The Future of the CMO

The Future of the CMO

More than 60 CMOs Discuss What It Takes to Succeed in the Evolving Role

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About This Report
Informed by over 60 interviews with CMOs, this report covers how the top marketing position has evolved in recent years, what that means for marketing teams and other departments, and analyzes what skills are needed to succeed in the role now and in the future.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

CMOs have their work cut out for them, as the role can be a double-edged sword. With an expanding purview that goes beyond marketing, CMOs are making strategic business decisions, but that comes with the responsibility to deliver revenues and drive growth.

What is the job of the modern CMO?

Today’s CMO must have a background in both brand and performance marketing to balance creative with data-driven execution. CMOs are responsible for serving the customer across the journey and owning the customer experience. The scope of the position has evolved beyond marketing and now includes elements of corporate and product strategy, with a strong focus on driving and demonstrating business growth.

Is the CMO role disappearing?

Headlines would have us believe CMOs are no more, but the position isn’t extinct, though we would be remiss not to note the challenges of increasing pressures and expanded responsibilities. In the case where “new” C-suite roles—like chief growth officer or chief digital officer—are implemented, that doesn’t necessarily mean the CMO is replaced. These positions are often a complement to or an extension of the marketing chief. Interviewees were less concerned about the title and more interested in what skills and requirements were compulsory in a leader to execute modern marketing. The needs of the role vary by business type and are likely to evolve as objectives change, which may result in short tenures.

Who does the CMO report to?

CMOs should report to the CEO. If not, that should be a red flag that the position will not be strategic in nature. Modern CMOs need a seat in the C-suite to be successful in driving revenues. Those who don’t work for the CEO will be subjugated to traditional marketing tactics and are at risk of being eliminated.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? Informed by over 60 interviews with CMOs, this report covers how the top marketing position has evolved in recent years and analyzes what skills are needed to succeed in the role now and in the future.

KEY STAT: CMOs are performing better than they realize in the eyes of the CEO, according to Deloitte’s February 2019 “C-Suite Study.” There is still room for improvement, however, with other C-suite counterparts.

Here’s what’s in the full report

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68expert perspectives

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The CMO Today
  3. Are CMO Positions Going Away?
  1. Thriving as a CMO: Elements of Success
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Sarah Aitken
Holler
CMO
Interviewed September 12, 2019
Kristen Alexander
Certain
CMO (Marketing Advisor, as of October 2019)
Interviewed September 6, 2019
Matthew Anderson
Roku
CMO
Interviewed August 27, 2019
Jonathan Beamer
Monster
CMO
Interviewed August 28, 2019
Laura Beaudin
Bain & Company
Partner
Interviewed August 27, 2019
Lynne Biggar
Visa
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
Interviewed September 3, 2019
Kipp Bodnar
HubSpot
CMO
Interviewed August 14, 2019
Ryan Bonnici
G2
CMO
Interviewed August 15, 2019
Bill Borrelle
Pitney Bowes
CMO
Interviewed August 23, 2019
Alysia Borsa
Meredith Corporation
Chief Marketing and Data Officer
Interviewed August 21, 2019
Chris Brandt
Chipotle
CMO
Interviewed August 28, 2019
Jennifer Breithaupt
Global Consumer Bank, Citi
CMO
Interviewed August 28, 2019
Lynne Capozzi
Acquia
CMO
Interviewed August 27, 2019
Jordan Cohen
North 6th Agency
CMO
Interviewed August 13, 2019
Charlie Cole
Samsonite Brands
Global Chief Ecommerce Officer
Interviewed August 19, 2019
Carolyn Corda
Adara
CMO
Interviewed August 6, 2019
Andy Cunningham
Yext
Interim CMO
Interviewed August 9, 2019
Bob Davis
Plutora
CMO
Interviewed July 30, 2019
Ryan Dell
MVMT
CMO
Interviewed August 26, 2019
Heidi Dorosin
Madison Reed
CMO
Interviewed August 29, 2019
Gene Foca
Getty Images
CMO
Interviewed August 19, 2019
Kathryn Frederick
Ticketmaster
CMO
Interviewed September 3, 2019
Jim Freeze
Interactions
CMO
Interviewed August 15, 2019
Steve Gershik
inRiver
CMO
Interviewed August 8, 2019
Julia Goldin
The LEGO Group
Global CMO
Interviewed September 13, 2019
Aaron Goldman
4C Insights
CMO
Interviewed August 1, 2019
Jen Grant
Looker
CMO
Interviewed September 9, 2019
Andy Grygiel
Project 44
CMO
Interviewed August 15, 2019
Alicia Hatch
Deloitte Digital
Global CMO
Interviewed September 3, 2019
Rich Hope
Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc.
CMO
Interviewed August 28, 2019
Jeanne Hopkins
Lola.com
CMO
Interviewed August 27, 2019
Jeff Jacobs
McKinsey & Company
Partner
Interviewed August 30, 2019
Jascha Kaykas-Wolff
Mozilla
CMO
Interviewed August 6, 2019
Wasim Khan
Ripcord
Chief Digital Officer
Interviewed August 22, 2019
Michelle Killebrew
PwC New Ventures
Vice President, Head of Marketing
Interviewed September 9, 2019
Todd Krautkremer
Cradlepoint
CMO
Interviewed August 5, 2019
Mary Leach
Movado Group
CMO
Interviewed August 27, 2019
Gil Levonai
Zerto
CMO
Interviewed July 31, 2019
Ann Lewnes
Adobe
CMO
Interviewed September 5, 2019
Allison Lowrie
ANGI Homeservices Inc.
CMO
Interviewed August 26, 2019
Antonio Lucio
Facebook
CMO
Interviewed September 12, 2019
Andréa Mallard
Pinterest
CMO
Interviewed September 4, 2019
Kory Marchisotto
e.l.f. Cosmetics
CMO
Interviewed August 27, 2019
Rebecca Martin
Calabrio
CMO
Interviewed August 6, 2019
Tim Matthews
Exabeam
CMO
Interviewed August 6, 2019
Leslie McNamara
Citi Retail Services
CMO and Head of Workforce Development
Interviewed September 5, 2019
William Merchan
Pathmatics
CMO (Chief Revenue Officer, as of September 2019)
Interviewed August 20, 2019
Jeanniey Mullen
DailyPay
Chief Innovation and Marketing Officer
Interviewed July 30, 2019
John Nash
RedPoint Global
Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer
Interviewed August 22, 2019
Paige O’Neill
Sitecore
CMO
Interviewed August 5, 2019
Minjae Ormes
Visible
CMO
Interviewed August 15, 2019
Edward Pilkington
Diageo North America
CMO
Interviewed September 12, 2019
Dorian Quispe
LegalZoom
Chief Digital Officer, Interim CMO
Interviewed August 26, 2019
Peter Scherr
Vroom
CMO
Interviewed August 29, 2019
Joshua Schnoll
AppDirect
Vice President, Marketing
Interviewed August 29, 2019
Kathy Seegebrecht
UL
CMO
Interviewed August 6, 2019
Fabian Seelbach
Curology
CMO
Interviewed August 7, 2019
Jodi Senese
Outfront Media
CMO
Interviewed August 21, 2019
Brooke Skinner Ricketts
Cars.com
CMO
Derek Slayton
Terminus Software
CMO
Interviewed August 21, 2019
Lorna Sommerville
Function of Beauty
CMO
Interviewed August 30, 2019
Leela Srinivasan
SurveyMonkey
CMO
Interviewed August 15, 2019
Luanne Tierney
Open Systems
CMO
Interviewed August 30, 2019
Alicia Tillman
SAP
CMO
Interviewed August 23, 2019
Debora Tomlin
Symantec
CMO
Interviewed September 4, 2019
Steven Tristan Young
Poshmark
CMO
Interviewed September 5, 2019
Gayle Troberman
iHeartMedia
CMO
Interviewed August 13, 2019
Tony Weisman
Dunkin’ Brands
CMO
Interviewed September 11, 2019

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authors

Jillian Ryan

Contributors

Blake Droesch
Junior Analyst
Lucy Koch
Junior Analyst
Nicole Perrin
Principal Analyst
Tracy Tang
Senior Researcher
Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst