Rethinking the position of the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer)

The nature of information is biological, and we still try to force fit into our "mechanical" mindset.

The idea that the CMO must deliver ROI for her/his existence is trying to quantify the marketing function of the business as if it were a stand alone piece of the whole. The accountability on the business as a whole (management, development, marketing and continuous innovations in all of these areas) is never really mentioned.

What about measuring the strength of the strategic ideas put forth by the CMO? Shouldn't accountability reside more in a marketing decision that affects the company as a whole such as whether or not we have a company blog, rather than ROI based on some ad spend? Is measuring the safe stuff that keeps your job intact (at least for the time being) really a measure of accountability? How about the decision to not spend a dime on advertising and do a sophisticated word of mouth campaign like what Ford's doing with its hybrid SUV? Shouldn't measuring the net effect of that decision in terms of revenue be the real measure of accountability?

How can we participate in the interconnected global economy if we still can't see the interconnections in our own organizations. Why did we create the measures for our departments in the first place? Does it still fit with the relative performance of the total company? Where does our CMOs effort really fit into the company's position in the marketplace?

I believe starting with these questions will define the role of what it means to be a CMO in the businesses of today and tomorrow. Marketing accountability MUST be a part of the entire value of the company...the value of the REAL brand in a transparent and conversational interconnected marketplace.

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