Species Extinction: Chief Marketing Officer! Endangered: Chief Information Officer …

Pradeep Aradhya
4 min readAug 1, 2019
Image licensed to Pradeep Aradhya via Freepik

Large companies are beginning to do away with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) role altogether. Johnson & Johnson, Uber, Lyft, Hyatt, and Coca Cola are making do without CMOs!

Causes:

  • Climate change: technology driven conversion
  • Habitat destruction: accountability, attribution
  • Too high in food chain: spend rather than revenue generators

When I first saw my marketing brethren refuse to take responsibility for revenue I felt baited and switched. And later, when I saw my tech brethren refuse to take responsibility for the usage of technologies they build I felt hypocritical.

If companies are trying to make money why should support functions that do not have revenue responsibility be given seats at the C-Level? While important, the fact that a CMO is responsible for supporting more than one team across a company does not justify autonomy. Arguments for cross business marketing by the CMO are about a need for brand consistency. On the tech side, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) attempts to optimize tech spend while enforcing tech standards and security across business units. However, most business units these days can only scale with dedicated marketing and technology. This should be provided as support to the business units while letting them have the appropriate autonomy and control of their initiatives. Centralization of either marketing or technology is an antiquated notion and simply does not work! These marketing and IT units should report in to the teams they support.

Marketing: It is galling that CMOs have enormous spends but cannot accurately cite how much revenue their efforts and spends actually brought in. Current marketing budget estimations and metrics are not indicative of revenue efficiency. “Ad to sales” ratios do not truly justify spend and marketing “contributions to sales” is calculated somewhat nebulously. In fact, large company CMOs simply cannot calculate a Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). Few, if any CMOs have a viable strategy to decrease CAC and increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Even if sales could be accurately attributed to this spend, no department in a company should be spending money without…

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Pradeep Aradhya

Exploring boundaries on culture, business strategy, and technology. Film maker, Kidlit Author, Technologist, Philanthropist, Investor, CEO