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 Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ or Subscribe to the B2B Marketing Insider Blog for regular updates.