Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council
Presentation at World Marketing Congress in Mumbai, Nov. 14th 2014
“Executive sprawl” and the proliferation of C-level titles across multiplying turfs and sub-divisions of responsibility, including “chiefs” of revenue, digital, data, customer experience, relationships, insights and innovation, is challenging CMOs to consolidate authority and assert ownership of these critical roles in their organizations. In many organizations, marketing struggles for legitimacy and credibility. While the appointment of a CMO sends the right signal, the credentials, character and capability of this new C-level executive member are of critical importance to internal acceptance, rather than rejection. A true CMO must be the CEO-in-waiting, groomed in all aspects of the business and a true leader and value-setter for the organization. While CMOs may aspire to this role, few make it to the corner office and even less serve on corporate boards. As the realities and requirements for a CMO are reflected in the selection and appointment process, this is likely to change. Today’s increasingly complex, distributed and digitally driven marketing ecosystem is challenging global marketers to better integrate and manage data, best of breed solutions, creative resources, brand assets and go-to-market functions. While digital marketing complexity is enormous -- providing most CMOs with major transformation challenges -- many are thriving on new customer insights and campaign measurement tools that make a strong case for marketing value, spend and sales pipeline contributions. They are collaborating at unprecedented levels with CFOs, CIOs and COOs, as well as establishing themselves as market experts, customer experience custodians, and well-informed strategists. Neale-May’s presentation looks at how the CMO is now at the epicenter of a new C-Level Collaborative Relationship Model in the Enterprise. He also provides a Five-Step Progression Plan for CMOs to elevate their roles and influence in the organization.