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Gartner CMO Skills Upgrades Mar2021There is an ongoing concern that marketers do not have all the skills needed to succeed in the digital age as well as get the most out of the marketing technologies that exist to make their jobs easier and more effective. But it’s not just marketers that might need to update their skill set — their team leaders are also striving to improve their own personal skill sets. Here’s a look at the top areas CMOs wish to improve, per a report [download page] from Gartner.

Of the more than 350 marketing executives surveyed for the report, close to half (47%) of the CMOs said they are focusing on upgrades to their operations and execution abilities. Another 45% are looking to improve their strategy and business acumen – likely as they design new strategies to deal with the pandemic – while 44% report a desire to hone their branding and messaging skills.

Even with the emphasis on digital, CMOs appear to be less concerned about upping their digital game, with fewer than 4 in 10 (38%) putting digital know-how on their list of capabilities to improve. And, even fewer (28%) are focusing on increasing financial acumen.

Solving Societal Issues

While CMOs may vary in the areas they would like to improve their skill set, an overwhelming majority (95%) are in agreement about one thing: that brands should take the lead in finding solutions to major societal and cultural issues. When asked who should lead decisions on whether a company should take a public stance on societal issues the top answer was split between executive leadership (54%) and marketing (54%).

Coincidentally, this year’s Edelman’s Trust Barometer found that almost 7 in 10 (68% of) adults think CEOs should try to fix societal problems if the government fails to do so, and a strong majority likewise believe that CEOs should speak out against societal issues.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 381 marketing leaders.

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