Thomas Barta: What’s the point of the CMO?

Does the role help marketing departments lead successful businesses or is it an overused title that promises more than most of its holders will be able to deliver?

I guess it’s a new-year thing, but recently I thought about a question I’ve been toying with for a long time. Is the chief marketing officer role a good idea? Or should we accept the reality in many firms, get rid of the title and pick a term that reflects what most marketing executives are actually doing: communications?

Strong support exists for either route. I’m writing this column to invite your comments – because I’m genuinely unsure.

To structure the debate, I’ve dug out the facts that support getting rid of the CMO aspiration and those that lead to the opposite conclusion – keeping the title and pushing for more CMO influence. I’ve spent the last couple of years fighting for the latter, but I’m open to a challenge.

Let’s start with the facts for why we should ditch the CMO.

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