What does a CMO look like in 2022?

Jan 6, 2022



As a CMO, your purpose is to support sales, drive growth, gain customer insight, increase customer retention, and make sure everything is on-brand (also known as being the brand police). 

In a world that has changed rapidly over recent years, your role has transformed along with it. 

88% of organisations agree that the role of the CMO has changed in the last couple of years, and will continue to change over the next two years.


A traditional CMO


A traditional CMO was responsible for strategies and execution, before the Google days this was historically centered around the 4 Ps in the marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion. The marketing mix was a defined set of tools that organisations used to help meet their strategic objectives within their target market.   

CMO’s typically operated in a silo; they struggled to establish collaboration and influence across the organisation and within the C-suite. This impacted their ability to add real value to organisations – gaining a reputation as the ‘colouring-in department’.  

In 2015 Andy Duncan, CEO at Camelot Group said that marketing has lost its business credibility, of the Fortune 1,000 US companies, only 34 marketing directors sat on the executive board.

Over the years, the perception of marketing has shifted and also in how they do their jobs. 

The evolution of technology empowers consumers with more information and the emergence of social media has changed the definition of marketing but what does that mean for the future CMO? 


CMO’s face growing pressure in a digital world 


According to Forrester, 70% of marketers will be adopting an always-on digital engagement strategy in 2022. 

The biggest shift in the marketing world isn’t the decline in television adverts but the changes in customer buying habits, the acceleration of digital, and with so much choice out there, there is a constant need to stay ahead of the competition. 

The new norm is mostly virtual, purchasers are ‘going everywhere’ for more information about providers before purchasing, the buying interactions during the pandemic jumped from 17 (in 2019) to 27 and now 63% of purchases have more than four people involved – vs. just 47% in 2017. 

With customer choices continuing to increase, there will be growing pressure on CMO’s to address competitiveness in an ever-changing market, in addition to completing their other tasks. 

Deloitte has listed the 5 roles of a CMO

  • Customer champion
  • Capability builder 
  • Innovation catalyst 
  • Chief storyteller 
  • Growth driver 

CMO 2022

Another few things that can be added to Deloitte’s comprehensive list:

  1. Partners in crime

Alliances between companies are a fact of life in business today. They are evolving progressively with possibilities. Finding a partner with different skills to come together to build value for customers, should be included in a CMO’s strategy. Relationships should begin, grow and develop for success.

2. CIO in training

Almost half (45%) of CMOs surveyed by Deloitte highlighted digital transformation as one of their leading priorities for the next 12 months.

It’s time to start thinking like a CIO. CMOs spend more than the CIOs on technology, and there is a massive gap in how strategy and technology align. An investment in technology needs to come with a strategic roadmap. CIOs should be heavily involved in the consideration and process of purchasing Martech to ensure successful implementation and adoption across various teams.


It’s time to learn how to juggle 


A CMO will have to keep the business strategy at the forefront of their mind whilst learning new skillsets to reinvent their new role. How can they do this? 

The B2B buying journey is becoming very complex, today’s customers expect seamless and personalised user experiences when they interact with a brand. CMO’s need to align their strategy with customer outcomes. Be customer-orientated, focus on selling customers products they are actually looking for, and give them an excellent buying experience, from the first touchpoint to the last.

The one thing that has remained consistent, CMO’s still have to justify marketing investments. Does the marketing technology investment deliver tangible business results? 

It will make a CMOs life easier if they can get buy-in from the board, so speak the same language. Align enhanced customer experience with an increase in sales which will help reach the overall business objectives. Build relationships with those key stakeholders, don’t just speak to them when you’re asking for money.

Great things happen when we work together and it’s the key to success. It starts with knowing what you want to accomplish when purchasing technology and utilising resources to achieve the goal. Imagine a world where the marketing team is integrated with the broader company’s tech stack. To make this happen, we need participation from IT and Marketing to bridge the skills and technology gap.

Do you want to learn how to best lead digital change within your teams? Take a look at our Digital Leaders guide.


Are you ready to take charge of your new role? 
CMO’s have a lot on their plate at the moment, but we’re confident that they’ll be able to restart, take control, and move forward.  Through long-lasting partnerships, we support CMOs to shape change through technology, strategy, and execution of programmes designed to enhance the customer experience at every part of the buying journey. Have a conversation with us today to see how we can help you. 

Further reading

Google’s new SGE & what it means for your SEO & PPC strategy

The future of marketing research