Experts in the marketing industry have advised chief marketing officers and aspiring marketing officers to redefine their roles in the business of marketing and integrated marketing communications.
This advice was given by two marketing professionals – Managing Director, P&G Nigeria, Mokutima Ajileye and foremost business and marketing professionals, Oare Ojeikere, at the Advertisers Association of Nigeria, ADVAN, Chief Marketing Officer Forum recently with the theme: ‘’The Evolving Role of the CMO’’ held recently in Lagos.
Mokutima said time has come for CMOs to be adaptable and keep evolving in order to keep functioning adequately. According to her, “adaptability is about change and change itself is inevitable, hence the continuous need for CMOs to make sure they follow the current trends and quickly adapt to new developments in the industry.”
She said this adaptability is necessary because CMOs must see themselves as business leaders who have the duty to focus on increasing the growth of their brand.
She urged CMO to know that volatility, disruption and various changes in the marketing industry are more now than ever before, interestingly, there is a need to move swiftly and be on top of their game in order to remain a force to reckon with in the industry. She added that such disruption may emanate from the activities of digital natives who are agile, very fast in responding. She said CMOs should make sure they incorporate digital natives in their teams. She advised that neutrality is not an option for brands nowadays but, CMOs need to make sure that their brands stand for social cause anytime it arises in order to worm their brands into the minds of the consumers.
Oare Ojeikere, who spoke on Changing Role, Capability and deliverable: Implication for Business and Marketers said, “CMOs and other brand custodians need to realise that the marketplace has significantly changed, making their relevance diminish in significance.” Oare said CMOs must realise that consumers can no longer be pushed around in the face of fierce competition occasioned by tougher and more strong players, increasing commoditized products and worsening economy. He said, “What is responsible and as well accelerating this new shift is the availability of internet, mobile phone and social media.” According to him, because of these factors the playing field has been levelled and that is dictating how to buy media.
He said that with the current changes, CMOs must be creative and analytical in their thinking. They must be focused by playing leading roles in developing business plans. They must be customer champions, making sure that they are custodians of customers’ information. Also, CMOs must be capability builders, storytellers and innovation catalysts by bringing all these into their marketing strategies.
Also, for Marketing Director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, Chris Wuff-Caeser, CMOs need to realize that marketing is not advertising and completely erase the belief from their mind and focus on marketing which is their core area.