One year ago today, I interviewed Amy Curtis-McIntyre who, until very recently, was CMO of Old Navy. I only just discovered that Amy has left The Gap brands in a management re-shuffle, but I would expect that given her marketing pedigree, she will land in an amazing new position somewhere exciting.
In a “Blue Paper” published by Spencer Stuart entitled “CMO tenure: slowing down the revolving doors”, the average tenure for CMOs at the top 100 branded companies is just 22.9 months. Based on their data, only 14% of CMOs for the world’s top brands have been with their companies for more than three years, and nearly half are new to the job over the last 12 months.
One of the reasons given for such short tenures, compared to the CEO average of 53.8 months, is that a disconnect exists between the skills required of today’s CMO and those of the past. Just because a marketer was successful in the 1980s, where big image and even bigger advertising ruled, it does not mean he or she will be a good fit today, when successful marketing requires a much more complete, integrated and multi-audience approach.
From the research I did for my book, the sorts of attributes which will be come increasingly important to marketers will be:
- Strong leadership - CEOs or leaders will be major sources of encouragement, championing the marketing discipline.
- Boldness in planning - experimentation will be promoted and transparency across the marketing team will be key.
- Multi-stakeholder approach - the aim of marketing will be far broader than customers and employees.
- Blended thinking - media and channel agnostic approaches will need to breed engagement and participation.
- Shared KPIs - augmented metrics and analytics will be shared with other functions such as IT and Finance.
- Talent cultivation - championing training, advancement and mobility to engage and develop star talent will become critical.