CMO Role Continues To Grow More Complex, Adding More Functions Related To Platforms And Data

Nearly 20 years ago Grey Interactive Founder Norman Lehoullier gave a presentation at an Advertising Research Foundation event illustrating how much more complex a CMO's job was becoming thanks to digital media. Lehoullier documented a shift from five primary media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and outdoor) and five primary marketing functions (advertising, direct marketing, PR, consumer promotion and trade promotion) to a multitude of new digital media options, coupled with an array of new marketing functions. That was 1999. Today, Newbase released a report showing how much more complex a CMO's job is becoming thanks to even more media and marketing options, including content marketing, social media, data and analytics, programmatic, etc.

“The role of the CMO has been transformed by data, analytics, information and tech advancements,” Newbase’s “The Evolving Marketer” report asserts in a section entitled “Growing Areas of Time and Investment.”

“In particular, cloud-based technology has enabled accessibility to the marketing systems and tools that allow the marketing team to access and mine data at speed,” the report continues, adding: “Consequently, the workload for the global CMO has escalated across almost all areas of marketing, making it increasingly challenging to serve their business across multiple-functions.

“With such a diverse and demanding mandate, it is not surprising that 61% of global CMOs consider the role of today’s CMO to be complex, and almost half agree that ‘Tech changes often make it difficult for the CMO to keep up’. But staying ahead of the game is an essential remit for the CMO, with almost all (97%) agreeing that ‘It is essential to keep up with innovations in technology’.”

Another factor adding to the complexity of the CMO's role -- back when Lehoullier made his case, as well as today -- is the amount of those marketing functions they had to manage either in-house or via an array of agencies and/or service providers. The chart below shows the percentage of major marketing functions respondents to Newbase's survey said they are handling in-house, outsourced of some combination of the two.

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