AD TECH PH, Homerun Nievera | Marketing guru Seth Godin reveals that “the reason that the tenure of a CMO at a big company averages about 18 months is that it takes a year and a half for the boss to realise that pain-free, risk-free, easy miracles aren’t arriving on schedule.”

seth godin ad geniusCareerIn his post published in Mumbrella Asia, Godin noted that the CMO’s job is today more tactical than strategic as it should really be. This, he said, is because today’s bosses — the mighty CEOs — don’t let go of a lot of strategic decisions that marketing top honchos should be doing in the first place.

Even project managers and other non-marketing heads, have taken up a a lot more roles that CMOs are supposed to be responsible for such as the target market and messaging.

Many years ago, as a young Account Executive for a top global ad agency, I had the pleasure of launching a beverage product. When we (or the marketing team) were supposed to create the brand’s tagline, I later learned that the client’s Business Unit Head coined the tagline instead.

Godin suggests that CMOs should instead be called the “Head of Marketing Operations.”

He said further that, “The rest of the time, the head of marketing is mostly following the lead of the boss.”

I agree to Godin’s observation and his insight that CMOs need the “freedom and responsibility to change the way things work, not simply how they’re talked about.” It’s beyond crafting the marketing and communications plan.

In global FMCG’s such as Unilever and P&G, brand managers have far far more influence than in companies like Facebook where apparently the degrees of freedom are much narrower.

Freedom is key in allowing marketing managers to shine and do what they do best. Thus, with all the freedom curtailed, Godin suggests that CMOs will realize their limitations and eventually leave within 18 months.

What do you think?

Homerun Nievera is a serial technopreneur and digital evangelist.