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SpencerStuart-Key-Future-Skills-Expected-of-CMOs-May20147 in 10 senior marketing leaders believe that creativity and analytical ability have been equally important for marketing leaders over the past few years, according to survey results from Spencer Stuart, although only about 1 in 5 believe their teams have struck the right balance between the two talents. In time, though, respondents believe that analytical orientation will become a more important skill for CMOs to possess, while creativity will become less of a priority.

Some 29% of respondents ranked analytical orientation as one of the top 3 skills CMOs are expected to possess today, versus 21% ranking creativity among their top-3. Even so, twice as many gave creativity the top ranking as did analytical orientation (7% vs. 3%).

Asked the key skills CMOs will be expected to possess in the future, though, and the gap widened. About one-third (34%) of respondents indicated that analytical orientation will be a top-3 expertise, compared to just 13% feeling the same way about creativity. Additionally, respondents were more likely to to rank analytical orientation as their top future skill (8% vs. 3%).

Senior marketing leaders clearly believe that the most important skill for CMOs today and tomorrow is a strategic mindset, though. Almost 8 in 10 respondents indicated this to be a top-3 expertise today, and about 3 in 4 feel that it will be a top-3 skill in the future. Interestingly, while respondents perceive customer insight (37%) to be a more important skill today than an analytical orientation, they feel that the two will be equally as important in the future.

Also of note: while some research finds marketers perceiving their analytics talent to be weak, a majority 52% of respondents to the Spencer Stuart survey said that their teams’ skill-sets lean towards the analytical side, versus 29% who feel that their teams are more creative.

How to find and develop future marketing leaders that have a blend of creative and analytical talent? A plurality of senior marketers are finding them from competitors within their sector, while others are looking to the tech industry and to historically creative sectors such as advertising and media. Only 9% are looking internally at their own team. That may be either a cause or result of the finding that 89% don’t believe organizations are doing a good job of training and developing future marketing leaders.

About the Data: Spencer Stuart surveyed more than 160 senior marketing leaders. The greatest share of survey respondents (38%) came from the consumer industry; 21% came from financial services and 15% from “other” sectors, including telecommunications, retail, entertainment and travel. Some 13% of respondents work in the technology industry, 7% in life sciences/healthcare, 5% in media, 5% in advertising, 3% in nonprofit and 1% in industrial.

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