The New CMOS Aren’t Chiefs or Marketers

Dec 12

Updated: December 26, 2013

CMOThe average CMO, meaning Chief Marketing Officer in 2009 didn’t last even two years. You might blame it on the recession, or the fact that CMO is a relatively new term. But, as the world turns more digital, some argue the initials should stand for something else.  The new CMO, according to social media modernist Brian Solis is a Community Management Officer.  Not responsible for getting messages out, this new position is one of engagement and relationship-building.   As Solis states in his new e-book The Art and Science of Blogger Relations: “they are on the front lines of listening and engaging in conversations across the web.”  If you don’t have a Kindle, you may not be able to read it. Solis is totally dedicated to engaging via new media replete with typos throughout the copy and all.

Unlike ivory tower Chief Marketing Officers with big corner offices in corporate complexes, the Community Management Officer is down in the trenches, trolling the web and providing valuable content in key areas.  It’s a person who tends to be ahead of the times, much like Solis who blog published his Social Media Manifesto in June 2007.

Warning: It’s not a short read — at least 11 pdf pages, in direct contrast to the average blog post.

Recommendation: Read it. It foretells the future of communication.

Since the social media world is all about making the world smaller, I was not surprised to see that Solis had co-authored a book on PR with Deidre Breckenridge, a Jersey girl who heads the PR for PFS Marketwyse, an ad agency that pitched me almost a decade ago.  We didn’t hire them, but they had amazing work.  They showed us an ad campaign for positioning a newspaper that I remember to this day.  We didn’t buy it , but  it was a campaign the newspaper industry as a whole through the NAA (Newspaper Association of America) should have adopted. Perhaps if they had, they’d be in better shape today.

The Take-Away: Titles don’t matter, but positions do. Someone should have responsibility for marketing in an organization as the role is far too important to ignore or relegate as a secondary role