The CMO 3.0 Playbook, Part 1

We are now in what is often called Web 3.0, the third generation of the evolution of web technologies, so it only makes sense that we should also think about what it means to be a CMO 3.0.   In the early days, a head of marketing, or CMO, could rise to the top and generally remain there, with strength in one or two primary areas of expertise, such and brand and communications, demand, or products.   By the early 2010s, a one-dimensional approach was insufficient to lead a data and digitally-driven, dynamic organization.   The successful CMO 2.0 had embraced the Web, social and digital personas and commanded a much wider range of skills across the entire marketing discipline, from brand to demand to products, and also digital and Web, marketing operations and analytics, customer insights, the growing Martech stack, strategic communications, inside sales, partner marketing and so much more.

In their eBook, The CMO Playbook: Getting Off to a Strong Start as a New Chief Marketing Officer, the authors recommend: “The first 100 days in a new position is a unique window of opportunity before you become fully entrenched in the demands of the role. Getting off to a fast start (and preparing before day one) can earn your CEO and organizations confidence and give you the momentum to achieve great long-term performance. We have seen many successful marketing leaders follow this tried-and-true 8-point plan:”

  • Prepare yourself during the countdown
  • Align expectations
  • Shape your marketing team
  • Craft your strategic agenda
  • Start transforming culture
  • Manage your boss
  • Communicate
  • Avoid common pitfalls

In a recent Cap Gemini report entitled A New Playbook for Chief Marketing Officers, the authors noted “we believe six focus areas are critical to ensuring CMOs are prepared for the future in a data-driven marketing environment:

Create a clear vision for the marketing strategy; Implement a framework-driven data-collection process; Ensure talent is equipped with a baseline of data and creative skills while allowing for specialists; Accelerate collaboration across the marketing ecosystem; Reimagine the customer journey with real-time engagement; and Integrate long-term brand.” building and short-term marketing engagements.

In my interview with Alan Hart of Marketing Today, I shared a modern day perspective on The 5 Cs of Marketing and the associated CMO Playbook,, including culture, coaching, campaigns, category, and courage.  While all five are critical to leading a high performance marketing organization, I would argue the culture, coaching and courage are most important.  

Let’s start with culture- in the post-COVID hybrid-work environment, it’s so important to not only choose the right culture, but to join one where the CMO can help shape it in a positive manner.  I have been privileged to be part of Emburse’s executive leadership team for nearly three years and over that time, I’ve influenced the evolution of our core SEEIT values: Sincerity, Empathy, Empowerment, Individuality, and Teamwork.

I’ve also been able to coach and shape my team, both in term of who we hire, how we recognize and reward achievements, and who we promote. It’s helped us create a very supportive and simultaneously high performance team.

Lastly, having the courage of one’s convictions, to stick to your priorities and plans, gain cross-functional buy-in for key initiatives, take appropriate risk, and stand your ground if you face unreasonable push back or criticism.   All this takes courage.   I’ll share more CMO Playbook insights in part 2.

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