The CMO Will Be the First to Go - Opportunity Knocks

The CMO Will Be the First to Go - Opportunity Knocks

CEO’s are increasingly seeking disruptive growth. Yet, accountability within the C-suite for disruptive growth is fragmented, creating opportunity for the willing CMO and their agencies.

According to a recent report by Accenture, “99% of companies surveyed have three or more C-Suite leaders accountable for disruptive growth, and more than a third of the CEOs surveyed say the CMO will be the first to go should growth targets not be met.”

Despite diluted accountability throughout the C-suite, CMOs are on the hot seat. They’ll be first out the door.

We see the aftermath in the thousands of CMO roles that we monitor daily. In our just-released report, “The CMO Lifecycle: Tenure Analysis & Potential Sales Opportunities,” we tracked 1,400 CMOs at the largest 1,100 advertisers in the U.S. We noted a drastic increase in CMO turnover when their tenure meets 38 months, and a median tenure of just 27 months. We also found that only 3.9% are promoted out of the CMO role to roles such as Chief Growth Officer (CGO). The remainder rarely resurface in a role above the ‘CMO C-Suite ceiling.’ Opportunity knocks for those CMOs (and their agency partners) aligned to the CEO around creating and implementing effective disruptive growth strategies.

However, there appears to be an alarming disconnect between the two Goliath CEO and CMO roles. Only 37% of CMOs view disruptive growth as very important, versus 44% of CEOs. Can your agency or solution help close the gap? If you can, there’s tremendous transferable value. Imagine the financial results and organizational impact if you were able to help bring these two into alignment.

Is digital the silver-bullet for CMO job security and advancement?

75% of CMOs surveyed in Accenture’s report say that they have either “total or a great deal of control” of their firm’s digital levers, which are perceived as the critical enablers for disruptive growth. Yet, CEOs state that this type of growth requires more than solid digital chops. It requires new value propositions and partnerships as part of an expansive business platform. That creating new platforms for growth is key to realizing those results.

Does your agency or solution align to this critical CMO need? Can you empower a CMO to evaluate and craft new growth ideas as platforms, and in return help them surpass the 38 month tenure?

Many CMOs we monitor at leading national advertisers seem to be avoiding initiatives to lead disruptive growth initiatives, defaulting to traditional models now considered by many as a “mirage of a safe zone.” Perhaps that’s why 33% of CEOs say marketing will sit under digital within the next 5 years.

CMOs need to be accountable and to captain the digital ship, not only for career protection and advancement, but to avoid losing control of one the most impactful drivers of the organization.

Helping to define and execute a disruptive growth strategy requires a matrixed relationship within the C-suite and wider marketing organization. The most successful agency and marketing technology customers we work with understand this. They provide key insights and recommendations to all levels of senior influencers within a national advertiser’s marketing team and become a trusted partner over time.

We’ve seen that the more digitally equipped the CMO is, the more they can maintain strong agency relationships and also stay in their position longer, beating the median and skewing beyond the average tenure. What are you doing to coach your client? Can you be a better coach than an incumbent CMO?

Read our full report: The CMO Lifecycle: Tenure Analysis & Potential Sales Opportunities

To access all CEOs, CMOs and their senior marketing team, order a complimentary trial of Winmo, the leading sales intelligence resource for those who target national advertisers and their agencies for new business.


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