Our perspective: Keri Calagna

Keri Calagna, a principal at Deloitte, specializing in brand and reputation resilience, provides her perspective on how CMOs and CROs are working together to strengthen the value of their brands.​

How are organizations’ CMOs and Chief Risk Officers (CROs) working together?

In leading organizations, we’re seeing chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief risk officers (CROs) working together on brand and strategy—to strengthen and protect the brand, to gain advocates both internal and external to the organization, and to look out for the brand to help the organization deliver on its brand promise.

What are some of the leading practices on which CMOs and CROs should work together?

I think two are particularly important. The first leading practice is to talk and to really get to know each other and to understand each other’s responsibilities and perspectives. That enables CMOs and CROs to work together to position the brand so it is in line with the company’s strategy and make sure the marketing messages released to customers and the employee base are clear.

The second leading practice is to provide people a way to phone home, and encourage them to report in when things are going awry, or to share what they’re seeing in the marketplace. By promoting this communication channel, employees, and stakeholders become brand stewards and serve as a strong line of defense. They also serve as an early warning signal to help reduce or even prevent brand shocks. This capability both strengthens and protects the brand and company reputation.

How should CMOs embrace risk in the future?

People often think of risk as a dirty word and associate it negatively. But it's actually a strategic enabler. Leading CMOs recognize this and they are leaning into risk to build brands that are more resilient.

CMOs who lean into risk recognize the importance of strong brand advocacy and having a consistent internal voice and messaging framework that employees can look to when interacting with customers and other stakeholders.

The CMO role is evolving and involves more business partnering than ever before. Today’s CMOs need to be strategic thinkers, they need to understand risk, and they need to demonstrate strong leadership and influence skills both inside and outside the organization. One way to do this is through close collaboration and teaming with the CRO to protect, preserve, and enhance the brand and reputation of the company.​

Published on June 08, 2016.

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