Why CMOs Should Lead on Sustainability and Product Design: Insights from Lars Silberbauer, CMO of HMD Global

Tune in to Time for A Reset

On the latest episode of Time For a Reset: The Marketing Podcast with Global Leaders, your host, Paul Frampton – Global President at CvE Consultancy, is joined by Lars Silberbauer, CMO of HMD Global, the holding company for Nokia Phones. 

In today’s dynamic and fast-paced business landscape, the role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has undergone a significant transformation. Traditionally, the CMO was responsible for overseeing marketing strategies and campaigns, but with the rise of technology and growing consumer demands, their role has evolved to encompass much more. He believes that the CMO of tomorrow needs to be multidisciplinary, skilled in AI, and have a deep understanding of culture.

Lars emphasizes the importance of sustainability in their products. HMD Global is dedicated to making repairable and sustainable devices to reduce electronic waste. 

Lars shares insights on the need to integrate brand and performance marketing and the evolving role of the CMO as a multi-disciplinary leader in tomorrow’s marketing landscape. Lars believes in staying ahead of the curve with continuous learning, experimenting with new tools and technologies, and engaging with the next generation of marketers.

Here are some talking points from the episode to pique your curiosity.

Understanding the Evolving Role of the CMO

Lars explains that the definition of the CMO role needs a reset and how that’s connected to products and product development. He believes that we are right now in a journey in many companies where the CMO role is stepping into product a lot more. Lars is also head of product design, and he thinks the design story, the product story needs to be much more integrated in the brand story.

The traditional responsibilities of a CMO have included developing marketing strategies, managing advertising campaigns, and measuring the success of marketing initiatives. However, as technology has become an integral part of business operations, CMOs are now expected to possess a holistic understanding of the digital landscape and its impact on consumer behaviour. 

In addition to their traditional duties, CMOs are now tasked with leveraging data analytics to gain insights into customer preferences, developing personalised marketing strategies, and ensuring a seamless omnichannel experience for consumers. This shift in responsibilities requires CMOs to be tech-savvy and capable of adapting to rapidly evolving digital marketing trends.

Embracing Innovation

Innovation has become a key driver of success in today’s competitive business environment. CMOs must actively seek out innovative solutions to differentiate their brands and capture the attention of consumers. This involves staying abreast of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and voice search, and identifying ways to incorporate them into their marketing strategies. 

Lars take on innovation comes from a technical point of view. In a world where a lot of the tech development and production of tech is happening in the same place, it is still being commoditized and somehow the same things are coming out. So unless you have a brand story and a true marketing story, you will eventually spiral into a price competition because everyone is pretty much doing the same thing.

By embracing innovation, CMOs can create unique and interactive experiences for their customers. 

The Intersection of Innovation and Sustainability 

The evolving role of the CMO requires them to find the delicate balance between innovation and sustainability. While innovation drives growth and keeps brands relevant, sustainability ensures a responsible and ethical approach to business practices. CMOs must navigate this intersection by seeking out innovative solutions that are also environmentally friendly and socially responsible. 


The role of the CMO is continuously evolving to keep up with the ever-changing business landscape. In today’s digital age, CMOs must embrace innovation and sustainability to stay ahead of the curve. By leveraging emerging technologies, developing personalised marketing strategies, and promoting sustainable practices, CMOs can create unique experiences for customers while building a socially responsible brand image. 

As the expectations of consumers continue to evolve, CMOs must remain agile and adaptable. By embracing innovation and sustainability, they can ensure their organisations thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The future of marketing lies in the hands of the CMO, and those who successfully navigate this evolving role will undoubtedly lead their brands to success.

More About Lars Silberbauer

Lars Silberbauer is considered one of the world’s leading thought leaders for all things marketing, digital, and social. His CV is jam-packed with leading digital marketing roles at global and legacy brands. Currently, he is the Chief Marketing Officer at HMD Global and Nokia Phones. Lars has also been the Global Head of Brand, Marketing, and Digital at the Olympics  (IOC), the Senior Vice President of Viacom, a digital studio branch of MTV, and the Senior Global Director of Digital at The LEGO Group.

Join us on Time For a Reset: The Marketing Podcast with Global Leaders

Tune in to the latest episode of Time For a Reset: The Marketing Podcast with Global Leaders, where we sit down with representatives of household brands to uncover the secrets behind driving transformation in today’s rapidly evolving world. From shifting consumer behaviour to the increasing importance of marketing in driving business growth, this podcast delves into the strategies and insights that are shaping the future of marketing.

You can read the full transcript episode here.

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