Rebranding CMOs as growth officers doesn’t help market marketing

As another big global business hires a chief growth officer rather than a CMO, will it help to reframe marketing’s role within the wider business or is there a risk of further damaging marketing’s reputation by pitching it as something separate to growth?

Kimberly-Clark has become the latest business to install a chief growth officer (CGO) rather than a CMO as its top marketer, hiring Alison Lewis, formerly of Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola to take on the role.

The business, which owns brands including Andrex, Kleenex and Huggies, says her responsibilities include “leading the global marketing team, building marketing capabilities, and leading the corporate research and engineering team on creating consumer-inspired innovation”. She will also play a key role in the company’s initiatives to improve commercial capabilities that drive growth.

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Why the chief growth officer is a threat to CMOs

The idea of a chief growth officer or chief customer officer is an affront to all chief marketing officers. They might as well call it chief-because-we’re-not-growing officer. Or chief-because-we’ve-lost-sight-of-the-customer officer. These roles are designed to compensate for something that’s not happening. It’s an acknowledgement that marketing isn’t working and, in the irony of ironies, marketing has an internal image problem. But what is marketing if it’s not about the customer and growth? Customers and growth should be indivisible from marketing.

Often the creation of these roles happens in larger organisations where there’s a separation between…

Bron en volledig bericht: Campaign