News

Thinking in the Networks

The CMO of the future is no longer a lone warrior, he feels the pulse of the customers and directs the discussions in the executive suite


Horizont | October 18, 2018



Horizont published a bylined article, “Thinking in the Networks,” authored by Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Robert Kämper in which he explores how the CMO role is evolving. A translated excerpt of the article is below.

It is obvious: More and more companies today are particularly interested in digital marketing, growth orientation and the measurability of digital content. It is no longer enough for a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to take up the banner of brand building, marketing communications and creative events.

Seldom has the role of the CMO changed as it has in recent years: A successful CMO needs to balance between using the left and right halves of the brain. The CMO needs the right side of the brain to creatively win the hearts of the people, for example through live communication or personalized marketing. He uses the left side of the brain to think intellectually and to act on equal terms with the CEO and CFO to explain the value added by his actions, including the contribution to economic success. Today, because of big data, we know what is well received by the customer and what is not - a big advantage. For this reason, companies also expect more from their CMO. For example, they demand a clear vision of the goal and strategy for in-house marketing.

But marketing for the future can no longer be described merely with the classic four Ps - Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Today, these traditional cornerstones of marketing must actually be supplemented by five additional Ps which decisively shape the job of the CMO and also result from the meta-trend of digitization:

  • Personalization: Consumers want to be more personally addressed;

  • Participation: Consumers want to engage and share their brand experiences with other consumers;

  • Proliferation: More channels are available for customer approaches and sales;

  • Persuasion: More partnerships and collaborative work internally and with external partners are indispensable for marketing success;

  • Persuasiveness: The CMO should demonstrate his persuasive power more vigorously than before, demonstrating the importance of brands as drivers of change in complex and dynamic markets. Ideally, it is the CMO who, as an inspirational leadership figure, commits the people in the company to a comprehensive, strategically understood consumer orientation.

This cannot be done without an open mentality: According to an analysis by Russell Reynolds, CMOs stand out positively from other officers because of their ability to abstract, intensive search for innovative solutions, openness, imagination, perseverance, decisiveness and high level of activity.

The entire article in its original German can be found here.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get the newsletter that prepares you for what's next with valuable insights across industries and geographies.
Thinking in the Networks