A discussion of the role and responsibilities of the CMO

Marketing is one of the most crucial functions inside any organization.

Most large organizations appoint a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) or a global marketing officer to head the marketing department.

As the industry has evolved and demand patterns have changed the role of the CMO has also transformed a lot.

Basically, the CMO’s task is to oversee the marketing function and how the marketing activities are being carried out inside the organization.

He reports to the CEO and works in collaboration with the board members.

The CMO is a part of the C-Suite like the CEO, CFO, and COO and responsible for marketing related planning and decisions.

With time, the role of CMO has appointed a very critical dimension and he plays a central role in driving both the long and the short term success of the organization.

It is why the chances of the CMO becoming the CEO in the longer run are now higher.

The CMO also plays an important role in strategy formulation.

The main responsibilities of the CMO:

Brand management

This is among the most critical tasks handled by the CMO.

It essential implies how the brand relates with its target audience.

Companies that maintain strong relationship with their customers tend to achieve higher customer loyalty and stronger competitive edge compared to their rivals.

The CMO is tasked with managing both the tangible and the intangible aspects of brand management.

For example, the product and packaging are the tangible aspects of brand management.

Good quality products in attractive packages tend to attract higher sales and customer loyalty.

On the other hand, how the product is priced and how much the company focuses on customer experiences are equally important in terms of maintaining long term loyalty.

The CMO uses various approaches and strategies to drive higher brand awareness and superior brand recall compared to the competitors.

Market Research:

Market research is a critical area within the marketing function.

The focus on market research has increased in recent years due to its criticality with regards to targeting and success of marketing campaigns.

The CMO plays an important role in this area too and oversees how market research is carried out and how data and analytics are used to prepare reports.

It involves collecting important information about the target market, competitors and business environment through various techniques like surveys, discussions and interviews.

The CMO uses the information derived from market research to launch marketing campaigns, new products and to present reports before the CEO and other executives so that they can formulate business strategies.

Marketing communications:

How the company communicates with the target market determines the company’s success in the long term.

The CMO ensures that every message to the target market is clear, and consistent so that it can have the desired impact on the target audience.

Marketing communications can include promotions, advertisements including digital and traditional advertisements, direct marketing and other types of promotions like sponsorships.

Marketing communication intends to build the right image of the brand in the market and to grow brand awareness among the public and the target market.

A lot of the company’s success depends on the quality of market communications.

Market communication is a challenging area and CMOs need to determine what type of channels and tools are the most appropriate to reach the desired target market.

The use of digital channels for marketing communications and user engagement has grown in the past decade.

The CMOs need to focus on how these channels are being used and creating effective marketing strategies.

He also collaborates with other executives including the CEO and CFO to decide the budget for various marketing campaigns and channels.

Product Management:

It involves the development of new products and product marketing.

Product development involves the development of new products where the main aim is to grow market share and maximize revenues.

The CMO is tasked with carrying out to research to find that which new products will fit into the company’s product portfolio.

He also works to identify customer needs and to find developing which products are feasible for the company.

On the other hand, whenever the company develops a new product, it has to carry out launch and marketing campaigns.

The CMO is task with designing product launch and marketing campaigns to make a new product successful.

What CMOs need to have to be successful in their roles?

The CMO is the highest position in the marketing function.

However, it also one of the top positions in the company.

The CMO reports only to the CEO.

The role brings a lot of responsibilities and generally involves a very high level of complexity.

The desired persons have a qualification in marketing as well as necessary technological knowledge and skills.

Apart from it, a CMO also needs to have leadership and superb communication skills.

The marketing environment is constantly evolving and since the CMOs role is among the most critical to the success of the organization, he should have the ability to lead the professionals working under him in a highly competitive and fast changing environment.

The world of marketing has changed a lot with digital technology and social media.

A CMO needs to be an expert in both these areas since these are the most commonly used channels in the modern industry environment.

He should also have the ability to design and coordinate marketing campaigns across both modern traditional and digital channels.

A CMO is generally a person with a high degree of experience in marketing and proven expertise in related fields like digital marketing, data and analytics.

How has a CMOs role evolved?

The CMOS role has evolved a lot with time and grown more complex.

The same role has now many more facets and apart from the other things, the CMO has to focus more on technology and innovation.

With technological advancement, the role of the CMO has grown a lot more complex.

According to Deloitte, the CMO’s role has acquired the following dimensions:

Growth driver:

This is also one critical dimension of the CMO’s role, where he is responsible for managing profitable growth for the company.

The CMO is expected to work actively on managing enterprise wide business growth and revenue growth across all the business activities.

Industrywide the level of competition has grown a lot and one of the most critical responsibilities of the CMO is to make strategic decisions that driver faster and higher growth.

Customer champion:

Focusing on making all business activities and marketing in particular more customer oriented is an important aspect of the CMO’s role.

The CMO needs to align all business activities to make them more customer centric .

He needs to focus on the use of data and analytics to deliver a superior customer experience.

CMOs need to focus on understanding the customer needs and voicing the customers’ voices inside the organization.

Building a common understanding of the customer across the entire organization is essential for the CMO to be successful in his role.

Capacity builder:

The CMOs role also involves deploying robust marketing capabilities.

As capacity builders CMOs demonstrate the functions inside the entire organization.

Over the past several years, the CMOs have grown more involved in the spending on technology inside organizations.

A lot of technological resources and capabilities are dedicated to marketing inside larger organizations.

Innovation Catalyst:

CMO’s role also involves advancing the growth agenda through the use of data and analytics.

Apart from being the innovation catalyst who focuses on driving innovation throughout the entire organization and inside the marketing function, the CEO needs to have a deep understanding of the product portfolio.

Chief storyteller:

Apart from being responsible for the business growth driving activities, the CMO is responsible for managing creative storytelling regarding the brand and involve the customer in the narrative.

As storytellers, they have a special role in promoting brand relevancy and creating innovative marketing ideas that drive higher growth, more loyalty and higher user engagement.

With time, the role of the CMO is expected to grow even more complex.

However, their role will remain critical to deriving business results.

Only the CMOs that will be able to juggle between the various roles will be able to create faster and more profitable growth and find higher success in their own careers.