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CMOs are first in the firing line if business growth targets are not met

Alison Kennedy, Managing Director, Accenture Strategy – ASEAN | Dec. 12, 2016
CMOs are now at an inflection point. They have the clear opportunity to step up to the role of Chief Growth Officer. So far, most have missed the opportunity, resulting in others being front of line for the role.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) currently have the deck stacked against them. While CEOs have given the entire C-suite some level of responsibility for driving disruptive business growth, according to the latest Accenture Strategy research, more than a third (37 percent) say that CMOs are first in the firing line if growth targets are not met. It is imperative that CMOs with a growth mind-set step up to lead as the Chief Growth Officer, and take accountability for the disruptive growth agenda which is fragmented today.

As front office-functions continue to converge and more C-suite leaders enter the mix - from Chief Sales Officers, to Chief Digital, Chief Experience and Strategy Officers - CEOs have given the entire C-suite some level of responsibility for disruptive growth, yet no one is fully accountable. Today, 90 percent of companies are in this position, with three or more C-suite leaders 'responsible' for disruptive growth.

Given that CMOs fill a key role in the end-to-end customer experience and typically have control of many of the digital levers that drive disruptive growth, CMOs have a huge opportunity to actively drive the disruptive growth and be rewarded for it. However, there are significant barriers holding them back.

CMOs best placed to lead the disruptive growth agenda

CEOs see CMOs as the primary driver of disruptive growth (50 percent), closely followed by Chief Strategy Officers (49 percent), and Chief Sales Officers (38 percent). The majority of CMOs (96 percent) also recognise the importance of disruptive growth to revenue potential, and another 75 percent believe they have a great deal of control over the disruptive growth levers in their company. However, many CMOs are not currently in a position to drive disruptive growth due to mind-set and time.

Only 30 percent of CMOs believe that they are cutting-edge marketing innovators, and a little over a third (37 percent) of their time is currently spent on innovation. Sixty percent spend the majority of their time on traditional marketing initiatives, such as maintaining brand image, improving customer experience and loyalty. While evidently important, over half (54 percent) feel that a large portion of their marketing budget is being wasted and not delivering the results the business expects.

CMOs can take a greater role by actively driving the disruptive growth agenda and generating new value for the business. Such initiatives include developing ecosystems with non-traditional players, launching platforms that elevate current products into expanded service models for customers, and increasing revenue through next generation connected data monetisation - all of which CMOs are well positioned to do.

 

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