Is It A Good Time To Be CMO?

Good Time to be a CMO

The main finding from a survey of senior marketing executives conducted by Forrester and the Business Marketing Association was that there has never been a better time to be a CMO at business-to-business organizations.

Two years ago, I predicted that changes brought on by digital, social and mobile technologies had placed the customer firmly at the center of marketing strategy. And it was straining traditional marketing strategy.

This study showed some of those concerns:

  • 97% see the pace of change is accelerating.
  • 34%  feel overwhelmed by the change occurring in B2B Marketing.
  • 21% feel that the skills for which they were hired are now obsolete.

But this study has a huge silver lining. All that pressure is coming with increased visibility, authority and accountability.

Has there ever been a better time to be CMO?

  • 88% of respondents said their peers turn to them more often for data and insight needed to strategize and plan
  • 78% agreed that marketing’s influence on corporate strategy is greater today than it was just two short years ago.

How are marketing leaders responding?

  • 96% feel that the breadth of marketing skills needed for their teams to succeed has increased dramatically.
  • 60% said they seek out younger workers in the hiring process who have greater technical comfort and facility.

The survey offers these 3 key takeaways:

  • Focus on strategy, not tactics.  Results, not tactics. CMOs need to become effective business leaders. Not party-planners or advertising order-takers.
  • Obsess over customers. Customer-centricity can only come through collaboration across the business. According to Forrester’s Laura Ramos, “marketing execs deepen customer engagement when they coordinate input across the enterprise to identify gaps in sales, purchase, and support experiences that inhibit fanatical attention to customer interactions.”
  • Delegate. Effective marketing leaders need to become change-agents and look to drive customer innovation, business strategy and long-term growth.

Click here to download the research report from Forrester and let me know what you think in the comments below: has there ever been a better time to be a CMO? And please follow along on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and Google+ or Subscribe to the B2B Marketing Insider Blog for regular updates.

Better time to be a CMO

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Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

6 thoughts on “Is It A Good Time To Be CMO?

  1. Marketing has never been so much fun! The CMO must identify, test and establish a marketing model, and concurrently, while it is up and running, be actively working to break the model in favor of what comes next.

    1. Great points Myles. I think the main challenge for the CMO is continuing to drive the image of marketing as a strategic asset for our organizations. It’s an inside sales job but can also be a lot of fun.

  2. Hi Michael,
    As a marketing major at Saint Joseph’s University, I really enjoyed your article on marketing and its future. I decided to double major in marketing and Business Intelligence to help me see the more analytical side to marketing. I am glad to see the future is looking a little brighter for all CMO’s and marketers out there!
    Sincerely,
    Gabrielle Henry

    1. Gabrielle, You’re a girl after my own heart: you’re bringing SJU, marketing and analytics all together in one package!

      You should be unstoppable… Customer Insights have never been more important to the marketing function and business in general. Thanks so much for your comments.

  3. Marketing and the CMO definitely have the wind at their backs. The big drivers seem to be 1) 30-60% of the buying process occurs online, and is growing, plus 2) big data analytics and marketing automation type software. These drivers enable marketing to do a lot more of or all of the selling. It’s the driving force behind selling function moving from outside, to inside, to online. We can see this transition has largely occurred for the low cost/consideration products and is working up the stack to the higher cost/consideration products. Marketing is poised for greatness.

    1. Thanks Michael. Great perspective. I really like you explained that and I think you are absolutely right. Marketing has an opportunity to not just be seen as a strategic asset, but also to deliver direct benefits to the business that are more quantifiable than just the “brand.”

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