Coke Removes CMO Role: What it Means for the Digital Marketing Landscape (Part 2)

With the developments over at the Coca-Cola headquarters, the marketing world is abuzz with discussions on how a move to do away with a CMO by a global giant will impact on the industry. As argued in the previous blog, this news is supposed to reflect the realities that business organizations big and small must grapple with, in the modern era of marketing.

Here are some of these realities:

The duties of a CMO remain. The position might have been removed, but in every organization, the duties of a CMO remain. Someone has to take the lead in articulating the marketing vision, developing programs for building the company profile, guiding research initiatives for understanding the target market, and overseeing the development and execution of strategies to adopt for all marketing channels. In Coca-Cola, they dissolved the CMO position and the duties were reassigned to a Chief Growth Officer, who will then be reporting directly to new CEO James Quincey. As this CGO determines Coke’s growth framework and strategies, he will surely still have to perform marketing activities, because all the new products and markets discovered will require conveying the brand message effectively.

Metrics are important. The issue of ensuring ROI from digital spend emerged as a key aspect of the shakeup. For today’s marketers, this shows the importance of adopting state-of-the-art solutions to accurately measure the performance of digital marketing campaigns. Performance metrics are needed to show the strong and weak points of the marketing strategy, and to guide the budgeting plan. A smart organization is scientific and evidence-based in spending every marketing dollar: investments are allocated only towards worthy activities and products. For Coke, this might mean focusing efforts away from the soda line and towards its “healthier” beverages, if that is what customer behaviour patterns reveal.

Organizations must rethink their budget framework. For new channels like digital, it is but normal for any organization to not generate ROI immediately. At first, there would be a need to make considerable investments in learning the ropes of a marketing domain, establishing contacts, acquiring talent, training people, and procuring technologies. With this mindset, expectations will be realistic, and accomplishments and failures can be recognized at once for what they are.

Honed by decades of combined experience in marketing, our team of experts at GreyBox Creative understand the challenges of marketing in this era. Call us today to know how we can help your organization conquer the digital marketing domain.