Who is the Modern CMO? Well, you, we hope. As part of the development of our MKT_Innov8 Study, we developed a perspective on the competencies marketing innovation requires, but we also felt strongly that we needed some better definition of the competencies for the modern CMO as well.
I first used the term the Modern CMO in my whitepaper The Agile Enterprise Marketer in 2009 (available through links in the right sidebar). However, only recently is it showing up everywhere. We thought a definition might clear up confusion across the multiple places it might exist. Modern CMOs demonstrate these core competencies (most of which are directly applicable to the MKT_Innov8 mindset):
- Tech embracers – you can’t do this without technology and you can’t leave learning it to someone else. Be tech-curious. Face it, if you are going have a bigger tech budget than the CIO, you need to be conversant.
- Measurement drivers – getting budgets that support innovation means meeting the CFO’s desire for ROI details. We aren’t saying kill an idea you can’t measure but think of the metric types you can get up front to design accordingly.
- Fearless testers –you have to develop an ethos and discipline that puts testing in the DNA. That means not everything will work, but it’s only a failure if you failed to learn from your tests and trials.
- Accountability supporters – In our research, marketers unfailingly claimed some ownership for innovation. With that comes accountability for results. It’s that simple. Be accountable for learning a lot through what you test.
- Collaboration gurus – you need allies, both inside and outside your organization to bring ideas to life. Giving up an inch of control often yields a mile of benefit in the race toward delivery of campaigns, media and of course, innovation.
- Multi-channel mavens – there is no such thing as a single channel effort any more. Whether creation or response, all efforts are blended. This will continue.
- Partnership developers – agencies, researchers, innovation labs, collaboratoriums, industry experts. We get by with a little help from our friends. No one knows it all, and the sum is bigger than the parts.
- Credit sharers – often, one person is responsible for an invention. Innovation takes a village for flawless mobilization.
- Global learners – Seoul, Zurich, Cambridge (Massachusetts and England), Sao Paolo, Vietnam, Chennai. The best ideas are only out there if you look beyond your geography.
- Industry agnostics – if you only look within your industry for talent, ideas and innovation, you will miss great potential to apply the success of others to your domain. You don’t exist in a vacuum, and your search for ideas shouldn’t be limited either.
Creativity, operational expertise and good management skills are still required – they’re the ticket to entry. These skills are needed, not next week; now. Either have them or surround yourself with people you trust to have them. The future of marketing relies on you. -c-