As more CMOs are tasked with leading the business growth agenda, Happy Marketer's Srotoswini Roy outlines the ideal archetypes that should comprise the modern marketing team.

An industry on the cusp of change is almost always a harbinger of evolution in skillsets and the role of the CMO is certainly changing. Priorities have expanded from broad messaging to personalised customer journeys, from a single key visual approach to dynamic creative optimisation, from website design to UI/UX design thinking, from broad targeting to people-based marketing, from siloed ROI to attribution models.

No conversation is complete without the mention of Mar-tech stack usage, first-party data management, customer centricity, test and learn agendas, analytics and attribution, customer experience design.

According to a recent McKinsey survey, 80% of global CEOs said they look to Marketing to be a major driver for the company’s growth agenda.

And the modern CMO must take ownership of the new growth agenda in an era defined by unprecedented change. But to deliver on this agenda, CMOs have to build deep, productive relationships with their C-Suite partners and spearhead a collaborative business transformation vision.

The CMO’s sphere of influence will grow far beyond what we traditionally define as Marketing, moving into territories typically overseen by the CEO, CTO, CFO or COO.

Meet the CMO’s Dream Team – Archetypes of modern marketers

Senior leaders understand that this change in the CMO’s vision will be accompanied by the inevitable need for organisational change management and a revamped talent management strategy to meet modern marketing’s new rhythms and demands.

Perhaps the one place where this change will be most evident is in the people skills and roles that the modern marketing organisation will hire for and seek to grow.

Whether you are a marketer looking to define the next five years of your career or a senior leader looking to structure your team to face this new challenge, read on to find out what will be considered best-in-class expertise in the new world of modern marketing.

What new roles will marketers be expected to play to remain relevant and valuable in this evolving marketing organization? What are the skills that you must embrace to not only fit in but also excel and become change agents in this industry?

Let’s meet the future-proof archetypes of modern marketers, who will not only thrive and define this new space but also become indispensable members of the modern CMO’s dream team.

The Solution Orchestrators

As the ambit of the CMO expands beyond Marketing to Tech, Data and Operations, they are increasingly getting served siloed, standalone solutions in the various disciplines without any playbook on how it will all work together.

One of the biggest challenges I have seen among my clients, CMOs and Marketing executives alike, is that often the most innovative ideas and the best of intentions don’t translate to results because:

  1. They are unable to catalyze the right combination of teams (People)
  2. They are trying to do new things in the old, legacy ways of working (Process)
  3. They don’t have the right tools or even if they have it they don’t know how to use it (Tech)

Now, more than ever, Marketing organizations are in dire need of Problem Solvers who know just the right levers to pull and the right gears to shift into to galvanize action across functions.

One of the key skills of the Solution Orchestrators is their ability to zoom out to the 30,000 feet high view and at a moment’s notice zoom in to adjust the nuts and bolts on ground.

Solution Orchestrators are those who have this uncanny ability to break down a big picture vision into piecemeals, systematically organize complex outcomes into specific actions and specialities and finally stitch it all together into a cohesive narrative for senior stakeholders.

What can you do to work towards Solution Orchestrator skills starting today? Start to question and attempt to understand what happens ten steps before your work begins and ten steps after your work ends. If you want to complete the jigsaw, then you must view every piece in relation to the other, not in isolation, and always, always, keep your eyes on the big picture!

The Agile Marketer

Creativity will always be Marketing’s raison d’etre, we are after all the original Mad (Wo)Men.

However, in the modern marketing world, true magic happens when the right brain meets the left brain - when Creativity meets Tech.

An Agile Marketer is the one who can imagine that when multiple brand messages are served in the right sequence based on customer behaviour along their purchase journey then Dynamic Creative Optimisation happens and ultimately that paves the way for long-term Customer Centricity.

As CMOs seek to innovate using Tech and Data they need confident marketers on the forefront who don’t shy away from taking calculated risks, who are not afraid to fail and who are able to pivot quickly when the need arises.

If you thrive in ambiguity, if monotony bothers you, if doing the next best thing is what you always strive for - then there might be an Agile Marketer lurking somewhere within you, itching to get her wings on!

The Strategic Storyteller

In today’s digital ecosystem, Marketing & Tech are inextricably linked. As the CMO and CTO build a shared vision of unified data for granular customer understanding, the Data-Insights-Action Framework will become the holy grail of that collaboration.

Marketing cannot take advantage of vast volumes of data to build personalized campaigns and predict customer behaviour without collaboration with Tech teams. Similarly, Tech teams are consistently on the lookout for data use cases because ultimately data is only valuable if it drives outcomes for the business.

The most sought-after skill combination in this new collaboration will be that of a strategic thinking and data interpretation.

A Strategic Storyteller is one who can piece together data from various sources, translate them into insights using appropriate business context and then design them into actionable use cases to drive business outcomes.

To work towards becoming a Strategic Storyteller one must seek out patterns in disparate sources of data and most importantly, never shy away from asking “So What?”. Because the one who asks the right questions will eventually find the right answers!

What are you going to do differently today to become the chosen one tomorrow?

Change is the only constant in life, but it is also an opportunity in disguise. If we can read the right signals and pre-empt this change in our career, then we will be in the enviable position to ride the waves instead of being swept by them.

If marketing is your business - whether as a brand or an agency, whether in creative or media, whether in leadership or as a young professional - this is your guide to what the near future looks like and how to be prepared for it, starting today.