CMO Insights: Why CMOs Need to Drive Disruptive Growth

The Facts Up Front:

  • 50% of organizations state that their CMOs are the ones most responsible for driving disruptive growth. (Accenture)
  • 67% of business owners believe that by 2020 marketing will be a revenue generator for their organizations. (Marketo)
  • 30% of CMOs will be let go for not mastering the blended skill set of design and analytics. (Forrester)
  • It’s predicted that CMOs will soon be spending more on technology than CIOs. (Gartner)
  • Only 37% of CMOs view disruptive growth as very important, versus 44% of CEOs, showing a lack of alignment on this issue. (Accenture)

The term “disruptive growth” stems from the concept of creating and implementing entirely new value propositions that guarantee a disruptive outcome to the current business – or better yet, to the industry. In a recent blog post, I unpacked the power of ideas, explaining why companies should be focused on not just innovation but execution.

You cannot accomplish disruptive growth without bringing your ideas to fruition. But whose responsibility is it to make this happen? Disruptive growth starts with an idea that will lead to increased ROI and a better customer experience. As you can see from the above facts, the role of the CMO is changing. They’re now seen as growth drivers for their brand, with expectations set by the CEO and the rest of the C-Suite.

To fully understand the impact that this has on the CMO, let’s break down the above facts.

Fact #1: 50% of organizations state that their CMOs are the ones most responsible for driving disruptive growth.

This is a huge undertaking for any CMO and unfortunately it doesn’t come without its consequences. Due to these newfound expectations and accountability, CMOs are placed front and center to deliver. If they fail, they risk either the loss of responsibility, credibility, or worse: trust. The pressure is on to find the most effective, innovative and efficient route to disruptive growth.

CMOs are concentrating on the brainstorming and collaboration of teams, but integrated agencies have the potential to play a huge role in this initiative. CMOs must move past the “traditionalist” mindset, where their focus lies on brand management and content creation, to quickly pivot into a “futurist” mindset of strategy and growth initiatives with the customer experience at the center of it all. And revenue marketing the end prize.

Fact #2: 67% of business owners believe that by 2020 marketing will be a revenue generator for their organizations.

It’s one thing for CMOs to call themselves “growth drivers” or even change their titles to “Chief Growth Officers,” but to prove that you’re actually moving the needle in this direction is another opportunity. While customer experience and the customer journey are always top of mind for the CMO, they must now deliver growth metrics and drive those MQLs into SQLs. The right metrics are more important now than ever. Are you focused on a targeted account strategy (ABM)? Or do you wish to remain “far and wide” in your pursuit of revenue?

CMO priorities have drastically changed. In a 2016 survey from Marketo the top 3 most important marketing objectives for CMOs were, as follows: brand building (55%), achieving positive ROI (45%) and automating their marketing processes (39%).

These priorities have not only shifted around within the last two years, but it’s my belief that “brand building” would be knocked out of this list completely and replaced with either achieving revenue and growth or creating an unparalleled customer experience (which brand plays a role in).

Matt Heinz, president of Heinz Marketing, predicted it best. In our 2018 CMO Predictions he stated the following:

“Move over cost center. Marketing is now a profit center. 2018 will see a future acceleration of marketing’s embrace of revenue responsibility. Key to making that transition will be addressing and changing the culture both of marketing and within the rest of the organization’s perception and treatment of marketing – historically as a cost center, but moving forward as a profit center driving measurable, repeatable sales and revenue impact.”

For the rest of this article, head over to PAN Communications.




Mark Nardone (@MarkCNardone) is Executive Vice President at PAN Communications (@PANcomm), an integrated marketing and PR agency driving communications strategy for companies in the B2B technology and healthcare industries. He oversees the firm’s strategic focus across business development and brand marketing efforts.

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