CMO vs CGO: Who Will Lead Marketing Into the 2020s?

What do we need in marketing leaders today? For years, the Chief Marketing Officer was the answer, but increasingly, they’re being replaced by Chief Growth officers. This week we look at what’s driving the trend from CMO to CGO and what it means for you. Plus, this week we talk to special guest Laura King of CorTalent and Marketers’ Community. Tune in to check it out.

Forrester is doubling down on their prediction that Chief Marketing Officers will be replaced by Chief Growth Officers. Despite strong marketing industry performance over the past three years, the research company points to a lot of signs out there that a greater change might be underway:

  • First, Forrester reports that nearly 50% of marketing leaders report driving growth as their number one challenge, making it the number one concern in 2019
  • Second, companies like Pepsi, Kellogg’s and Colgate-Palmolive all made news when they hired CGOs in the not-too-distant past
  • Third, many of the new and fastest moving Fortune 500 companies either have CGOs, don’t have CMOs, or both

At the heart of the trend is the increasing scope of the marketing function within organizations. In the past, marketing was its own separate area of the business.

In today’s customer-driven world, marketing has to create a brand, drive customer acquisition, inform product roadmaps, shape customer experiences, and create a technology stack that somehow connects everything to revenue.

In short, if marketing is increasingly responsible for all the things that make a modern company grow, why call it marketing anymore? Why not call it growth instead?

We wanted to know more about the CMO vs. CGO debate from someone who talks to a lot of marketing leaders, so we reached out to Laura King, Director of Talent at CorTalent and Co-Founder at Marketers’ Community to get her thoughts on the which role is right for the job.

Watch the video to see Laura King answer these questions:

  • First off, what have you seen in the recruiting space when it comes to CMO vs. CGO positions? Are companies starting to look for more Chief Growth Officers?
  • What’s wrong with the Chief Marketing Officer role? Is it just not big enough for what marketing has to accomplish these days or are there other factors to consider as well?
  • What skills are most important right now if a marketer wants to become a leader in their organization?

What do you think: CMO or CGO? What are the pros and cons of each? And what skills do you think are required to lead marketing today that weren’t required five or ten years ago?

Share your thoughts in the comments might just win yourself some new Brandish Insights gear.

Author: Josh Braaten

CEO - Brandish Insights

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