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The chief marketing officer role is one of the most dynamic, challenging, exhilarating, complex, nuanced and powerful in the C-suite. CMOs are driving innovation in myriad ways and in areas as diverse yet tightly woven as culture, technology, talent, creativity, product development, organizational structure, purpose and process. Forbes identifies these CMOs in their annual World’s Most Influential CMOs list, but there is another community of CMOs who may not all be household names—yet.

To address those up and coming CMOs, Forbes launched CMO Next, an unprecedented and definitive list of 50 CMOs who are redefining the CMO role and who embody all that the role is becoming, can be and will be in the future. Not a ranking, the goal is to annually spotlight CMOs who serve as models of a new, emerging and disruptive chief marketer.

The new era of CMO

With the role of the chief marketing officer constantly going in several directions at once, the job has gotten more difficult. It has evolved from how to sell a product or position to identifying the role of a brand in customer's lives. This has resulted in a 360, all-encompassing nature of the role. 

It has also been the C-suite role wth the least accountability -- but that is changing. With a world of data available to marketing, there is a shift to a more tangible method in how marketing measures success. As a result, marketing leaders need a broader set of skills than a traditionally-trained marketer.

“There has been this dramatic shift around data orientation,” agreed Kristi Maynor, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Practice lead at Egon Zehnder. But creativity is still critical among CMOs. The difference, she said, is that while it once was solely about creative expression, today’s CMOs need to exhibit creative thinking and creative problem-solving.

This new CMO is all-encompassing, requiring marketing leaders to "more of an orchestrator, ring-leader, than a pure vertical leader."

 

Read the full story: CMO Next 2018: 50 Marketing Chiefs Who Are Redefining The Role And Shaping The Future. By Jenny Rooney, Forbes.

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