Let’s be honest, all those league tables that rank chief marketing officers are a little suspect. How do you decide whether the senior marketer at Asda is better than the woman in charge at KFC?
In reality, there is a simpler and more practical measure for a CMO – the Saatchi method. During the 70s heyday of Saatchi and Saatchi, Charles Saatchi would review the creative output of his teams with one of two words. Either the draft creative was shit. Or it was brilliant. There was no other option.
And the same polar scale can usually be applied to CMOs. Ask around town about a famous marketing name who is running a big brand and generating plenty of headlines and it does not take long to run into someone who knows of the senior marketer and can provide the appropriate assessment.
There are very few average CMOs. Either they are brilliant, or they are shit at marketing and have navigated their way to the big job with a combination of political finesse and opportunism.
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