The Emerging Strategic Role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

I suspect that some of my colleagues in business will have a challenge accepting some of the content of this post.

None of what follows is my original thought. It is a listing of excerpts from the first page of Strategic Marketing Problems, Cases and Comments, Kerin & Peterson, 2013; a prescribed text for students of marketing strategy.

  • The primary purpose of marketing is to create long-term and mutually beneficial exchange relationships between an entity and the publics with which it interacts.
  • No longer do marketing managers function solely to make day-to-day operations; they must make strategic decisions as well.
  • The transition of marketing from being only an implementer to being a maker of organisational strategy has resulted in the creation of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) position in many organisations.
  • A common expectation is that a CMO will assume a leadership role in defining the mission of the business; analysing environmental, competitive, and business situations; developing business objectives and goals; and defining customer value propositions and the marketing strategies to deliver on these value propositions.
  • The skill set required of CMOs includes an analytical ability to interpret extensive market and operational information, an intuitive sense of customer motivations, and creativity in framing strategic marketing initiatives in light of implementation considerations and financial targets and results.

Strategic marketing management consists of five complex and interrelated processes:

  • Defining the organisation’s business, mission and goals
  • Identifying and framing organisational growth opportunities
  • Formulating product-market strategies
  • Budgeting marketing, financial, and production resources
  • Developing reformulation and recovery strategies

I will offer no comment on the perspectives of Kerin and Peterson given their record and acclaim. But I can’t help wondering what my colleagues from other disciplines will think of it. Herman D. Alvaranga is principal of the Caribbean School of Sales Management.


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