CMOs out of step with C-Suite and their own teams - survey  

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

There is a growing disconnect between CMOs’ vision for the marketing function, compared to their C-suite counterparts, and even their own marketing teams.

That’s according to The Economist Group, which has published a new report called Wanted: CMOs with 2020 Vision.

One area highlighted by the research is the disparity around the importance of brand purpose. 

Whilst CMOs consistently talk about the need for brands to have a larger mission, this is not shared by others. 

The Economist Group found that 43% of CMOs considered brand purpose a key strategic priority compared with just 25% of the C-suite and 19% of non-CMO marketers.

Executives from across the globe were surveyed for the new report, which details their thoughts concerning the marketing function, its purpose, influence and future. 

Topline findings reveal that within the C-suite:

  • 63% of CMOs consider the key strategic focus of marketing to be short-term (1-2 years), compared to 54% of their C-suite colleagues
  • The C-suite want marketing to deliver greater focus on customer experience and engagement yet CMOs consider it only fourth on their list of priorities
  • 71% of C-suite marketers complain of a ‘lack of board-level understanding of the marketing function’s contribution to business performance’. Only 40% of the rest of the C-suite agree
  • 43% of CMOs felt that company culture and purpose is a key strategic priority, but only 25% of the C-suite felt the same

Within marketing teams:

  • Whilst the C-suite look for long-term thinking, a majority 68% of non-CMO marketers view the strategic focus of the marketing department as short-term (1-2 years) and only 23% are considering a mid-term focus (5-6 years)
  • 47% of CMOs believe marketing has a significant influence on strategic priorities, but only 26% of non-CMO marketers agree
  • 55% of CMOs believe marketing has an influence on business performance and growth but only 29% of their teams agree
  • 43% of those CMOs consider brand purpose a key priority, yet only 19% of the rest of their marketing department does

“If there’s one thing that’s clear from this research, it’s that despite their best efforts, marketers may be missing the mark when it comes to communicating with their colleagues - both inside and outside the marketing department”, said Nicolas Sennegon, Executive Vice President, Global Chief Commercial Officer.

“Almost 20% of the C-suite do not believe marketing is key to their organisation meeting its strategic objectives. 

“Hopefully this report, together with the tips outlined throughout, will trigger some thoughts that will help teams tackle the challenges,” 

The Economist Group intends for this research to empower marketers with these unique insights into their peers and team, and offers a range of advice and tips to counteract the growing divide. 

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