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why CMOs never last
Tom DenfordJul 21, 20171 min read

Why Do CMOs Never Last?


In this episode of #MediaSnack we just think about Chief Marketing Officer, typically the company's most senior marketer.

Check out the Harvard Business Review recent paper "Why CMOs never last"

According to HBR, 80% of CEOs don't trust their CMO - you can see the pressure that a CMO is under when they don't have the trust of the C-Suite and perhaps that's why their tenure is often shorter than anyone else at that level. 

HBR also clarify different types of CMO and a framework (presumably for CEOs) to identify which type of CMO you might need for your business. 

Recently Coca-Cola replaced their departing CMO with a Chief Growth Officer which seems to be blending a sales and marketing role with more pointed focus on making marketing investment more accountable. Its also a reflection on the pressures on the businesses to deliver more short term results and growth. With perhaps less focus on long term brand building. 

Other companies like Colgate, Coty, Mondelez have also moved to this Growth Officer role - interesting to note that these are large consumer FMCG / CPG businesses. Is this because these companies can often have rather large gaps between marketing and sales culture. 

Alison Lewis, the CMO of J&J argues in Marketing Week that there is always a need for a senior executive in charge of the brand and that the CMO has always been in charge of growth. So why would you need a new title?

The evolution of the CMO role has got to be a good thing, improving accountability and placing far more scrutiny over marketing investments, especially the huge media budgets. 

Question of the Day: Will we see more Chief Growth Officers replacing the traditional CMO? 



Tom Denford

Tom Denford is one of the world’s most trusted advisors to senior marketing and procurement leaders on navigating media and digital transformation. With 20 years’ experience in the marketing industry, which covers senior global roles in creative and media agencies, Tom co-founded ID Comms in 2009, with ambition for the company to be the world experts in maximising media value and performance.