In fact, marketing executives have conflicting mandates. On one hand, they are asked to set the strategy for growth, build marketing capabilities, align the organisation around customer experience, drive innovation, educate the organisation about new digital, social, and mobile channels and customer opportunities, and bring the voice of the customer into the enterprise. But CMOs typically are also pressured to leverage new marketing-related technologies and demonstrate near-term impact and return. Balancing the long-term view in a short-term world—and often doing so globally—is no easy task for an executive.
Stakeholder expectations for growth and profitability have increased while the global business environment grows more complex and fluid. In this environment, the influence and agenda of marketing executives have expanded, yet their organisational context has not fully caught up—they often have only indirect input on many of the critical customer and marketing-related decisions enterprises need to make. Navigating these tensions is what today's chief marketing officers (CMOs) face.