We're Off to See Marketing's Big Show
The annual Masters of Marketing conference takes on more of a freewheeling tone as marketers grapple with a range of issues, from media transparency to purpose to the changing CMO role
The Ad Age article, "We're Off to See Marketing's Big Show," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Norm Yustin on the evolution of the CMO role and its implications. The article is excerpted below.
The corporate era is rapidly coming to an end. So says the description of a presentation slotted for this year’s Association of National Advertisers annual “Masters of Marketing” conference, which begins Wednesday in Orlando, drawing an estimated 2,900 industry execs to the Rosen Shingle Creek resort over four days. The talk, called “Built to Suck,” by strategic consultant Joseph Jaffe, seems an odd choice for an event that lures marketing execs from some of the biggest corporations in the world.
But Jaffe’s presentation—which promises to answer the question “Can brands be saved?”—shows how the ANA is trying to spice up its biggest event of the year, while appealing to modern-day marketers whose purview extends way beyond traditional advertising. “Built to Suck” is part of the conference’s “second stage” venue, which the ANA debuted last year to provide counterprogramming
to the main stage agenda that is typically filled with solo presentations by Fortune 500 chief marketing officers.
The role of the CMO
If past Masters events are any indication, there will be a good bit of navel-gazing about the evolution of the CMO role and how marketers are expected to take on a lot more than advertising oversight, with everything from data management to customer loyalty programs and PR now on their plates. (Ally’s Andrea Brimmer, who is scheduled to present on Thursday, carries the dual title of Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer, for instance.)
The CMO title itself is under scrutiny as more companies gravitate to labels like “chief experience officer” and “chief commercial officer.” Norm Yustin, who leads the chief marketing officer practice at executive recruitment firm Russell Reynolds Associates, estimates there are now about a dozen titles being used for the top marketing role. To reflect this, Russell Reynolds later this year will rename its chief marketer practice to “customer activation and growth,” says Yustin, who will be attending Masters. “We want to focus on what our clients needs are, not necessarily the job title,” he says. “If you think about what a go-to-market leader’s job is, it’s really to activate that customer, get them off their butts and do something and grow the business.”
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