The Chief Marketing Officer

This is my inaugural post for Marketing Wednesdays, inspired by MBA Mondays and Tech Tuesdays.  Please take it easy on me as this is the first in the lengthy series.  I would love all of your feedback, so please leave it in the comments section.  If you are goign to tweet this post, you can use the tag, #mktgwed.

I figured we’d jump right in and understand the role of marketing through the job description of the senior most level, the Chief Marketing Officer.

In almost every large corporation and as startups mature, they add a Chief Marketing Officer (herein referred to as “CMO”).  In early stage startups, this tends to be the founder and/or CEO.  The role of the CMO is expansive and changing but a common attribute of a CMO is to drive vision (sometimes of the CEO) and consensus on how the brand behaves and is portrayed both internally and externally within the marketplace.  Marketers have many strategies and tactics in their role that they can deploy to achieve this.  It could be everything from advertising thru customer service thru product innovation (and many other things).  No two CMO’s are similar and are generally biased by the organizations they spent their formative years at (i.e. P&G, Unilever are very numbers oriented, so CMO’s tend to be heavily focused in research).

The Chief Marketing Officer does not act alone.  They are at the helm of an internal marketing team which may or may not liaison with one or multiple marketing and advertising agencies, which scale depending on the size of the corporation.  Some corporations do everything internally but many have agencies who act on their behalf.  In the coming weeks, we’ll discuss the role of agencies within the marketing world.

When talking to many of our CMO clients, they stress the major shift that’s occurring which has been lubricated by digital; the brand does not always rule the conversation.

Joe Tripodi leads global marketing, customer management and commercial leadership as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer of the Coca-Cola Company.  He wrote a piece for the Harvard Business Review about how the role of the CMO has gone from purely counting impressions to (that plus) making sure consumers are having good experiences with his brand.

Marketing has changed dramatically since Doc Pemberton poured the world’s first glass of Coca-Cola in 1886. On May 8th, 2011, Coca-Cola and our fans around the world will celebrate our 125th anniversary. While I’ll be curious how many impressions our activities generate, I will look most closely to the expressions of our consumers as a better measure of our success in keeping the world’s most valuable brand relevant for the next 125 years.

In most organizations, the CMO reports into the President/CEO and participates on the executive team.  The lifespan of a CMO is typically less than 24 months as per performance around sales is generally attributed to the marketing of a product; so the easiest thing to do is to switch out the marketing leadership.

In forthcoming Marketing Wednesday’s, we’re going to dive into very specific things such as marketing plans, media plans, advertising agencies, paid/owned/earned, clients, procurement, etc.  The list is very, very long.  However, I chose to start with the Chief Marketing Officer since it’s the top role within marketing and oversees any and all of this.

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  • http://screamingpanda.com Kevin Berrey

    @dherman76 I like this idea for a series of posts; however, I’m more interested in what marketing does on a most basic level for a starting company and how it evolves to more complex functions in the CMO role as a company grows and matures. It always seemed to me that from inception, the first marketing task is to identify your market, the people, businesses or users that will participate in the use of and purchase your product or service, because without these, you’ve got no business. In film and television, we think in terms of audience and network / distributor. You have to know your audience and the character of your distribution channel, grow your audience, and communicate with them in ways they understand and respond to. So, what is your definition of marketing?

    • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

      Kevin, you’re getting well ahead of this all :)  After all, this is the first post in the series.  Note, I covered a lot of this in the introductory post earlier this week.  http://www.darrenherman.com/2011/10/08/announcing-marketing-wednesdays/

      Much of the syllabus here will be similar to the London Business School syllabus, however, I’ll be gearing a lot of this to talk to startups as well, as larger businesses.

      • http://screamingpanda.com Kevin Berrey

        Of course you have to start somewhere. I look forward to seeing where you take it. Cheers!

  • http://screamingpanda.com Kevin Berrey

    @dherman76 I like this idea for a series of posts; however, I'm more interested in what marketing does on a most basic level for a starting company and how it evolves to more complex functions in the CMO role as a company grows and matures. It always seemed to me that from inception, the first marketing task is to identify your market, the people, businesses or users that will participate in the use of and purchase your product or service, because without these, you've got no business. In film and television, we think in terms of audience and network / distributor. You have to know your audience and the character of your distribution channel, grow your audience, and communicate with them in ways they understand and respond to. So, what is your definition of marketing?

  • Dhonig

    DH – Look forward to the continued series. -Honig

  • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

    Kevin, you're getting well ahead of this all :)  After all, this is the first post in the series.  Note, I covered a lot of this in the introductory post earlier this week.  http://www.darrenherman.com/20

    Much of the syllabus here will be similar to the London Business School syllabus, however, I'll be gearing a lot of this to talk to startups as well, as larger businesses.

  • Dhonig

    DH – Look forward to the continued series. -Honig

  • http://screamingpanda.com Kevin Berrey

    Of course you have to start somewhere. I look forward to seeing where you take it. Cheers!

  • Josh Wood

    I had actually been working on a small piece regarding some theories and solutions as to why CMO’s and Agencies are in a never ending battle for their lives; and today while going through my feeds for the first time in a long time, this one was was relatable.

    I would welcome feedback as it relates to some of your insights into the industry.  Looking forward to future posts on the industry each Wednesday.

    http://ruckusmarketing.com/graffiti/2011/10/the-cmo-lifecycle-a-dangerous-game/

    • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

      I look forward to checking out your post. A bit swamped this second.

  • Josh Wood

    I had actually been working on a small piece regarding some theories and solutions as to why CMO's and Agencies are in a never ending battle for their lives; and today while going through my feeds for the first time in a long time, this one was was relatable.

    I would welcome feedback as it relates to some of your insights into the industry.  Looking forward to future posts on the industry each Wednesday.

    http://ruckusmarketing.com/gra

  • http://www.darrenherman.com dherman76

    I look forward to checking out your post. A bit swamped this second.