When a CEO hires a chief marketer, he or she is not looking for someone to simply manage the marketing department. The CEO needs a "seat-at-the-table" business partner who can be a thought leader for the corporation, providing a broad-based commercial perspective on the business, as opposed to a more narrowly focused brand-building approach.
Look at Research in Motion's hire of Roger Baxter, now VP-brand marketing communications. As the former chief strategy officer at Publicis, Mr. Baxter's ability to think big will be put to use as RIM looks to revamp its aging BlackBerry products.
It is also still the CMOs job to manage brand equity and be the keeper of the corporate reputation. More than ever before, CMOs are expected to be the brand ambassador as well as brand custodian. This becomes more and more challenging as CMOs give up some control of brand messaging in the new world of consumer-centric digital and social media. Growth in the top and bottom line must be achieved through marketing tactics that have been redefined with the explosion of grassroots digital and social-media options. Some companies, like Procter & Gamble, are recognizing this with the creation of specialized roles: The packaged-goods giant recently named Ilonka Laviz, former associate marketing director on its Always brand, to the role of marketing director-digital brand-building strategy, global e-commerce.
We also continue to see a trend toward managing brands on a global basis. In recent months, Volvo and Adidas promoted executives into new roles that will have global responsibilities, while Samsung cited the global marketing expertise of Todd Pendleton, a Nike alum, in discussing his hire. PepsiCo also revamped its marketing ranks, adding Brad Jakeman, formerly of Activision Blizzard, to a newly created global role.