Get Ready For The Chief Everything Officer


The chief marketing officer manages public relations, marketing, advertising, and social media. It’s no secret that analytics and big data have pushed the CMO into the realm of tech, encroaching on the IT department.

Silos in organizations have IT squarely functioning on its own, reporting to the chief technology officer. When do marketing and technology collaborate? Probably in the conference room and perhaps at a few meetings.

A recent issue of Advertising Age on the future of marketing has raised this very issue – marketing and technology are converging at a fast pace but the squabbling is still alive and well in many firms and large organizations.

Other reports suggest the role of the chief marketing officer is fraught with little tenure – the average length of time in this position is about 18 months. Why is that?

I reckon a solid guess that social media and the outside-in communication style of consumers has pushed marketers into a frenzy to dissect and measure. As the IT department stood alongside watching the festivities, marketing took on big data and added it to its mix. Did it make it any easier for marketers to have all these stats flying around every day? No…social media ROI remains elusive.

The other thought is that CMOs are fighting for influence.  A recent study by Appinions, an opinion-based influence marketing platform, studied the level of influence by marketers in a highly popular paper with results published by Forbes. I imagine the chief marketer wants more influence over all of it, right? After all, the CIO or CTO has been relegated to a silo for so many years…but I feel a sea change brewing!

So, what’s going to happen in the corner office?

Is there anyone highly qualified to catch the curve balls in this new normal? Does anyone have the competency to manage all these departments converging in the C-suite? Methinks anyone in the CMO position today is working their arse off to stay smart and be ahead of the game.

Instead of all these chief whatever officers, I’m imagining the Chief Everything Officer…it sounds so much more, well, inclusive, doesn’t it?

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You make a great argument, Jayme, but I have to disagree. Or, at the very least, argue that the "Chief Everything Officer" would be a bad move.


Essentially what you're saying is that these departments can't work together -- they're silo'd. Solution: Give them all one leader. That sounds like a short-term solution to a long-term problem. I think a better solution is to teach leaders -- and their teams -- to work together, to collaborate.


Per the comments below: I think it's true -- and necessary -- that the leader is the CEO ('everything') in a small business. When you've got limited resources you put your time into what needs done, whether it fits your title or not. But as a business grows you shouldn't do everything, nor can you. The model of CEO in the everything sense is only scalable to a point.


Oh, a little snappy on this lovely Tuesday morning, are we?


What an awesome piece Jayme. This post is making its way to our CMO post-haste! Like @Adam | Customer Experience suggested I suppose the other side of the coin is the small business where you are CEO (emphasis on the Everything) or have we gotten the acronym wrong all this time?

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Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @VanessaJames Hi, Vanessa...thanks for sharing your thoughts here, and I couldn't agree with you more! My post was tongue in cheek...because departments MUST work together in order to survive. 


I work with many law firms, and the marketers and IT folks don't blend too well. That days is coming when they're going to need to ASAP or fail.


Not sure you saw the comment I made below today...saw a piece last night about the demise of the COO in Chicago corporations...I think I agree with that, as the president often handles COO duties. What do you think?