The outspoken NYU professor Scott Galloway argues that the skills setting apart the CMO of the past from that of the future are clear to see.

Speaking at the Festival of Marketing earlier this month, Galloway explained the marketing chief’s problem:

“CMO is like being second lieutenant in Vietnam, the life expectancy is about 18 months. It’s a job that people say, right, we need a CMO … and if that person doesn’t immediately establish credibility with the people actually making the money, they’re usually gone within 18 to 24 months.”

There are, in short, two sorts of CMO, he says: “There’s the CMO who came from the world of Don Draper and wants to spend money on marketing… uses the term ‘brand’ every other sentence and wants a bigger budget for marketing and advertising. I don’t think those CMOs last.”

The skills as well as the scope are different in this century. “I think the CMOs who are thriving, and who potentially become the next CEO, are the ones that basically say ‘I’m your link to the market, I understand strategy, and I am informing every piece of the supply chain. I understand where we’re getting products and services, where we can save money, where we lose money. I’ve got my finger on the pulse here’.”

In the best cases, the CMO is the person in touch with the marketplace and is responsible for informing each section of the company. But the key is to be focused on understanding “how we maintain margin and differentiation in the market, compared with people who might be more removed from the marketplace because their heads are down trying to figure out how to build a better widget”.

He sees the CMO almost as the chief intelligence officer – one that understands “all components of the supply chain and … really has a strong view around materials, the product, the number of products, the distribution strategy, the loyalty strategy. And then obviously, [you need] a group of people around charged with building the brand”.

For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Galloway: There are two kinds of CMO but only one survives

Sourced from WARC