Mag Spotlight: CMO

According to Rob O'Regan, the editor in chief of CMO magazine, the role of the marketing executive has changed a great deal in recent years.

"Marketers were always known as these great sales guys," he said.

Now, in the age of accountability and ROI, the role of these executives has expanded and become far more challenging, said O'Regan.

"Senior-level marketing executives are playing a much more strategic role," he said. "They are required to be more accountable. You see a lot more MBAs, people who are familiar and comfortable with numbers."

Given this group's influence, and their growing needs, International Data Group is launching CMOmagazine today out of its CXO Media Inc. division.

This new monthly will attempt to serve the needs of the new, business-savvy CMO, which O'Regan said is underserved by current advertising and marketing magazines. "There are a lot of publications that cover various niches of marketing," said O'Regan. "This is the only one that takes a strategic perspective through the lens of CMOs."



He saw that the recent recessions and ad slump went a long way in shaping this new generation of marketing executives. "When the economy went down, marketing was an easy target," he said. "Companies had to justify branding."

The first issue will focus on the many challenges this often beleaguered group faces. A story titled "What's Wrong With Marketing: a Manifesto," authored by Mohanbir Sawhney, the director of the center for research in technology and innovation at the Kellogg School of Management, is featured in the first issue.

Other articles cover such topics as: "Pain-Free CRM," and "How to Make it Through Your First 100 Days" (CMOs' average tenure is in the neighborhood of two years).

O'Regan is gearing CMOtoward mid-level and high-worth companies, hoping to get some of the more renowned names in the business to talk to him. "We want to ask as many different marketers as we can to get a collective point of view for this group," he said. "Of course, we want to target people like Jim Stengel of Procter & Gamble, Beth Comstock of General Electric."

As for advertisers interest in this group, according to CMO magazine publisher Steve Twombly, the market has also been asking for this title. "Many companies have been looking to target this group but haven't had a place to do so," he said.

Twombly said that advertisers in categories such as media, technology, direct marketing, and creative services have expressed interest.

The magazine will launch with a controlled circulation rate base of 25,000. While they will start out by soliciting subscribers using "very targeted lists," the goal is to reach 100 percent direct request subscriptions by May of 2005.

Twombly believes that IDG's business-to-business experience will be valuable in properly developing the book. "IDG has strong editorial expertise within C-level arenas," he said of the publisher of titles such as CIOand Computer World. "You really do need to have years of cultivated experience [to launch a magazine of this type]."

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