Why Tomorrow’s CMO Will Be A Virtual CMO… Almost

Monday 04th, January 2016

The last decade has brought a significant change in the role of the CMO. Digital has been the most significant change that has changed the whole dynamic everywhere.

It used to be that the CMO’s role was all about articulating the big strategy that would ensure the sales graph kept moving upwards. The soft side of doing business – business lunches, meetings over golf – was as much an essential part of a CMO’s job function along with the visibility that came with it.

That is changing and quickly. Here are our reasons why we believe today’s CMO will increasingly have a strategic and back-door role to play. And we think this is going to continue.

Strategic advisor to the CEO

It is quite apparent that the role of the CMO is moving from being an ‘ideas’ guy to someone who plays a more strategic role. Being able to make sense of the fast-changing technology landscape and turning around the organisation to respond quickly enough is now key. This is a back-room role, not the highly visible one that CMOs of years ago have been accustomed to – of light bulbs popping and the champagne being uncorked!

A strong focus on the numbers!

The emphasis on data and the introduction of marketing automation have meant that a CMO has to double down on the numbers harder than ever. CEOs are increasingly getting to have a bottomline view. And given the pace of change in most industries, this means CMOs have to learn to develop an orientation for numbers, going beyond the soft metrices such as share of voice, visibility, reach etc.

Global audiences

If you’re a tech business chances are your customers are spread across the globe. Visiting your peers, talking to your customers and attending globe photoconferences are passe. The challenge is to quickly scale up by making a rapid assessment of trends across countries, across cultures and adapt your business to fit those requirements.

We’re a start-up

This completely rules out the possibility of large marketing and promotional budgets. Your challenge will be – particularly if you’re a B2B – to use your resources effectively to squeeze the best possible value.


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