The role of the CMO is changing

The role of the CMO is changing and we’re seeing an increase in the demands and responsibilities being placed on the marketing executive.

According the McKinsey “Today, many chief marketers focus mainly on building brands, making advertising more effective, and perhaps market research. Although these responsibilities aren’t going away, CMOs must address several other areas as well: leading company-wide change in response to evolving buying patterns, stepping up efforts to shape a company’s public profile, managing complexity, and building new marketing capabilities throughout the company as a whole. The relative importance of these new priorities will of course vary by company and industry, but the broad importance of reinventing the CMO’s role as a strategic activist is similar across them.”

In my opinion marketers are facing the consequence of a digital world full of disruptive change. The consequences are not being driven by brands, rather they are driven by the consumer and business needs to catch up.

So the role of marketers, and in particular the CMO and Marketing Director, is changing. We have no map, no-one who has gone before us to show the way. Instead we need to charge our own path, do our own research, find and possibly build our own tools. It’s lonely, and it doesn’t have to be this way.

Yesterday I announced my appointment as the Director of the CMO Alliances on LinkedIn. The CMO Alliances is an international venture that we launch in Johannesburg and Durban next year.

The purpose is simple. To create a strong, valuable support to CMO’s and Marketing Directors, who are facing this world of disruption. Through robust, honest conversations, we hope to learn from each other and speed up the pace of learning in the CMO realm.

My partner Leigh Thomas and I have been planning the CMO Alliance for over a year. It has become abundantly clear to us that Marketing Executives are working at the forefront of a disruptive age and that they need support in learning faster and smarter about their markets and technologies. In Leigh’s words “it’s about stripping back the event space for senior execs to candidly benchmark and debate their strategies. Focussing on educational gain for the attendees.”

The alliance will be small, pointed and powerful and we would invite you to contact us should you wish to take part.


Trying to unpack the point at which people and technology meet. One step at a time.


  • September 11, 2018
    Charlene Subbarayan

    Great Article.


Post a Comment:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.