The World’s Most Influential CMOs Are More Than ROI
The world’s most influential CMOs bring in more than ROI and they influence more than their companies and their verticals. Much the same as Target Marketing’s list of the most influential marketers, Forbes came up with a report that valued customer-centric and value-driven CMOs at the top.
On June 21, Forbes announced its report about “The World’s Most Influential CMOs.” Keith Weed of Unilever, who took the baton in 2018 about marketing standards and metrics that saw YouTube clean up its act and stop allowing child-endangering videos on the network, is No. 1. Despite his brand being instantly recognizable, Weed’s influence transcends his brand much the same as Target Marketing’s No. 1 influencer in 2017, Marc S. Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble.
As for the Forbes list, the magazine writes that “the most influential CMOs of today must lead digital transformation with a customer-first mindset.”
And “customer-first” has a new meaning in 2018. CMOs need to be social media-savvy, command knowledge of the brand culture that customers want to see and drive change at lightning speed. Not surprisingly, a social media CMO tops the list, with Leslie Berland of Twitter at No. 3.
This year’s Top 50 CMOs are taking on significant responsibility for business growth, recognizing that customer experience is the new brand. More than half of the Top 50 are women, including four out of the top ten spots, up from one third from last year’s list. Linda Boff, CMO and Chief Learning Officer at GE, climbs two spots to No. 2, becoming the highest-ranked woman on the list. There are 23 newcomers to the list this year, including Bozoma Saint John, former Chief Brand Officer at Uber and now CMO at Endeavor (No. 16), Deborah Wahl, Global CMO at Cadillac (No. 17), Chris Tung, CMO at Alibaba Group (No. 21) and Aimee Lapic, CMO at Pandora (No. 35).
When Target Marketing created its list of most influential marketers, the brand determined the list this way:
“At Target Marketing, we wanted to emphasize a certain type of influencer from 2017: Do they have a wider influence across marketing than just on their own brand? Do they influence consumers, as well as other brands? Is their brand growing? Are they having mostly positive impacts? Do they have positive reputations? Are they setting the course for others in the future of marketing?”
In determining its list, here’s what Forbes explored:
“Today’s CMOs are some of the most multidimensional, strategically savvy, creatively innovative and, yes, challenged executives in the C-suite,” said Jennifer Rooney, CMO Network Editor, Forbes Media. “They uniquely own the voice of the customer, and it is upon that platform that they are architecting customer experience, digital transformation and industry innovation—even as they navigate the increasing complexities and expectations of their role. We took a look at the leaders in this regard, those most influential CMOs who are driving change at various levels within their organizations, lending their voices to broader industry conversations, and articulating core brand and business purpose and sharing perspective on cultural issues as they seek to drive business growth.”
What do you think, marketers?
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Related story: The 17 Most Influential Marketers of 2017