Technological innovation has elevated the importance of the Chief Marketing Officer position in today's digital landscape. The rapid spread of mobile computing, the proliferation of artificial intelligence, the fast-evolving world of big data and analytics: all have forged new channels to reach customers and understand their thoughts on products, services, and brands. And yet, out of all members in the C-suite, CMOs often struggle the most to maintain their corporate footing. In fact, a global survey by the Fournaise Marketing Group revealed that 80%of CEOs don’t trust or are unimpressed with their CMOs.
Likewise, a 2020 analysis by the global consulting firm Korn Ferry revealed that CMOs have one of the shortest runs in the C-suite. Examining the top 1,000 U.S. companies, the study discovered that the average tenure of a CMO is the lowest of all C-suite titles, at an average of 3.5 years. “Short CMO tenure," said Caren Fleit, Leader of Korn Ferry’s Global Marketing Officers Practice, "is a reflection of a lack of understanding of how powerful this role can really be in terms of driving business outcomes."
The problem is often exacerbated by a lack of alignment between CMOs and other members of the executive leadership team. For strategic coherence, the C-suite should rally around a core business strategy.It's vital to get everyone "on the same page."Upfront clarity and mutual expectation-setting are key. Failing to meet these requirements oftentimes result in a plethora of negative outcomes, including: ineffective decision-making, stalled growth, brand inconsistency, impeded momentum, fuzzy priorities, wasted resources, and overall decreased employee morale.
At the same time, CMOs and their teams are in unique positions to provide significant benefits to the C-suite. The digitalization of the world means that tech-savvy marketing leaders are a necessity for any company looking for a competitive advantage.
With talent in the CMO role, companies have someone who can work closely with all parts of a business –from sales and operations, to engineering – to ensure that the organization’s marketing efforts align with those of all other departments. More specifically, the work of the CMO can drive revenue growth, enhance brand reputation, improve customer engagement, facilitate innovation, and provide strategic insights that inform the company's overall business strategy.
Today, more than ever, it is important for the CMO and the C-Suite to work collaboratively and be aligned on the company's overall business objectives and marketing strategy.