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The New Chief Marketing Officer

Ashley Tollitt, Director Marketing, Asia Pacific at Verizon | May 12, 2014
The CMO role is at a tipping point

Business leaders with change agility are willing to step out of their comfort zone, experiment, and implement something different. They are comfortable with change generally, and managing change efforts. When resistance surfaces, they deal with it effectively. The value of this skill to a CMO is in managing through ambiguity; experimentation and calculated risk-taking are central to continuous innovation.

Business leaders with mental agility have the ability to examine problems from all angles to come up with a solution. Those who are mentally agile are able to analyze a situation, recognize what is new or different compared with previous experiences, and alter the approach. The value of this skill to a CMO is the ability to sift through complexity to uncover key insights.

So what does learning agility have to do with big data? The more data we get, the more simplicity and clarity of mind required from business leaders. The more FOCUS required on the most effective levers to drive change.

The success of future CMOs will be largely determined by his/her ability to deliver measurable value. The good news is CMOs can now turn to analytics to better showcase return on investments and business outcomes. You understand the benefits technology offers. Now your challenge is to get ahead of the curve by collaborating with your CIO and building your learning agility.


[1] "By 2017 the CMO will Spend More on IT Than the CIO", Gartner, 2012

[2] "By 2017 the CMO will Spend More on IT Than the CIO", Gartner, 2012

[3] The CMO-CIO Disconnect", Accenture Interactive, 2013

[4] The CMO-CIO Disconnect", Accenture Interactive, 2013

[5] "Cybersecurity", The Economist,

[6] 2013 Verizon Data Breach Incident Report,

[7] "Facebook admits year-long data breach exposed 6 million users," Reuters, June 21, 2013,

[8] "Evernote hit in hacking attack, users must reset their passwords",, March 2, 2013,

[9] "LivingSocial Hacked: Information of 50 Million Users Exposed",, April 26, 2013,

[10] "More than 6 million LinkedIn passwords stolen", CNN Money, June 7, 2012,

[11] "Data Breach Cuts Into Target's 4Q Profit",, February 26, 2014

[12] "Verizon Investigating Two More Retail Breaches", Wall Street Journal Online, February 26, 2014

[13] "Privacy Amendment (Privacy Alerts) Bill 2014", Australian Government ComLaw,

[14] "Survey Analysis: Big Data Adoption in 2013 Shows Substance Behind the Hype.", Gartner, 2013   

[15] "Information Management Goes 'Extreme': The Biggest Challenges for 21st Century CIOs", Gartner, 2011,   


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