We asked CMOs how their role has changed in the last few years. And while the answers we received came in many different shapes and sizes, the long and short of it came down to -- it's complicated.

If you don't believe us, do a search for "CMO struggle" and see how many results come back.

During our "Defining 2015's CMO" Tweet Jam the participants reached consensus on accountability, where technology fits in the CMO's toolbox and that strategy comes first. And while the rate of change may seem insurmountable, it can be managed with a clear vision and a strong team.


The more things change, the more they stay the same? 

According to some responses, CMO's (and of marketing in general) perform the same duties today that they have in years past, just with a new collection of tools. According to others? Everything has changed.

But one point the group agreed on is that CMOs are held accountable at unprecedented levels, due to a confluence of factors. 

The Tech Spend Question

Some days it feels like you can't sneeze without a new solution coming out to make your marketing efforts more relevant, customer-centric, well-timed, personalized, shinier, brighter, better smelling. 

But diving headlong into tech purchases without first developing a (here it comes again) clear strategy will leave a hole in your budget and a shiny unused toy in your department.

Putting Technology in Its Place

As overwhelming as choosing marketing technology may be, technology has helped marketers gain deeper insight into their customers, given them the potential to be more creative and handed them the analytics to pinpoint marketing successes and marketing roadblocks. 

The Customer Era

Businesses are no longer in control. They can't contain how their brand is discussed, where their brand is discussed or by whom. The amount of options available means brand loyalty is no longer a given.

What differentiates one brand with a similar product from another is the experiences they create for their customers. CMOs have the opportunity to lead this effort, from within by creating a culture of customer-centricity and without, by listening closely to customer needs, desires and pain points and then responding.

Growing Demands

The exponential rate of change in any given market and in broader technological developments places CMOs under greater pressure to keep up than ever before. While respondents acknowledged the challenge, they suggested the solution could be found in creating strong teams, cross-departmental partnerships and a clear vision of the bigger picture. And a decent budget doesn't hurt, either.


Speed Round

What's the most important skill for a marketer to possess? We gave our experts two minutes to answer this question and the responses they shared mixed some of the "hard" skills with some of the "soft."