Sparring with a beauty CMO (Global)

Sparring with a beauty CMO (Global)

Imagine you start work as the first ever CMO of a cosmetics giant. A firm with billions in sales, dozens of brands and a presence in over 100 countries. Your task is to introduce a rigorous approach to marketing at group level and formulate a strategy that will put you ahead of your equally large, skilled competitors. Need a hand?

This CMO was up to the job, but knew that an independent strategic adviser would be a useful sparring partner to find his feet more quickly. Listening to nothing but internal voices can quickly lead to myopia, while the commercial agenda of traditional marketing advisers may cloud the advice they provide.

Strategic sounding board

This CMO wanted someone who knew what it meant to be in his position, to act as strategic sounding board while he gathered his thoughts. Our associate took his role to heart: he listened, he questioned, he deconstructed and, if there were any to be found, he offered new perspectives. And if he simply agreed with the CMO’s ideas, he wholeheartedly said so.

Insight and analysis

Beyond listening, we bring analytical acumen as well as creative sparkiness. The CMO asked Futurelab to look into various aspects of the competitive landscape, comparing the group’s core values, strengths and weaknesses with those of its major rivals. We identified opportunities for gaining competitive ground without resorting to ‘me-too’ tactics – a tough call when you’re up against competitors who seem to have already done it all. We also fed in recommendations on how to use customer-centricity to gain advantage.

Shape your thoughts by sharing them with us

All in all, our senior Futurelab adviser had half a dozen in-depth sessions with this CMO, considering options and thinking through implications. Towards the end of our time there, we also discussed our experience in change management.


Our contribution helped this CMO to more quickly find his feet, distil his thoughts and confidently present a new strategy in his own words.

If you want to meet for a coffee, talk through some ideas and get a fresh perspective on your options, just get in touch.


Alain Thys