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Business can be lonely at the top, so it’s natural that those in the highest echelons of their organizations will want to look to peers in other firms for questions and guidance. So, what are the most pressing topics that marketers in the C-suite are discussing? The newest data from the CMO Council found that when engaging with their peers, nearly three-quarters (74%) of CMOs say their most pressing topic of discussion is engaging and aligning with others within the C-suite.

Collaboration with others in the C-suite is one of the key aspects that set most high-performing CMOs apart from the rest – and while collaborating with the CEO is considered the most important to CMOs, aligning and building of relationships with other C-suite members is also considered essential.

More than half (53%) of the more than 100 CMO Council Advisory Board members surveyed are also sharing knowledge about customer insights, trends and intelligence. With customer retention expected to become more challenging in the next few years, this exchange of information can prove to be highly beneficial.

Even as marketing budgets are expected to increase, another topic of conversation among about 3 in 10 (31%) of CMOs is making a case for business spend.

Circling back somewhat to collaborating and aligning with the C-suite, some 31% of CMOs are also talking about leadership challenges and internal politics. This could indicate that while the majority of CMOs are clearly focused on finding ways to collaborate and align with others within the C-suite, problems still exist.

What Are CMOs Focusing On In 2019?

As always, CMOs have a lot on their plate and, for 4 in 10 of those surveyed, improving go-to-market processes and digital marketing capabilities are at the top of their agenda for this year. This focus – along with upgrading digital marketing capabilities and proficiencies (24%) – is warranted considering the shift from more traditional forms of marketing to digital.

Another third (33%) also intend to focus on finding sources of revenue as well as improving retention, while 29% reported that generating more customer conversion and lifetime value was on the top of their agenda this year. Additionally, CMOs will be focusing on how to better collect and use customer data (26%) and unify and uplift the customer experience across channels (26%).

What Obstacles Do CMOs See For MarTech Deployment?

While improving digital marketing and its capabilities are at the top of the agenda for many CMOs, there are obstacles to deploying the technology that is meant to make various processes easier and more efficient. For 43% of those surveyed, having the right internal skill set is definitely an obstacle. Among B2B firms, Spear Media Group reported that 92% of businesses are finding it difficult to hire good marketers.

Missing data or data inaccuracies continue to plague CMOs, with 4 in 10 saying incomplete or inaccurate data is one of their biggest obstacles to implementing marketing technology.

More than one-third (36%) of CMOs say that one of their biggest obstacles is finding technology to match their business, while 22% report that there is just too much technology available. That may be why marketers are struggling to keep up with the pace of change in marketing technology

To read more, access the survey findings here.

About the Data: The CMO Council Outlook + Intention Audit gathered insights early in the year from more than 100 Advisory Board Members across seven regions, including North America, Europe, APAC, MENA, India, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. The global knowledge transfer and peer mentoring group includes 15,000 chief marketers in 110 countries controlling nearly $1 trillion in annual, aggregated marketing spend.

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