Chief Marketing Officers Wanted

August 22, 2007 Blog 7 comments


In the recent “Marketing for Results” conference which I attended graced by Professor Philip Kotler, he highlighted the importance of a new position – the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) – in organisations. In certain companies, this role is equivalent to the almighty Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who usually sits next to the CEO in any organisation.

What should a CMO do? Many things apparently, according to Kotler:

1) Bring in the Voice of the Customer (VOC). This should be done through charting trends, analysing segments, conducting focus groups and looking at psychographic testing.

2) Bring in New Opportunities and New Ideas. There is a special obligation by CMOs to generate fresh leads, markets and product ideas.

3) Build a Stronger Brand for the company. This covers both corporate brands and individual brands. His or her role should be to enhance the work of individual brand managers.

4) Bring in more technical marketing. In other words, the various metrices and systems – marketing dashboards, sales automation, model building and database mining – to sharpen its work.

5) Find appropriate metrices to measure and account for financial results. Return On Marketing (ROM) is increasingly important and this should be assessed by both financial (sales, profits, ROI, market share) and non-financial (brand equity, customer preference, loyalty) indicators.

It seems from the above that a CMO has to build a stronger accountability into an organisation’s marketing spending. I hear that in some companies like Coca Cola, you have to estimate the ROI of any campaign before getting the money.

By Walter
Founder of Cooler Insights, I am a geek marketer with almost 24 years of senior management experience in marketing, public relations and strategic planning. Since becoming an entrepreneur 5 years ago, my team and I have helped 58 companies and over 2,200 trainees in digital marketing, focusing on content, social media and brand storytelling.


  1. Interesting… haven’t really seen much corporations with a CMO other than the usual Marketing Exec/Managers. In some companies, their marketing people simply means the sales ppl.

  2. tigerfish,

    Haha… sorry about that. There is the CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, CMO and in some cases CCO (Chief Customer Officer). Of course, we also have the Chief Domestic Officer or CDO at home… 😉

  3. priscilla,

    Yep definitely. More strategic thinking and planning is needed for CMOs, plus an ability to crunch numbers. That is a skill not often evident in many organisations’ marketing functions.

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