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Everything about marketing has changed; the audience, the channel, the message and even the marketing role itself. The dynamic mediascape has shifted a marketer's one-time reliance on the five Ps - product, price, place, promotion and people as the means to reach customers to the five Ds - digital, disruption, devices, distribution, data (more on that in next month’s blog). The result of this shift in media has also changed the CMO’s role within the business structure. As the future of business progresses, the traditional marketing skill set has become increasingly dated. New challenges around customer engagement and consumer loyalty now see a greater emphasis on technology and thus, the need for the CMO role to become more closely aligned with that of the CIO.

Earlier this year, Gartner projected that, “By 2017 the CMO will Spend More on IT Than the CIO”. But this change is happening now. Forrester recently issued a report, stating that, “the two roles that matter most for 2015 are the CIO and the CMO, their relationship and joint strategy to boost the business will determine the future of any corporation.” Considering this, what skills must the modern marketer possess in order to succeed in the face of the ever-evolving consumer, marketplace and technology? To take full advantage of the limitless opportunities that abound in today’s dynamic mediascape, the modern marketer must first be grounded in the tried and true marketing fundamentals, then seek to become the visionary, technologist, operative and storyteller for their business.

The Visionary

The visionary marketer surveys the landscape, understands the audience and sorts out what creative concepts resonate with them. The modern marketplace is fragmented. Audiences are more empowered. They are social, mobile and can purchase on a global scale, with the world as their shopping centre. From a creative perspective, the fundamentals are changing. Today, it is about omni content marketing and audience engagement. The key to creativity is successfully initiating a conversation with the consumer while being able to respond when the customer initiates one with you. To achieve this, the modern marketing function must sit across advertising, branding, corporate communications, public relations and sales – business units that were once in silo, must now be unified. The visionary marketer must generate compelling content that fits the local market landscape and appeals to a social, mobile and global audience.

The Technologist

The technologist marketer must understand and adopt the latest platforms and mobile devices with an eye on the future to drive organizational innovation. Innovation is about creating unique synergies that have yet to be employed. Paired across the right platform and device, they can capture customer data and foster engagement once unheard of. Big Data platforms can be used to engage the consumer, to measure and modify the success of campaigns in real time. Mobile devices paired to networking ecosystems can enable marketers to engage in a more meaningful way. Unlike legacy IT, ubiquitous technology is both flexible and scalable. As employees and customers are equipped with their own devices, it provides a cost effective opportunity to engage and measure audience interaction any time, any place and across any platform. This is why marketing is increasingly spending more of what once was the traditional IT budget. To succeed, the technologist marketer must break down the walls that once divided marketing and technology to unite them.

The Operative

The operative marketer realizes that in order to get the job done, they must have a strategy, know how to execute it and show leadership. Having a unique vision is one thing; a clear path to achieve this vision is entirely different. A solid plan, budget and support from within the organization will get the CMO there. To successfully execute, the modern marketer’s role must shift in status from support function to a full seat at the table with influence on the executive, financial and operations suite. The modern CMO requires autonomy to set the vision and then the authority to implement that strategy. When it comes to leadership, today’s CMO must inspire change, foster consensus and deliver results. The operative marketer knows how to navigate across the organization and when to exhibit leadership to drive disruption, positive change and ultimately achieve successful results.

The Storyteller

The storytelling marketer understands that audiences are constantly bombarded with and highly distracted by competing messages across transmedia channels. The best way to reach them is by wrapping compelling content, engaging platforms and disruptive strategies around a meaningful brand influx of narratives that will attract, engage, convert and retain them. Not every corporation is blessed with natural storytellers. The CMO must champion the internal brand ambassador role to determine who best should be the external spokesperson, mascot, employee or even a customer who will serve as the face of the organization. The storyteller marketer recognizes the importance of having a C-level spokesperson as the vehicle to deliver the company's brand narratives by providing the audience with a face to identify with.

By combining all four of the above traits, the modern marketer becomes a content curating, media savvy, optimized influencer. As the chief customer experience marketing officer (CXMO), they can be the one, who enables, equips and empowers their organization to innovate to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s evolving mediascape and consumer, today.


Ronald C. Vining

Brand Advisor. Customer Engagement Expert. Visionary Chief Marketing Officer.

From technology, entertainment and retail to hospitality, financial services and politics, Ron has advanced over 25 of the top 100 iconic brands such as Apple, Google, BMW, Disney, Amex, Levi Strauss and The White House.

He delivers an influx of innovative B2B2C brand experiences to millions of users by fostering brand and customer engagement strategies between enterprise and their customers through omni-channel platforms including mobile, social, buzz, online and direct marketing.  As a creative, tech-savvy & visionary C-level marketing professional, Ron is a renowned masterclass speaker on transmedia content marketing to audiences across the globe.

Ron is the founder of BrandInflux, a Learnami Interactive Technologies company, Singapore, a consultancy specializing in brand experience marketing and digital media engagement strategies for B2B and B2C. He is also an Adjunct Professor & Fellow, Digital Media Lab at The University of Massachusetts - College of Management, Boston.

Connect with Ron on LinkedIn via, Twitter via @RonaldVining and via LinkedIn Groups:,, and