Evolution of CMO [Infographic]

Posted by on September 13, 2017

The role of marketing has expanded dramatically over the years—and thus, so has the role of the CMO. Here’s what the marketing leader’s job has looked like over the decades, and a hint of where it is headed next.

Evolution of CMO

Evolution of CMO

1950s

Marketing’s primary focus is to sell products directly to the customer, through TV spots and print advertising campaigns. The CMO can be found primarily in auto and consumer goods industries.

1960s

Creativity becomes central to the ad campaign; though advertising still focuses almost entirely on TV and print, exaggerated claims are played down in favor of a less aggressive, more persuasive approach.

1970s

Advertising becomes increasingly complex, with market segmentation becoming a bigger and bigger deal, and product managers being brought in to guide specific marketing messages for a given product.

1980s

Marketing kicks into high octane, with the advent of cable TV, VCRs, and infomercials injecting a new sense of aggression into the ad world. Meanwhile, analytics become vital for tracking the performance of each sales channel. Marketing expands beyond consumer goods into finance and other industries, too. Marketers, meanwhile, assume wider responsibilities for enterprise-wide communication and P&L.

1990s

B2B marketers appear, and the role of the marketing leader becomes blurrier as companies aim for balance between strategic and tactical function. Many marketing departments set up matrix-style approaches, combine corporate duties with more regional ones. This is when the CMO title is developed, and also when customer relationships truly become paramount.

2000s

The digital era begins in earnest, and changes the way brands and consumers relate. Through social media, consumers begin relying on one another for information about different products—and marketing professionals must manage omnichannel communications. The onus now is to develop and sustain meaningful, trust-based relationships with customers.

2010s

The future of marketing includes artificial intelligence, and increased focus on trust-based relationships, and—more than anything else—a data-driven approach, like the one embodied by EverythingOnline’s search marketing and analytics professionals.

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Image credits:

Vintage Ad (1960)” by Rossano aka Bud Care, used under CC BY 2.0

1970 Coca-Cola Coke Advertisement Car Craft Magazine October 1970” by SenseiAlan, used under CC BY 2.0