ADMA/Oracle report: CMOs of tomorrow must excel at finance, analytics and budgeting

New regional report looks at the changing nature of marketing leadership and impediments to success

Finance, analytics and budgeting are among the top skills CMOs must cultivate in order to retain their positions as executive leaders of tomorrow, a new Oracle and ADMA report claims.

The new research report, entitled The CMO of Tomorrow, was based on surveys of 450 senior marketing executives across A/NZ, India and Singapore. It found digital channels, smart mobility and new marketing and advertising technologies are fundamentally redefining what is expected of marketing leaders.

In a sign of how commercially driven the marketing leadership role is becoming, a key finding presented by Oracle Marketing Cloud group VP customer success, Paul Cross during a media lunch this week, was that 62 per cent of respondents have a specific revenue requirement in their KPIs.

In addition, 84 per cent of Australian business executives rated their analytics capabilities as either excellent or good. Failure by Australian executives to buy into digital marketing programs was also the lowest among all countries studied (29 per cent).

The main three impediments preventing marketers from doing their jobs successfully across the region were budget (50 per cent), capability and education (48 per cent), and mounting a clear argument for return on investment (37 per cent).

“The research shows that significant impediments stand in the way of accelerating the rollout of digital marketing,” Cross commented. “There is a lack of education about digital marketing capabilities, which makes it hard for marketers to understand ROI.

“Under the circumstances, it’s no wonder they have trouble getting buy-in from other executives or getting their budgets approved. This has proved to be the biggest impediment of all around the region.”

What is clear from the findings is that the CMO of tomorrow is going to have quite a different role within organisations than in the past, Cross said.

“Customer advocacy will be critical and the CMO will need authority across much broader parts of the business to deliver the results,” he said.

According to ADMA CEO, Jodie Sangster, CMOs of tomorrow will need to translate marketing’s impact direct to bottom-line results.

“They build teams that can deliver return on investment and created KPIs that deliver business outcomes,” she said. “However, marketers are increasingly being given an increased remit, being responsible for customer experience.

“Marketers will need to collaborate and mediate at the executive leadership level to ensure the brand stays focused, and the executive team buys into an ethos of genuinely putting the customer first.”

Sangster agreed not every CMO is there today, and that the research showed a distinction between markets in relation to skills and focus.

“In many marketers, there are major shortcomings that need to be overcome to ensure CMOs are prepared for the future,” she added.

The joint research also looked into marketing trends within specific vertical markets including travel and hospitality, retail, financial services and professional services.

One interesting finding in the travel and hospitality space was that marketers in this sector are the most confident in their use of analytics, with more than 90 per cent rating their ability to gain insights from analytics highly.

Unique to the retail space, meanwhile, was the view that the biggest impediment to digital marketing acceleration was a lack of understanding and education.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

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