Is the marketing function more useful than it was five years ago?

Is it at risk of losing its fundamental usefulness? 67% of the members of the Union des Marques CMO Think Tank consider it to be “much more useful” than five years ago, when 33% think it is “more useful”. Why and how to propose the reinvention of the marketing function for the next five years? answers in this excerpt from the chapter “For a useful marketing” of the white paper “How to build a sustainable useful marketing?” released in the first half of 2022.


Consumers are more demanding and better equipped to interact directly with brands than they were five years ago. Lower barriers to market entry have also allowed for broader competition, with smaller and more fragile players. There is also increased complexity and fragmentation of media and retail ecosystems and a diversification of technology options. All of these factors require the marketing function to reinvent itself.



The marketing function has no choice but to accept broader responsibilities, which have become interdependent: corporate social responsibility (CSR), purpose demand, supply and experience, communication interactions up to the transaction.

New tools, players and consumer expectations also need to be taken into account. In the field of the food industry and its distribution, we can mention the arrival of yuka in the market or the creation of Nutri-Score, which did not exist five years ago and are changing the relationship of consumers with food products. These are factors that CMOs must consider today.

The marketing function seems necessary to ensure the central link between supply and communication in an ecosystem in full transformation. Communication can no longer be disconnected from the substance and the concrete expectations of consumers. Members of the Think Tank community also point to the need to transform and personalize the customer experience, in particular by offering them the new digital solutions available. Put customer knowledge and data at the center of processes to expand their scope of action.



“Marketing is more useful than ever. Two dimensions have profoundly changed the function: data and CSR. Our professions are extremely rich and our usefulness is also expressed in our ability to combine the long and the short term. The marketing function is necessary to ensure consistency over time in the operation of brands. At the same time it is agile and flexible to adapt to continuous changes in technology as our organizations evolve. We integrate more and more experts and create new professions. We are no longer traditional marketers. – Clémence Saint Macary, Marketing Director of the Savencia Group.



  • Budget restrictions that can be an obstacle for the development of projects.
  • The organizational issues that define the scope of the function and the management of the teams. The fragmentation of collaborative work is a permanent danger.
  • Binding data regulatory restrictions to be aware of.




  • Demonstrate its agility through a plural posture: at the same time an agent of transformation, a factor of openness to the outside world and a pioneer of experimentation and innovation.
  • Aim above all to put the customer and their satisfaction at the center of their concerns.
  • Make full use of technology tools and data.



Contributors to this session: Alessandro Paleni CMO Ferrero, Segolène de Marsac: CMO SANOFI, Marc-Antoine Hennel Marketing Director of Payment Solutions at Crédit Agricole, Sébastien Imbert CMO Microsoft, Guillaume Berthier CMO Groupama Asset Management, Elise Ducret CMO L’Oréal France, Phuong Leleu CMO Monoprix and Clémence Saint Macary: CMO Savencia.


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About the Open Reinvention Think Tank:

The Union des Marques “Open Reinvention” Think Tank brings together CMOs and decision makers involved in brand transformation issues in their organizations to instill a movement of renewal and disruption in a society undergoing profound transformation. This collective aims to bring together marketing decision makers to discuss, co-construct and define areas of progress around the challenges of marketing transformation and brand building. The Think Tank thus uses the collective intelligence of its members to reflect on strategic issues of brand development and Marketing organization, during regular sessions. In 2022, the topic investigated is that of New balances.