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

Using artificial intelligence to surprise your customers

​We have expected artificial intelligence (AI) will become part of our everyday lives for quite some time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Is customer segmentation dead?

Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, announced the death of customer segmentation five years ago saying, "The shift is to go from the segment to the individual. She might have been a bit premature for most marketers, but if customer segmentation isn't dead yet, it's definitely on life support.

Richard Taylor

Senior digital strategist, Spinach

How people buy brands

Andrew Ehrenberg was a giant in the field of marketing science. He believed scientific methods could reveal law-like patterns of how people buy. In this post, I summarise one of Ehrenberg’s most important discoveries and its implications on how people buy brands.

Kyle Ross

Strategist, TRP

What a great article. Thanks for sharing. Today Digital Marketing is the basic need for a business to survive. As online presence is very...

Ecomsolver Private Limited

Want to master digital transformation? Stop thinking about your own problems

Read more

Feeling grateful that customer led digital transformation could improve business and generate more business growth. Many companies are no...

Lilly Lawrence

How a customer-led digital transformation has helped this CMO generate $6m in incremental business

Read more

If a business games me happy than there is a higher chance I will go to them.

Martinez

The Iconic: becoming customer-focussed transformed our business

Read more

That’s a great example of surprising AR ad that went viral because it was first of its kind. Probably a similar effect to some scale can ...

Natasha Kvitka

Using artificial intelligence to surprise your customers

Read more

Hey there! it is a really meaningful post. I too have written a few similar articles about SEM, SEO, Social Media, Digital Marketing Tren...

Rohit

Digital advertising continues to dominate marketing budgets

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in