The CMO is in the driving seat
The highly educated, hard skill executive is having a hard time in recent years. Whether they are in finance, information technology or other numbers-related fields, they are starting to take a back seat to the so called soft skill executive: the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
How could this have happened? For decades, marketing, sales and customer experience were the lowly viewed, soft skill departments where deals were made, backs were slapped and expense accounts were bloated in the name of hitting the numbers. It was a loosely managed group of charming extroverts that relied on gut feel and relationships. Their demands for advertising, branding and entertainment were hard to justify, but they always claimed that it was part of doing business. They couldn’t prove it, but everyone else reluctantly went along.
However, it also meant that these soft skill groups were the first to be affected by cutbacks and changes. CFOs, COOs and CIOs wielded the power when tough decisions were being made because they had all the data and the tools to back their priorities over marketing.