

About Wade Sturdivant

Creative Director/Copywriter at The Richards Group, Wade spent his formative years in Chicago (DDB, Leo Burnett) and has worked on accounts as diverse as BMW, Firestone, Bud Light, McDonald’s, Kellogg’s and the U.S. Army.