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The CMO’s High-Water Mark?

Are we in a honeymoon phase for the chief marketing officer? “The tenure of a CMO is less than 2 years,” had been the common refrain for years.

CMO High-Water Mark

That average is up to four, and businesses seem to be in hot pursuit of the CMO. Even though there’s much debate within the Gartner report about CMO vs. CIO spending power, the perception is clear: “The CMO has the budget for innovation.”

But this could be the calm before the CMO storm. CMOs may have bigger budgets and may be pushing social campaigns with greater intensity, but is the focus in the right place? Not everyone thinks so.

Laura Ramos, a VP and principal analyst at Forrester, is one of them. I shared an article with her from ion interactive co-founder Scott Brinker’s Chief Marketing Technologist Blog about the need for an infrastructure that connects marketing to customer service (and other functions). And she offered this, based on her research and experience:

CMOs need to worry more about how the whole firm engages with prospects and customers — and what that experience is like — to thrive in this digitally-enabled, instant feedback world.

Some leaders recognize this transformational change and have the courage to address it. For others, the alarm is being sounded.

If you’re a CMO and not worried about the age of the customer and what that means, the four-year tenure of the CMO may be the high-water mark.

What do you think? Is it a high-water mark for the CMO, or is the best yet to come?

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