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“The CMO function is in trouble.” That is the ominous first line of a recent article from Forbes.

road sign 1274312 640smallYet, at the same time, this sentiment is not surprising. CMO tenures are shrinking. The title is being eliminated altogether at many firms, with the responsibilities being reassigned or split up among other executives.

Against that backdrop, some CMOs are seeking an alternative job title, a fact that may not be helping their cause. “To preserve their jobs, CMOs are ditching the title CMO for something ‘other’ that hides the idea of actual marketing integration. This is nonsense,” according to the article. Some such titles include Chief Transformation Officer (CTO), Chief Creative Officer (CCO), Chief Customer Officer (CCO) and Chief Experience Officer (CXO), among many, many others. However, in creating such new titles, the focus moves further away from restoring the CMO role to its natural brand leadership role.

So, what accounts for the decline of the CMO? One of the biggest reasons, according to the Forbes column, is the failure of many CMOs to convince the c-suite of the important correlation between financial performance and brand performance. “The CMO must be a respected member of the C-suite or the CMO function will die,” according to the article. “The CMO needs to have a business purpose or it has no purpose. Now is CMO wake-up time.”

Read the full column from Forbes.


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