The role of the chief marketing officer (CMO) has been increasingly scrutinized in recent years. Dozens of CMO positions have been axed from some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including McDonald’s which replaced the role with a new SVP marketing technology position. CMOs who remain will need to prepare to handle even more pressure to prove their organizational value in 2020, says a new Forrester report.

In 2018 Forrester predicted a decline in Fortune 100 CMOs. Since then, organizations have started to part ways with CMOs, reallocating their responsibilities to leaders such as the CIO. 2020 is predicted to be a critical year for CMOs to deliver seamless customer experiences with their martech investments and, crucially, generate attributable revenue from those martech-enabled experiences. 

Why we should care

The CMO has evolved from a position focused on long-term brand-building activities to owning everything from branding and communications to martech investments, product innovation and operations. Marketing has also transitioned to a revenue center. Today’s CMOs need to align these components to orchestrate customer experiences (CX) that drive long-term relationships between brands and their customers.

CMOS should foster an integrated marketing environment and a data-driven approach across their teams — including having strong data governance practices in place — to deliver more connected customer experiences with increased personalization. “Businesses can no longer afford any amount of disconnect or fragmentation in the brand,” the Forrester Predictions 2020: CMO (purchased required) report says.

Martech spend continues to take a solid chunk out of CMOs’ budgets, and while spending slowed this year, the report warns that CMOs approach martech investments cautiously — and more strategically. “Rather than blindly dumping more money into tech spend, we’ve delivered growth with a strategy built around creative engagement with our customers through existing channels,” Chris Brandt, CMO of Chipotle told Forrester.

More on the news

  • In addition to creating better CX and managing martech, Forrester analysts predict that the best CMOs will establish a span of control in the name of customer value and brand continuity.
  • CMOs will also remain crucial to building their organizations by delivering their brands’ beliefs to acquire talent and drive employee loyalty.

About The Author

Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.