Why the CMO needs to become a ‘Magic Growth Officer’

What is the new normal?

None of us really know because what we thought to be normal has now been turned upside down.

Due to the global impact of ‘COVID-19’ we’ve seen daily turmoil and frantic scaremongering headlines, which has created anxieties and led businesses to rapidly re-think how they might work and what skills will be required. To consider too what might be redundant post crisis.

We’re being told that we are heading for a potential recession. If so, the advertising sector is not only panicking but is in freefall. And that’s just one sector.

Companies whose revenues have been decimated by lack of income have no option but to become fiscally tighter. Consumers are doing something similar in fear of losing jobs, homes, and livelihoods so they are postponing discretionary spend of any kind. It is all filtering through to the worldwide economic infrastructure we once thought was impenetrable.

Those in marketing roles face the most challenging times. Findings suggest that CMOs will have to significantly adapt to hold onto their positions. This is now opening up opportunities for the CMOs of yesterday to embrace the role of “CGO” (Chief Growth Officer) and look beyond typical brand advertising and digital communications.

The reason to hire a CMO is usually because you have got a big strategic problem to solve, you need to drive growth and become more innovative, or reposition the brand. That is what the connotation would be in the CMO interview process.

Instead of marketing leaders helping to identify the rationale for new products and product development, we are still harking back and judging them on how efficiently budget was splurged in feeding the fraud ridden ad-tech platform frenzy.

As the world of business looks to return to its business, CEOs will be expecting CMOs to be the ‘magic bullets’ who can revive sales, grow market share and continue to inspire customers.

These many and varied demands will often prove impossible for CMOs to meet. With reduced resource and without the availability of the bloated advertising budget, old measures will be invalid. This will invariably lead the increasingly short tenures as results become nigh in impossible to deliver against.Or does that set the scene for the CGO to focus on growth, innovation, and product development allowing for the CMO to remain focused on the delivery of the sales and marketing ambitions to communicate not just today’s message, but that of tomorrows growth?

by Stephen Sumner, Renmus Consulting

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