Experts in the marketing industry have advised chief marketing officers and aspiring marketing officers to redefine their roles in the business of marketing and integrated marketing communications.
This advice was given by two respected marketing professionals – Managing Director, P&G Nigeria, Mokutima Ajileye, and foremost business and marketing professionals, Oare Ojeikere, at the Advertisers Association of Nigeria, ADVAN, Chief Marketing Officer Forum on Friday with the theme: The Evolving Role of the CMO at Lagos Continental Hotel Victoria Island, Lagos.
While speaking, Mokutima said time has come for CMO to be adaptable and keep evolving in order to keep functioning adequately. According to her, “adaptability is about change and change itself is inevitable, hence the continuous need for CMO to make sure they follow the current trends and quickly adapt to new developments in the industry.”
She said this adaptability is necessary because CMOs must see themselves as business leaders who have the duty to focus on increasing the growth of their brand.
She urged CMO to know that volatility, disruption and various changes in the marketing industry are more now than ever before, interestingly, there is a need to move swiftly and be on top of their game in order to remain a force to reckon with in the industry. She added that such disruption may emanate from the activities of digital natives who are agile, very fast in responding, adding that CMOs should make sure they incorporate digital natives in their teams. She advised that neutrality is not an option for brands nowadays but, CMOs need to make sure that their brands stand for social cause anytime it arises in order to worm their brands into the minds of the consumers.
Also, she said CMOs need to safeguard consumers by having a clear vision of consumers’ wants and needs. They must also operate against the backdrop of increased consumers’ expectations and address them with great sensitivity.
Oare Ojeikere, who spoke on Changing Role, Capability and deliverable: Implication for Business and Marketers said, “CMOs and other brand custodians need to realise that the marketplace has significantly changed, making their relevance diminish in significance.” Oare said CMOs must realise that consumers can no longer be pushed around in the face of fierce competition occasioned by tougher and more strong players, increasing commoditized products and worsening economy. He said, “What is responsible and as well accelerating this new shift is the availability of internet, mobile phone and social media.” According to him, because of these factors the playing field has been leveled and that is dictating how to buy media.
He said that with the current changes, CMOs must be creative and analytical in their thinking. They must be focused by playing leading roles in developing business plans. They must be customer champions, making sure that they are custodians of customers’ information. Also, CMOs must be capability builders, storytellers and innovation catalysts by bringing all these into their marketing strategies.
He further said in today’s marketing world, CMOs must establish center brain neutrality; relentlessly safeguarding the consumers, marketing partnerships must revolve –inside and outside the organization. He added that they must be educators and connectors in their organizations.
Also, for Marketing Director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, Chris Wuff-Caeser, CMOs need to realize that marketing is not advertising and completely erase the belief from their mind and focus on marketing which is their core area.
Speaking earlier, ADVAN president, Osamede Uwubanmwem, thanked the guest speakers, CMOs and other marketing professionals who attended the event. He also thanked the ADVAN exco who put the event together to keep marketers abreast of the current developments in the industry. He said the choice of the topic, The Evolving Role of the CMO was necessitated by current changes in marketing business and to get CMOs and other marketing professionals ready for evolution in the marketing profession.
The event was graced by chief commercial officers, marketing directors, brand managers and other marketing professionals including, former, executive director, Marketing, Nestle Nigeria, and managing director, Entod Marketing, Mrs. Iquo Ukoh; Head, retail marketing and analytics, Access Bank, Chioma Afe, marketing manager, (Nigeria Marketing Lead) – Hayat Kimya, Roseline Abaraonye, marketing director AB InBev, Tolulope Adedeji, President ACAMB/Head Corporate Communications Polaris Bank, Rasheed Bolarinwa, chief marketing officer Sterling Bank, Dapo Martins, group head corporate communications Access Bank, Ameachi Okobi and many other senior marketing professionals.