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CMO Dog Years 2

Forrester has just published a new study, conducted jointly with Heidrick & Struggles, on the challenges facing CMOs. As we've said, its a topic that is getting a lot of attention these days, particularly with the decline in the length of CMO tenures.

There are a number of surprises in the report.

  • Something less than 15% of CMOs ranked "technology-saviness" as being important to their success.  I would argue that a lack of technical saviness is a debilitating weakness for any marketer in today's world. Very surprised so many CMOs are missing this.
  • A lot of coverage of importance of being "customer-centric" but not much detail on how this plays out in product innovation strategy and what role of CMO should be.  Also, interesting (per the technology blindspot) that social media and community technologies were not more highly rated considering their power in driving "customer-centricity".
  • Somewhat less surprising is the lack of value placed on marketing conferences. Yet it seems like CMOs are struggling to find alternative avenues for their professional development. A big opportunity here for someone (Forrester? Heidrick? 1066?)

CMOs will not be able to succeed until they can define the role of marketing for their organizations. Rather than "aligning to the business — without waiting for the business to align to marketing" as the report concludes, I would say the marketers market themselves by setting a well-articulated and focused agenda for marketing (including what it is not). And then amazing everyone by delivering real value in a short period of time, leveraging technology.

December 14, 2007 in Discipline of marketing | Permalink


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