CMOs facing identity crisis: report

Latest EIU and SAS report on manufacturing CMOs shows lack of understanding and belief in their abilities from the rest of the C-suite

A new vendor-sponsored report claims chief marketing officers at manufacturing companies are in the midst of an identity crisis as they struggle to deliver a satisfying customer experience.

Two new whitepapers, undertaken by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by software vendor SAS, comes off the back of the EIU’s report last year, Outside looking in: The CMO struggles to get in sync with the C-suite .

Fifty-eight per cent of manufacturing marketing chiefs believe they are good at delivering customer insights that drive business, but only 43 per cent of their other C-level executives agree. In addition, EIU found 78 per cent of manufacturing CMOs claim to have a clear understanding of their customers’ needs, against 47 per cent of their executive peers.

In another sign of the disconnect between manufacturing CMOs and their executive peers, 18 per cent of CMOs surveyed claimed to be “excellent” and 38 per cent “good” at establishing a clear business case for new marketing investments, yet only one-third of C-suite respondents agreed. Twenty-eight per cent said CMOs in fact lacked ability in this area.

The EIU report also found 55 per cent of surveyed CMOs reported the performance of their company’s marketing investments was ahead of peers in the last year, but only 30 per cent of other executives agreed.

The results are yet another indication of how CMOs are struggling to define their role both to within their own function, as well as to their executive peers. In the original EIU survey on the relationship between CMOs and the c-suite, released last July, the research firm claimed to be alarmed by the lack of clear consensus on marketing’s top priority, as indicated by a host of results across all industry sectors.

For example, 19 per cent of CMOs said driving revenue growth was their top priority against 30 per cent of other C-suite executives. Twenty-two per cent of marketers also claimed creating new products and services was the top priority, yet just nine per cent of their C-level peers agreed.

In addition, 70 per cent of CMOs believe they should play a lead or key role in selecting new markets to enter, compared with 56 per cent of their C-suite peers. Nearly half those surveyed also claimed a disconnect over what marketing should be delivering.

“Part of the issue may be that the CMOs oversees what is arguably the broadest and most dynamic mix of disciplines among all c-suite positions,” the original EIU report stated. “While this far-reaching portfolio presents an opportunity for CMOs to increase marketing’s influence across an organisation, it also highlights their greatest challenge: getting everyone to agree on marketing’s priorities.”

The key lies in connecting customer insights to strategic business innovation across all channels and functions, the EIU report stated.

“If marketing can provide a more comprehensive view of how a customer interacts with the business as a whole, it stands to gain more credibility and more influence in driving strategic change.”

EIU’s report was based on responses from 389 executives across the world, followed by a series of in-depth interviews.

More on the CMO role

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia or take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Sustainability trends brands can expect in 2020

​Marketers have made strides this year in sustainability with the number of brands rallying behind the Not Business As Usual alliance for action against climate change being a sign of the times. While sustainability efforts have gained momentum this year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year brands are really held accountable for their work in this area.

Ben King

CSR manager & sustainability expert, Finder

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing

As a Marketer, the ‘Scotty from Marketing’ meme troubles me.

Natalie Robinson

Director of marketing and communications, Melbourne Polytechnic

How do we break out of our marketing echo chambers?

Clients and agencies can get stuck into a particular way of behaving and viewing the world, but there are ways to break out of our marketing echo chamber.

Steve O'Farrell

Managing Partner, The Royals

It's a good idea. Customers really should control their data. Now I understand why it's important.

Elvin Huntsberry

Salesforce CMO: Modern marketers have an obligation to give customers control of their data

Read more

Instagram changes algorithms every time you get used to them. It really pisses me off. What else pisses me off? The fact that Instagram d...

Nickwood

Instagram loses the like in Australia; industry reacts positively

Read more

I tried www.analisa.io to see my Instagram Insight

Dina Rahmawati

7 marketing technology predictions for 2016

Read more

The saying is pretty tongue in cheek. It's not saying that marketers are bad people, nor that they don't take themselves seriously. There...

LYF Solutions

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

Given Scotty's failed track-record in the marketing realm the memes and the ridicule is very apt and is in no way a reflection on marketi...

denysf

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in