CMO Council’s Design & Align Report

Original Post Date April 23, 2007

The Define & Align the CMO report is avaliable to today after 2 years in the making. The report actually turned out to be more interesting than we orignal thought based on our working hypothesis.

The year-long research by the CMO Council and MarketBridge encompassed qualitative and quantitative interviews with CMOs, CEOs, board members, senior marketers and executive recruiters throughout North America. The 80-page report, priced at $295, along with a complimentary executive abstract, is available for download at http://www.cmocouncil.org/.

Here’s a teaser of some the insights coming out of the research:

  • Confusion over the role – the casualty rate of Chief Marketing Officers can be reduced if CEOs and boards better understood the role, requirements and value of a CMO and empowered the right individuals to architect all aspects of a company’s operations around the customer experience.
  • “A Fixer Upper” – the report points out that title inflation, unrealistic expectations, flawed hiring practices, talent deficiencies, and lack of requisite business and strategic leadership skills are big contributors to the limited shelf life of CMOs. The research also points to the fact that 50 percent of executive searches are to replace incumbent CMOs who are primarily hired to fix broken marketing organizations, not drive business value.
  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T – the study uncovers startling contradictions in upper management: most executives consider the CMO a valued member of the executive team, yet they also believe many CMOs lack the background and skills needed to be a top managementplayer – a challenge numerous senior marketers share with their CIO counterparts at many companies. Additionally, in a sharp commentary on the connection between strategic value and performance, most CMOs involved in top-level decision-making get high marks from their CEOs for their overall performance, while those CMOs who remain in tactical mode get significantly lower grades.
  • Show me the Money! – nearly three-quarters of the C-suite executives surveyed consider the marketing organization “highly influential and strategic in the enterprise.” At the same time, nearly two-thirds also say their top marketers don’t provide adequate evidence of ROI with which to gauge marketing’s true performance.
  • Getting a Grade – In a clear sign of the strategic role played by marketing executives, nearly 70% of the CMO respondents to this study report directly to their CEO. However, only 40% of that number get an A grade for their performance from the CEO…most likely the ones who could demonstrate their value!  For the most part, CMOs get more respect from the boardroom than from the CEO. Most of the board members surveyed, over 80%, believe that within the next two years, the CMO position will gain greater credibility with the rest of the management team. But in another reality check, less than 20 percent also say that an increasing number of CMOs will rise to the CEO position.
  • Longer Tenure – A majority of the recruiters surveyed believe that CMOs have a shorter shelf life than other C-level executives. The average tenure of CMO respondents to this study was 38 months. (In a past report, the search firm Stuart Spencer pegged the number at 23 months). We had a professor from a top business school involved in our research…he’s a data/analytics guru. He was also familiar with the Stuart Spencer report, here’s a dirty little secret…CMO’s your tenure is longer than what SS reports.  Don’t believe the hype…they are an executive placement firm.

The research concluded that the most successful CMOs are aggressively instituting rigorous performance measurement and analytics in every aspect of their organizations, and tying those metrics to revenue and profit growth.

Published by

scott.gillum

Scott is the Founder of Carbon Design Co and the former head of the Washington, DC office of gyro, the largest B2B agency in the world. Prior to joining gyro, he spent a dozen years at a professional services firm that specializes in B2B sales and marketing. Scott also writes a monthly column for Media Post and has contributed to three books on B2B Sales and Marketing. Follow him on Twitter @sgillum

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.