B2B CMOs Say Marketing’s Role is Expanding Quickly

ForresterBMA-B2B-Marketings-Changing-Role-Aug2013Almost all B2B marketing leaders agree that marketing must do things that it hasn’t dont ever before to be successful, finds Forrester Research in a recent study [download page] conducted in partnership with the Business Marketing Association. Along with their expanding responsibilities, 78% say the marketing organization’s influence on corporate strategy is much greater, and 56% agree that they’re spending more time in front of the board of directors. Interestingly, CMOs express great confidence in their ability to handle what amounts to a rapidly changing environment.

In fact, 8 in 10 agree that they feel more secure about their grasp of the skills needed to be successful in marketing, even as the skills required to be a modern B2B marketer change have evolved.

Similarly, while 89% of respondents agree that marketing is asked to take on new responsibilities without change in budget or resources, significantly fewer (63%) report difficulties keeping up with the changes in marketing technology and practices, and only about one-third say they feel overwhelmed by the speed at which things are changing in their business. Still, 7 in 10 concede that annual planning is challenging because the pace of change is much faster.

B2B marketing leaders’ confidence appears to extend to their staff. While almost all respondents acknowledged that the breadth of skills needed to succeed in marketing has increased dramatically, only 44% can’t find people with the right skill sets, and even fewer (28%) say it’s difficult to fill important marketing roles because of a lack of new world experience. Perhaps most surprisingly, despite a consensus that marketing’s role (and associated requisite skills) have changed, only 1 in 5 respondents agree that many of the skills and qualifications they hired for 2-3 years ago are now obsolete.

Looking at how internal relationships have evolved for the B2B CMO, the study indicates that 54% of respondents believe that the IT department is a top-3 area where the relationship has increased dramatically in the past year or two, with 50% saying the same about sales department relationships.

Some other relationships have suffered as a result. 44% chose agencies as a top-3 relationship where they are spending less time in order to compensate for increased collaboration with other areas. About one-third said they’re also spending less time with operations (33%) and internal marketing teams (31%).

About the Data: Forrester surveyed 117 CMOs and senior marketing executives from 10 major industries where more than two-thirds hold companywide responsibility for marketing. The survey was fielded in May 2013.

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