Annie Longsworth Etienne White and James Barsimantov
Published 4 years ago.
About a 3 minute read.
It might seem that today’s CMOs still serve largely the same purpose that they always did; but consider the rapidly changing media landscape, and it's clear that the scope and sphere of the CMO role has shifted dramatically.
Take a moment to consider the role of the Chief Marketing Officer today compared
to 20 years ago.
In some ways, it might seem that today’s CMOs still serve largely the same
purpose that they always did. But consider the changes in technology, the advent
of social media, the movement of brand activism — just to scratch the surface —
and it becomes clear that both the scope and sphere of the CMO’s work have
Internally, CMOs wear many more hats than they once did, working more closely
with CFOs and collaborating with others in the C-suite. And while CMOs have more
influence than ever before, particularly as they speak out on broader societal
issues and challenges, research has shown they are under greater pressure to
demonstrate results in a shorter period of time.
Against this backdrop, the role of CMO now faces a critical and exciting
juncture — and CMOs who embrace new developments and trends could be poised for
greater success than ever before. One such trend: an increasing focus on
sustainability and sustainable values, across both operations and marketing.
1. Embraces media fragmentation and nimbly adapts to the continually
shifting media landscape
2. Harnesses technology trends — such as personalization,
— and sees how they can help their brands stay ahead of the competition
3. Lives in the sharing economy, where both people and planet can benefit
through the disruption of established business models to fit a fragmented
audience base and hyper-personalized customer experience
4. Thinks futuristically, already predicting tomorrow’s opportunities by
recognizing deep cultural shifts and new societal trends
5. Is a natural-born collaborator, focusing on “collaborative advantage” to
work with others
6. Values purpose and embeds it within their company’s business
7. Champions employees and their contributions to brand
8. Promotes diversity and
9. Is authentic and brings personal stories to work initiatives
10. Views sustainability as an accelerator for innovation that can lead to
Sustainability can be immensely valuable for the CMO because of its ability to
protect a brand’s reputation, garner consumer trust and
and drive innovation. That value proposition shows up in three key areas that
are most of interest to the CMO:
1. Managing risk by addressing ESG
and practices head on
2. Driving sales by offering consumers products that are better for them and
for the planet
3. Creating transformative innovation in a world requiring urgent attention
to limited natural resources
In an era of brand transparency and brand purpose, the CMO has become one of the
most important C-suite roles. We predict that 2019 will be a watershed year for
the Chief Marketing Officer role. By integrating more sustainable values into
their marketing strategies, CMOs can anticipate greater brand-building benefits
that will undoubtedly lead to enhanced brand reputation, while meeting critical
business objectives for their organization.
Learn more about the Sustainable CMO in our white paper, developed in
conjunction with SupplyShift and Possible,
Published Jun 24, 2019 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST
Annie Longsworth is a sustainability communications pioneer committed to positive change through business. As a purpose-led strategist, Annie engages companies to develop ESG, impact and sustainability programming that aligns with corporate goals, audience values, shareholder ambition and societal needs.
Etienne is a marketing strategist, writer and sustainability storyteller. At SB, Etienne is the Founder and CEO of Let’s Create Possible.
Etienne runs a consulting business “Let’s Create Possible’ working at the nexus of sustainability and marketing to help make the impossible, possible, for a diverse array of B2B and B2C brands in the US and Europe. Earlier in her career, Etienne was Chief Marketing Officer at the Forest Stewardship Council, where she led the research, strategic and creative development of the global ‘Forests for all Forever’ rebranding. Before this Etienne held positions as VP Marketing for two US specialty retailers.
With more than 20 years of global brand management and marketing experience, Etienne has extensive knowledge in building both mainstream consumer brands and eco labels. Etienne began her career with over a decade in advertising (at agencies such as Fallon and Leo Burnett) leading award-winning, business-building marketing for a variety of global brands including Citibank, Nintendo, and Procter & Gamble.
Etienne is a native of London, England but now resides with her family in the US, working in her ‘spare’ time to restore and regenerate what was once a conventional farm, with her flock of free-range, grass fed, heritage breed sheep.
James Barsimantov is co-founder & COO at SupplyShift — the network for responsible supply chains.