HP’s CMO: We must be business people first and marketers second

Antonio Lucio believes marketing must be about building the business, not just the brand, if it wants a seat at the top table.

cannes lions
HP’s Antonio Lucio, Diageo’s Syl Saller and Alison Lewis from Johnson & Johnson speak at Cannes Lions

The job of a senior marketer is more complex than it has ever been but the key to becoming a more influential marketer has never been simpler – drive growth in your business, according to HP CMO Antonio Lucio.

The convergence between corporate communications and marketing, and the fragmentation of media and data means the “role is getting is getting wider, more complex and more exciting than ever before”. However, he thinks the objectives have never more focussed and marketers must be “a business person first and marketer second”.

“If you want a seat at the top table you need to demonstrate that your efforts are not just about building your brand but about building your business, otherwise you don’t matter,” he explains.

Responding to a question about the changing role of the CMO at an event hosted by The Economist at the Cannes Lions Festival yesterday (21 June), Lucio said his job was made up of four separate roles: chief brand officer, driving capability as chief personal officer of the marketing function, working with other departments “to get shit done” as chief alignment officer and chief storyteller “ensuring everything is aligned to the brand”.

Lucio was speaking alongside Diageo CMO Syl Saller and the CMO of Johnson & Johnson Alison Lewis. Saller believes that the CMO has to resist the pressure that can lead to short-term thinking with a “strong vision of the future”.

If you want a seat at the top table you need to demonstrate that your efforts are not just about building your brand but about building your business.

Antonio Lucio, HP

“The CMO has to operate in every time horizon and deliver the short, medium and long. We have to anchor ourselves more strongly in the long because the weight of the organisation is going to take you back to short term in many cases,” said Saller.

“Ambidexterity” is also key to success in the role, Lewis said. “The role of the CMO has a duality today that it didn’t have in the past. We have to be good at doing scale but also be good at doing personalisation as well. For us, we have to be bricks-and-mortar marketers as that is still a large part of our business but we need to learn to be etailers too.

She added: “All of these things are dualities. I think what it says about what a CMO needs to be is grounded about driving the business and constantly learning.”

Hide Comments1 Show Comment
Comments
  • MKTG101 23 Jun 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Can’t believe these things are considered ‘new’.

    What were we doing as marketeers if we weren’t building the business? No wonder we’re often seen as the ‘colouring in’ department.

  • Post a comment

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here