Marketing has high expectations as a growth driver among senior management and the board, according to a report [download page] from the CMO Council and Deloitte, which argues that the CMO is no longer tasked primarily with brand ambassadorship but rather with revenue generation and growth strategy.
Currently, the largest share of respondents to the survey said that their growth-specific roles revolve around defining and shaping the brand (44%) and executing campaigns to attract customers and predispose prospects (42%). By comparison, far fewer are driving routes to revenue across all facets of the business globally (6%).
The results suggest that CMOs are having some difficulty shedding “operational burdens” associated with tasks such as managing the brand and executing campaigns. In fact, when they were asked what they spend the most time doing, CMOs were most apt to point to time spent reviewing and approving marketing plans, budgets and campaigns (45%) as well as attending or leading meetings with peers across the company (42%). By contrast, just 1 in 6 reported spending a lot of their time teaming with leadership executives on global business and strategy, which the analysts interpret as their being left out of the senior leadership dialogue.
But that seems to be exactly where CMOs want to be. When respondents were asked where they would prefer to spend their time as marketing leaders, a leading two-thirds said they’d rather team with leadership on global business strategy (66%), while a majority would also want to innovate and implement new approaches, products and strategies (58%). Just 1 in 6 would prefer to spend their time in meetings and only 1 in 10 would want to review budgets and campaigns.
CMOs’ desire for more input into strategy and leadership has been well documented in research over the past couple of years. Consider the following findings, pulled from various such studies:
- 30% of CMOs see the need to take their leadership potential to new heights, and 35% aspire to general management;
- Marketing leaders consider strategic thinking to be their greatest strength;
- CMOs and senior marketers believe that over the next 3-5 years marketing will be seen less as a cost center and be more likely to shape companies’ strategies; and
- Marketing’s role expansion has significantly increased over the past couple of years in terms of helping shape business strategy.
Returning to the CMO Council study, if CMOs are to have a greater role, they will need to better demonstrate their business impact and value. To that end, although few feel that they are doing a good job of quantifying and communicating marketing’s impact, many are turning to business-centered metrics to show their value. Indeed, almost 3 in 4 now use revenue growth as a key measure of success, and close to half look at sales velocity, funnel strength and conversion rates (45%).
About the Data: The results are based on a global survey of more than 200 CMOs across industry sectors and geographies. One-third of respondents hold positions at companies with $1 billion or more in revenue.