Many CEO’s face the difficult task much more frequently than they would like of having to replace a CMO or hire one for the first time.
CMO’s tend to be the shortest lived position in the C Suite. The average tenure of a CMO is 28 months, and it is not that they are the most underperforming member of the C Suite relative to the other members, it is usually the opposite, that because there is a lot of misunderstanding amongst the C Suite of what the true role of the CMO is, what the clear goals and objectives for that CMO should be, how much the CEO is truly willing to let go of, and the type of CMO that’s really necessary to move those specific goals and objectives forward for each unique organization there is a resulting disconnect leading to friction, misaligned objectives, and ultimately looking for someone else. So before you begin it is important to answer the following questions:
- Why are you looking to hire a CMO and what do you expect to truly get from that position?
- What is your plan for integrating this hire into the operations and decision making of your leadership team and how much autonomy do you think they should have?
- What type of CMO will be the right fit for your needs and company structure.
Very often we see that CEO’s in their search for a CMO will be looking for a specific type of CMO that resonates with their particular business style or the way they have done things in the past and usually that type of CMO falls within 3 different categories:
- “The Visionary”: They are really great with coming up with big ideas and impactful campaigns but may not necessarily be that well versed on modern digital technologies or the speed of social media. This type of CMO might come from a more old school way of advertising and be more familiar with more traditional approaches.
- “The Manager of a Marketing Group”: They might come from backgrounds like Procter and Gamble where everything is managing to the numbers, it’s all about analytics and it’s all about people. They may not necessarily be as deeply steeped in “big idea creative”, digital or emerging technologies, but they are really great at managing to the numbers. These types of CMO’s usually come from e-commerce or consumer product type companies.
- “The Digital Innovator”: They take all of the most modern approaches and really think about how to keep the company ahead of the curve and utilize emerging technologies. They are usually brought in to help modernize marketing departments that might not be as savvy or up to date in terms of tactical approaches and the company might see themselves being passed by competitors in terms of digital innovation and the way they are moving their organizations forward in the modern social media driven landscape.
Traditionally this is the way CEO’s think about and relate to different types of CMO’s and who they are looking to hire. This model is quickly becoming outdated in that digital is brand, and brand is digital is in 2020. For you to have a big idea or a big campaign that is truly moving, it needs to connect with people on a personal level, in their life and where they are at. In 2020 that is done through digital technologies and it is only going to continue to become more digitally oriented. You need a CMO who understands how to bridge the gap between the aspirational and the executional within modern technologies.
Now of course you are going to be very hard pressed to find somebody who is truly an expert in all three areas: big idea marketing, managing to the numbers and also being on top of digital innovation.
It is critical to find someone with two out of the three, but one of the categories must be digital because overall what you really want to think about is what builds a brand. What builds a brand is no longer controlled by your company – it’s controlled by your customers.
It’s controlled by:
- The reviews that they post
- The social media experiences that they have
- The content that they engage with, subscribe to and share
- And by them inviting you into their lives via their mobile phone
The average person spends 7 hours a day on their mobile phone and checks it an average of 85 seperate times per day, millennials check their phones an average of 150 seperate times per day. You really have to understand how to bridge that gap between the aspirational and the experiential through meaningful marketing delivered on mobile that connects with the world around your consumer. The beautiful thing is, if you do that right, the numbers will follow.