Study: B2B CMOs target growth through new offerings

Latest survey of global CMOs find key challenges of growth and CX across the board, while regional chiefs face particular hurdles with maturity and new product offerings

Marketing leaders in Australia and the wider Asia-Pacific region rate growth through new offerings as a higher priority than their peers in other regions, according to Forrester SiriusDecisions’ latest global B2B CMO study, which includes North America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). 

Regional-based CMOs are pursuing a growth agenda by prioritising new markets, such as industries or geographies, as their top growth lever. This reflects a range of market maturity levels and the need to realise untapped market opportunities by expanding into new markets in the region, the study finds. It also stated it’s still a challenge to prove the business case of marketing in the c-suite and the wider organisation.

“CMOs need to demonstrate marketing’s impact to the business. To do this well, CMOs need measurement and reporting capabilities, and they must continue to educate stakeholders to shift outdated perceptions of B2B marketing,” the study stated.

In terms of the balance between a focus on CX or partner marketing capabilities, regional CMOs place slightly higher importance on translating the marketing strategy into an annual marketing plan that focuses on executing well short-term. By contrast, North American and EMEA-based CMOs prioritise the need to strengthen their marketing strategy formulation process and have a stronger focus towards improving CX.

The report also revealed CMOs worldwide are cementing their role as leaders of change and are, on average, delivering three major transformational initiatives within their organisation. 

Marketing leaders must invest in improving their operational readiness – improving processes and team structures – as well as upskilling their marketing talent to find success. 

“CMOs who are proactive in addressing organisational gaps will find themselves better placed not only to compete but to attract and retain talent. CMOs must take a data-driven and systematic approach to evaluating the effectiveness of their marketing organisation in order to identify and prioritise critical gaps they must address to improve business performance,” the report stated.

The annual survey, which identifies key trends impacting B2B marketing strategies and explores how leaders are adapting their marketing strategies, surveyed 358 CMOs globally, one-third are from Asia-Pacific.

Across all regions, the report found the importance of building a purpose-driven brand is a priority for all CMOs. A significant shift, which has already affected B2C markets, but is now reaching B2B, is CMOs increasingly need to distil what their companies stand for and represent in their chosen markets and express that authentically through brand messaging and positioning.

“However, in the age of the customer, gaining and retaining trust starts with putting customers at the heart of the brand, as well as culture and operations,” the report argued. “In addition to authenticity, CMOs across all regions recognise the need to drive increased personalisation. They have a clear mandate: Drive personalisation at scale by leveraging artificial intelligence [AI] and automation.”

In line with the increasing need to address brand authenticity and customer centrism, the survey found CMOs in the region report a higher focus on continuing to shift from product-centric to customer-centric marketing, which correlates with their focus on improving customer experience and driving market expansion.

Finally, despite some regional differences, all CMOs agreed that to successfully pursue their top three growth strategies, they must operationalise and activate audience insights. Marketing and campaign plans must be adapted to meet the needs of new buyers or markets, opportunities must be prioritised to drive focused execution, and the needs of buyers and markets cannot be assumed. They must be surfaced, tested and validated to ensure they reflect what their target audiences care about.

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