The Hot Seat: Why Australian CMOs Have The Shortest Average Tenures In The World

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The average term of an Australian CMO is 2.1 years, while globally, CMOs generally have the shortest tenure of all C-suite positions.

So why is it the role of CMO has become such a hot seat?

Speaking at the Sitecore Experience ANZ 2019 conference in Sydney on Wednesday, Deloitte Digital partner David Phillips attempted to tackle the question.

One of the top problems for Australian CMOs, he explained, is the constant struggle to justify intangible values, particularly that of a brand.

“For most marketers, they deeply understand the value and importance of brands, but they struggle to convince C-Suite members of the value and importance of that brand,” Phillips explained.

“If you think about the way we structure financial reports within organisations, we really forget the intangibles.”

Phillips stated around one-third of an organisation’s value lies in its brand, but marketers still struggle to convince their colleagues of the importance of a brand as anything more than a logo.

But the struggles of Australian CMOs are nothing new or unique. There was a similar crisis in the US around ten years ago, Phillips stated.

In terms of overcoming the current issues, Deloitte has recently released a report which suggests marketers move away from being ‘brand protectors’ to become ‘brand promotors’, in order to spread brand ownership through the entire organisation.

Knowing what the future holds

The continual convergence of marketing and technology also gives CMOs and marketers the opportunity to work through the current climate.

“With marketing we’re really blessed,” Phillips said. “There aren’t many other functions of an organisation where we can really clearly see exactly what the future of the function holds.”

“In marketing, especially from a campaign standpoint, we know what the future is: fully-orchestrated cognitive marketing.

“Campaigns that are run through AI sitting on the cloud, that will deliver the right message, to the right customer at the right time.”

And while we might know what the end result is, getting there still provides a challenge.

Achieving success under the future model requires an agile approach which deploys company experts in a cross-functional manner, according to Deloitte.

This also means investing into current talent. In the US, only four per cent of marketing budgets are used towards the training and development of staff.

“We need to weed out the ‘old school’ marketers – the new model cannot carry them,” says Deloitte. “The terms ‘pure’ and ‘brand’ marketers should not be celebrated.”



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