Chief Marketing Officer v Chief Digital Officer

From: Pip E, Senior Partner R27

I’m often asked:
“What are the key differences between a CMO and CDO?”
“Do we need a CMO and CDO, or can we combine the roles?”
“Should the CDO report to the CMO?”
“Where does the CDO fit into the organisation?” etc. etc.

As with most things: ‘Well, it all depends….’

Not helpful I know, but it would help if people asked the right questions. Rather than ask: “who, with what title, fits where”? Instead ask: “What do we need to deliver, to whom, Why”?

Digital is not just ‘social-media’ it is already infiltrating and changing every aspect of the business from day-to-day operations to long-term strategic planning.

Senior management needs to differentiate between whether they want somone to in effect “digitize” the the areas of marketing/sales/comms etc. or; whether they are looking for someone to oversee and implement the “digitization” of the business overall.

As someone advising C-Levels on ‘what’s hot’ and ‘what to look out for’, I use my experience in both CMO and CDO roles to explain how digital is already and will continue to be integral to almost every area of their business.

In fact, although retained as a CMO, in most cases I have acted as a CDO. Usually delivering solutions to not just marketing; but incorporating product, sales and service issues. In other words the end-to-end customer experience.

If anything, the CDO’s role is more akin to the COO or CEO than the CMO!

Ends…. 7.08.15.