The CMO shift to gaining business lift

Today’s CMOs see themselves as growth drivers, with a clear mandate from senior management to add value and impact revenue. But are they actually delivering?

Deloitte and The CMO Council surveyed 200+ CMOs worldwide to find out. The results are a wake-up call for CMOs.

Marketing executives are expected to be growth drivers

The proof is in the numbers. CMOs believe they are the executives primarily responsible for growth strategies in their organisations, more so than chief executive officers, chief commercial officers, and chief growth officers. And CMOs use revenue growth as the top metric to demonstrate the value and return on marketing spend.

  • Twenty-seven percent say the CMO is primarily responsible for growth strategies and revenue generation–inching above the CEO (21 percent).
  • Sixty-eight percent say the top or one of the highest expectations by senior management and the board is for marketing to be the growth driver.

But are they living out the role?

While aspirations to be the growth catalyst are high, CMOs are spending the majority of their time on budgetary and campaign management activities, at the expense of more strategic initiatives that could help drive growth. Marketing executives see their role as being a combination of:

  • Crafting growth strategies (48 percent)
  • Defining and shaping the brand (44 percent)
  • Executing campaigns (42 percent)

Marketing leaders want to spend the majority of their time teaming with leadership executives and forming strategic partnerships, yet very few are. They are overwhelmingly consumed with attending meetings, working with internal stakeholders to justify marketing spend, and/or reviewing and approving budgets.

Many CMOs aren’t spending time on the activities they care about:

  • Sixty-six percent want to be teaming with leadership executives on global business and brand strategy, but 16 percent actually are.
  • Fifty-eight percent want to be innovating and implementing new approaches, strategies, products, and sales development programs, but 41 percent actually are.
  • Twenty-four percent want to be looking for strategic partnerships and alliances, but seven percent actually are.

And they are spending a significant amount of time on things they don’t want to be doing:

  • Sixteen percent want to be attending meetings with peers inside the company, but 42 percent actually are.
  • Eleven percent want to be reviewing and approving plans, budgets, content, and campaign elements, but 45 percent actually are.
  • Eight percent want to be making a case for marketing spend and presenting plans/budgets, but 38 percent actually are.

What is the opportunity ahead for CMOs?

Marketing executives can explore several options to move into the seat of growth driver:

  • Control the customer experience and shape it as a business driver, not as a campaign deployment strategy.
  • Shift thinking, strategy and investment around technology, and culture.
  • Accept the role of growth driver and shift the CMO to a revenue-centric vision, adopting new strategies, tools, and measures to define success.

Learn more by downloading the comprehensive report.

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