Chief Marketing Officer News (CMO)
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The 5 roles of the CMO of today (and tomorrow)

Eveline Smet

Founder & Growth Strategist

In today’s climate, there is no role more pressured than that of the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). Many CMO’s see their roles and their teams changing rapidly. There have never been more layoffs in the marketing department, budgets are under pressure and for a lot of companies the sales results are not what they were before the pandemic.

But there is also a big opportunity. The clever CMO could become the leader of their company tomorrow. They have close access to the data, have the power to make decisions and to create change and work in a very visible way.

Add the tremendous rise of e-commerce and the bigger need to analyze customer data to make informed decisions in these uncertain times, and you can see why the CMO has all the tools needed to thrive. In many companies, CMO’s are responsible for internal communications too, and next to that, they have the ability to create resourceful business cases with the results they achieve for their company. 

The best CMO strategy: Act fast, think slow

The current pandemic highlights the need for CMO’s to act quickly, pivot efficiently and be resilient. Not only the business model, but also the channels, the market, the needs and the tone of voice have changed instantly. In these times, the Board looks to its CMO to come up with short-term solutions while safeguarding the long-term health, profitability and sustainability of the company.

Many CMO’s are juggling lead generation projects and acquisition campaigns, while coming up with a branding strategy and keeping current clients happy and informed. 

These uncertainties and accountability prove the importance of knowing your role and your own strengths and weaknesses.
In this article we discuss the 5 CMO roles and the implications, as defined by Deloitte.

The 5 roles of the Chief Marketing Officer

The Growth Driver

The Growth Driver is focused on delivering sustainable and profitable growth for the organization. This means creating campaigns around customer acquisition and driving growth.

Projects we support the Growth Driver type of CMO with, include: Setup of growth experiments, performance campaigns, lead generation campaigns, growth hacking. 

Read how we helped a key travel insurance provider use prediction based advertising here

The Customer Champion aligns the organization around customer centricity using data, insights and analytics to deliver customer experiences, as well as measurable business growth. This results in personalized campaigns that empower customers while delivering measurable results.

We helped Customer Champion CMO’s implement livechat to improve the customer centricity of their website, while providing useful analytics to the customer experience team. Besides that, we used the insights to elevate our marketing strategy. Read more about our livechat customer centricity case study here

Design can also play an important role in delivering a great customer experience. That’s why we advise companies to invest in UX/UI research to optimize their existing channels so that clients have a seamless experience and associate the brand with ease of use. Have a look and see how we did a design overhaul of a roadside assistance app, with the customer as our main focus point. 

The innovation catalyst is focused on building breakthrough products or services and experimenting with new innovative tech and ideas. He transforms the customer experience while improving internal processes.

The CMO of today with the Innovation Catalyst role focuses on building robust CRM and Marketing Automation platforms, integrating Business Intelligence platforms and connecting internal silos. A lot of times, this type of CMO tries to build bridges between the internal sales, marketing and customer service department, without being blocked or delayed by their internal IT department.

At the Growth Agency, we love collaborating with these types of CMO’s because we can offer them speed and flexibility, being able to advise on and implement a vast array of martech tools. 

Read how we helped this water supplier connect sales & marketing by implementing a CRM and marketing automation tool and helping them with their sales and marketing strategy. 

Unlike the previous roles, the Capability Builder has the power to gather and deploy robust marketing capabilities and build teams with a wide range of expertise in data and analytics.

We strongly believe that knowledge and capabilities should be transferred to the clients we’re working with. By working as an extension of internal marketing teams and tandem-ing up for bigger projects, we make sure we do just that. Next to day-to-day insights and knowledge transfer, we also educate our clients on specific topics, based on the needs of their teams. Here’s a presentation our SEO specialist Pawel did for Kindred Group on ‘How to use Google data to generate revenue: PPC & SEO’

Finally, the Chief Storyteller creates stories that promote the brand and build the company’s position through compelling and inspiring content. He monitors and disseminates news about his company’s brands.

We support Chief Storyteller CMO’s by creating compelling branded content that they can use internally, for the social media channels and for digital and offline campaigns. Have a look at a few digital marketing campaign highlights in our case studies of 2020 and 2021>>

How can you set yourself up for success as a CMO?

It is up to the CMO to take on multiple roles based on the current and future needs of the company. We know from experience that a CMO has to wear many hats throughout his or her career, and even during the day. 

By looking for the right supporters internally and assigning the right roles to your marketing managers and executive marketing assistants, you might already be able to fulfill many of the roles mentioned above. 

But as a CMO, you might not feel comfortable or at your best in every role, and that’s where the purpose of a growth agency or digital marketing agency comes in. We take on the role of the right hand of the CMO, as a sparring partner and as a link between the CMO and the operational marketing team. By keeping the high level overview and making sure that marketing tasks are executed and the strategy is followed, we make the lives of CMO’s easier and keep marketing accountable.

If you’re a CMO and you want to discuss your growth challenges and opportunities, don’t hesitate to reach out for an introduction call. We would love to hear about your work and see if we could be a good fit for you and your company. Get in touch with us

Questions? Comments? Ideas! We’d love to hear from you! do not hesitate to drop us a note 😊

Eveline Smet

Founder & Growth Strategist

Eveline is our founder and the one who eats strategy for breakfast. She is in charge of budgets, KPI’s and growth plans. During her high school years, Eveline was wearing baggy pants and listening to 2PAC & Biggy. We have proof. Just ask. If you ever catch her looking off into the distance, it’s either because she wants to order sushi or she’s hungry thinking of ways to increase your profit. She’s also the biggest victim of marketing. But the biggest office sweetheart.

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