It hasn’t always been easy for a Chief Marketing Officer to be granted a seat at the C-Suite table, and when they do, the average lifespan in their tenure is quite short. According to a report by Korn Ferry, “the average tenure of a CMO is the lowest of all C-suite titles, at an average of 3.5 years, down from the 2016 analysis, where the average tenure was 4.1 years. The longest average CMO tenure is in the industrial sector at 4.0 years, and technology industry CMOs have the shortest tenure at 3.0 years.”
All this is about to change. In what is now considered a cliche statement, the pandemic reshaped the way consumers behave, perceive, and purchase. As a result, data-driven roles are not just a desire; they’re a must. The new role of the CMO is not simply to manage high-level marketing strategies across the board. The new role of the CMO is to be the most data-informed person in the boardroom.
Forbes even went as far as suggesting that the next wave of CMOs will be social media managers – literally. The Chief Marketing Officer of Sprout Social, Jamie Gilpin, explains:
“People are increasingly turning to social media for experiences they can no longer get in-person. This is especially true as the pandemic continues and as our options for connection remain limited. When we asked how behavior on social has changed over the last six months, we found that people are using it more to connect with friends and family (62%) and for entertainment purposes (48%). Now more than ever, we’re seeking ways to connect and social is the one channel that has truly remained “open” this entire time.”
Social media managers are often the most informed in the room when it comes to social media listening. When they monitor and track consumer interactions and engagements with customers and potential customers, they inevitably glean insights that prove to be invaluable in the decision-making process. Social listening tells us the following:
- Who our audience is
- How to connect with our audience
- When we connect with our audience, we can influence our audience
- How our audience feels about our organization, brands, products, and/or services
- How our audience feels about topics that surround the above-mentioned topics
- What trends are related to these topics
- Most importantly: We learn what our audience TRULY wants
At the company where I work, Jazwares, our social media folk are in nearly every strategy meeting at the organization. Not only are they content creators, they naturally provide sound advice on the best marketing approaches when it comes to communicating with potential customers online. Just this week, one of our social media managers noticed a 1,678% increase in social media engagement and almost as equally, in impressions and reach. The manager immediately got to work to find out where this was coming from, and using Sprout Social analytics, was able to determine that one of our many brands – 38 and counting – had initiated a hugely successful Facebook campaign that directly contributed to the lift.
He was also able to pick up on customer sentiment which informed the current status of brand health.
Given that the current age of CMOs is roughly 54 years old, the advent of digital marketing started when they were already in their late 30s and/or early 40s. It is critical that up and coming CMOs are well-versed in social media monitoring, tracking, and listening. Current CMOs must rely on their social media marketing managers to either do the job for them, or help them find the insights that they need to connect with their audience.
As this Sprout Social article states, social Listening is about extracting and gaining insights that will ultimately drive proactive decisions.