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A majority (64%) of CMOs believe that one of their primary roles is delivering business growth. One of the ways that more than half (55%) of CMOs are boosting this growth is by investing in market penetration, according to the most recent results from The CMO Survey [pdf].

Not only is delivering growth a priority for CMOs, but it is also the top challenge (of 10 identified) for more than one-third (37.9%) of the more than 320 marketing professionals surveyed.

Driving growth is the number one challenge across all economic sectors, but it proves particularly apt for B2C product companies, with 43.6% of CMO representatives rating it their top challenge. On the B2B side, 39% of respondents representing the B2B product sector rated driving growth as their top challenge.

The second-ranked challenge, cited by 13.7% of respondents overall, was delivering a powerful brand that breaks through the clutter. Building a purposeful brand was a challenge in a recent report by WARC where it tied as the second most important challenge for brand marketers.

C-Suite Communication Challenges

Demonstrating the impact of marketing actions financial outcomes is one of the biggest C-suite communication challenges, with almost two-thirds (63.8%) reporting it as such.

Similar findings have been seen in other research. In a survey by The Trade Desk, 28% of CMOs cited financial outcomes (ROI) is one of their department’s top goals, while the same percentage selected financial outcomes as one of the expectations of their organization’s leadership.

The second biggest C-suite communication challenge, as indicated by roughly 4 in 10 CMOs, is infusing the customer’s point of view in business decisions. This was followed closely by communicating the role of the brand in business decisions.

Marketing Leads Brand Activities

In an earlier examination of this recent report, 90.9% of CMOs reported that marketing leads brand activity. But for digital activity, this number was lower. Around 8 in 10 (83.3%) claimed that their department led digital marketing activity.

Advertising also falls under the lead of marketing for 80.3% of responding companies. This area has seen little change in the past five years, with 79.9% of companies in 2014 having marketing leading advertising activities.

Marketing analytics is an activity in which marketing leads for 71.7% of companies. Marketing analytics is also playing a more significant role in the decision-making process, with 43.5% of projects using marketing analytics before a decision is made in February 2019, representing a new high point in the survey’s history.

To read more, view the report here.

About the Data: The CMO Report is comprised of results from a survey of 323 top marketers from US for-profit companies. A majority (97%) of respondents were VP-level or above.

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