Why the chief marketing officer is going extinct

As the tenure of the average chief marketing officer continues to slip — now down to 43 months, per recent research — organizations are increasingly choosing to eliminate the title altogether, AdAge reports.

Johnson & Johnson, Uber and Lyft are among those who have dropped their marketing chiefs in recent years; though 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have kept the position intact, that represents a significant drop from the 74 percent that had chief marketing officers on staff just 10 years ago. In their place are new roles with forward-thinking titles such as chief growth officer, chief commercial officer and chief brand officer.

"CMOs were all about outbound marketing and 'we tell the customer who we are, what we stand for.' Now it's all about having a conversation with the customer being two-way," Evan Sharp, a consultant at recruiting firm Russell Reynolds Associates, told AdAge. "That's often why these titles are changing, because the way companies are marketing has become a balance of left-brain, right-brain. It's no longer all about creative."

Indeed, according to Bob Liodice, CEO of the Association of National Advertisers, a major issue organizations must address in their outreach efforts is that of combining the creative and more data-driven aspects of marketing so they are "melded together to create the best growth opportunities." Marketing will not be going away any time soon, Mr. Liodice assured AdAge, but traditional, more static ideas of marketing certainly may be.

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