When Deloitte’s chief marketing officer in the US, Suzanne Kounkel, imagines the company’s future, she sees a brand that stays true to its core principles despite the technological and cultural changes shaping the world. She describes that core as being rooted in inclusion, which drives the multinational company’s creative process, and a multidisciplinary approach toward serving its clients. Although Kounkel doesn’t believe that there will be a dramatic change to the Deloitte brand itself, she does think that the marketer’s role will continue to evolve, impacting the company’s activities as different technologies impact the world.
The CMO’s Evolving Role
“I certainly believe that the role of the CMO has changed dramatically over the past couple of years,” Kounkel explained, speaking with AList. “There has always been technology to enable marketing, but one of the really dramatic changes is that it now involves more of the enterprise technology footprint.”
To adjust for these changes, CMOs need to increase communications with other members of senior leadership, including the CIO and CFO. Kounkel describes the new CMO role as “being the instigator, responsible for growth in a way that historically hasn’t been the case.”
More specifically, marketing is becoming less about creating leads and more about proving the ROI of campaigns. Although creativity remains at the core of the role, technology is making a major impact. Additionally, while the technology in and of itself is important, she said that leaders must think about what marketing processes they enable, as CMOs are becoming increasingly responsible for the brand experience for both customers and employees.
According to Kounkel, the notion of employees has also changed, because there are the employees that are housed within the company’s walls and there are those who are part of the broader ecosystem. She said, “As the CMO, I care a lot about that in my role, but we also do that work as a firm for our clients, and it is very much top of mind for them. In today’s world, the notion of what an employee is is changing dramatically, and the pool of talent has become more critical.”
Kounkel said that CMO infrequently own all of those components, but they need to be involved with their implementation and orchestration to support the brand. She also stated that Deloitte’s goal is to “push at the forefront” by using industry insights to help its clients harness the power of new—and sometimes scary—technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to create value in their markets.
“The world is changing, so we’re all in the business of change and keeping up with it by becoming different and better leaders.”