As the world changes, so does the job description of those at the helm of marketing. Gone are the days when a CMO's success was measured by the buzz they could generate. They have become a different breed entirely.

In a business landscape defined by persistent volatility, technical upheaval, privacy dynamics, and shrinking markets, CMOs find themselves at the crux of brand-building and go-to-market strategies that propel companies to the next level.

They're not just creating ad campaigns or polishing brand images; they're defining the strategic trajectory of their companies, creating scalable frameworks, and implementing multi-year strategic plans. The job now requires a novel mix of agility and accountability.

In this article, I'm detailing the most important aspects of the CMO role right now, and what they need to maximize effectiveness in the future.

We’re not the ‘make it pretty’ team
Being a marketing leader comes with unique challenges. While there are similarities across the C-suite, heads of marketing face a distinctive landscape.

CMOs: master orchestrators

The New CMO needs to be a master orchestrator. With an ability to unite diverse cross-functional stakeholders, CMOs enable essential alignment in product strategy and positioning. This alignment empowers their companies to increase speed-to-market, significantly magnify the impact of roadmaps, and build a business that is responsive, agile and resilient.

The new CMOs job is not just about managing tasks; it's about operationalizing new technologies and business models. From the deployment of data analytics to the implementation of AI-powered tools, today's CMO leverages the most cutting-edge tech to drive ever-accelerating growth. Their expertise in these areas not only enhances the marketing function but permeates the entire organization, fostering a culture of innovation.

CMOs: committed team-builders

Perhaps most importantly, the New CMO is a committed team-builder. They understand that the strength of a company lies in its people, and they commit themselves to the development of high-performing teams aligned with shared goals. These leaders foster an environment where every team member can thrive, creating a culture that enables exceptional performance.

The new role of CMOs

The new age of marketing leadership is characterized by leaders who are part strategist, part technologist, and part agent of growth. This CMO understands that marketing is no longer a support function – it's a driving force. It's a force that propels brands into the future, drives meaningful business impact and holds the potential to define a company's trajectory.

The challenge for businesses is to not only acknowledge this paradigm shift, but also to support these leaders and their teams in their new mandate. It means investing in resources, integrating teams, and providing the room to operate. It means understanding that a CMO’s value cannot be measured by short-term KPIs, but by the sustainable growth they help engender.

Maximizing the impact of the new CMOs

As we recognize this evolution, here are practical steps to maximize the impact of these CMOs:

Embrace creativity

Creativity is not just for the arts; it's the bedrock of innovation and problem-solving. By encouraging everyone in the organization to think creatively, companies can foster a culture that values strategic innovation.

Expand scope

Today's CMOs have a diverse toolkit at their disposal. By creating space for our CMOs to lead new projects and manage broader teams, we're enabling them to leverage their full potential and contribute more substantially to the company's growth.

Extend runway

Cultivate strategic patience. While short-term results are essential, an obsessive focus on them can be detrimental to long-term growth. So let's grant our marketing leaders the time and space needed for their initiatives to bear fruit and drive meaningful, lasting impact.

CMOs: The future is calling
Marketing and business are constantly evolving, so how are you planning on doing the same as a CMO? According to Jason McClelland, CMO of Shutterstock, it’s not just about sitting passively and waiting for change to come, you have to be proactive.

The role of the CMO has never been more important. As we strive to navigate the digital landscape, these leaders stand at the helm, charting a course for success. They are the ones who understand the winds of change, harness them, and set the sails for a journey of growth and transformation.

So here's to the New CMOs, and the pivotal role they play in shaping our business future. As business leaders and stakeholders, let's ensure we're supporting them in ways that truly matter. Their success is our success, and together, we can conquer anything the world throws our way.

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