ANA Annual Meeting

Deloitte Digital's Alicia Hatch on the evolution of the modern CMO

By Published on .

Early on at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando this week, 200 top marketing executives gathered together to hash out some of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the industry right now. (For more on the Master's Circle, see our Day 1 blog.) Chief among the participants was Alicia Hatch, the Deloitte Digital CMO and a booster for the modern marketer.

Ad Age caught up with Hatch for a quick video chat and a game designed to get frank, off-the-cuff answers to some of the bigger questions today (plus one or two softballs).

"CMOs can be more powerful than ever. CMOs have a seat at the board table. Marketing is more strategic than ever," she says. "Seventy-six percent of CMOs now have P&L responsibility. That's new."

Still, she says, the talent crisis is real -- marketers, it turns out, are not so great at marketing themselves. "We've lost our glamour as an industry and our draw for the best talent," says Hatch. "Marketing should be a giant sandbox for innovation."

We discuss the evolving role of the CMO — and she calls BS on the conventional narrative that the average tenure of the chief marketer is shrinking (even though the numbers tend to support that received wisdom).

"The narrative is garbage," she says. "If you step into the role of growth driver, if you're data savvy and if you understand technology, if you're able to use all the tools and all the powers at hand, you actually can completely change the entire business."

A big believer in brand purpose, Hatch cautions that it's all in the execution. "Not everyone is Nike. Not everyone can be that bold," she says in reference to their recent work with the NFL's Colin Kaepernick. Still, "we know that brand purpose is a bigger growth driver than anything else we can do."

Most Popular