How Senior Business Leaders View the Role and Performance of Marketing

Source: Marketing Board

Last month, the CMO Council published a report that provides several important insights into how top corporate executives view the role and performance of marketing in their organization. Marketing Case Values: C-Suite Scorecard on a survey of 120 senior executives in a variety of leadership roles.

38% (38%) of survey respondents were with companies that had more than $1 billion in annual revenue, and 18% were with companies that had annual revenue from $501 million to $1 billion. Survey respondents worked in more than 17 industry sectors, and 84% of them were in companies headquartered in North America.

The CMO Council study addressed two main issues:

  1. What do senior leaders see as the essential roles and functions of marketing in their company?
  2. How do senior executives evaluate the performance of their marketing organizations?

How senior executives see the role of marketing

The Marketing Board survey included several questions designed to capture the views of senior business leaders about the primary purpose of marketing in their organization. The question that produced the most revealing insight into performance measures.

The survey asked senior executives to identify the top five metrics or KPIs they would use to measure the value, contribution, and performance of marketing. 80% of respondents were selected Revenue and sales growth as one of the top five KPIs. The second and third scales were the most specific Customer acquisition and profitability And Customer satisfaction and retentionBoth measures the primary drivers of revenue growth.

Other survey responses also show the importance that senior business leaders place on revenue growth. For example, the survey asked respondents to identify the top five areas of their company’s marketing processes that need improvement. The following table shows the five areas most frequently identified by survey respondents.

As the table shows, Demand generation and pipeline It was the first area of ​​marketing that senior executives thought needed to be improved.

The CMO also asked survey respondents to identify the five most important roles of a CMO on their executive team. More than half of survey respondents placed the following roles in the top five:

  • Advocate and Champion of Customer Experience (62% of respondents)
  • Digital Transformation / Marketing Automation Leader (54%)
  • Brand Reputation and Value Builder (51%)
  • Maestro for Communications and Demand Generation (51%)

In contrast, less than half of survey respondents listed the following CMO roles in the top five:

  • Primary Revenue Builder and Growth Strategist (40% of respondents)
  • Innovation and Business Expansion Engineer (34%)
  • Market entry authority and pricing expert (12%)

It should come as no surprise that most top business leaders believe that CMOs should play a leading role in the customer experience and digital transformation of marketing, given the undeniable importance of both of these issues. However, responses to this question indicate that many senior executives still believe that the most vital roles of a marketing manager revolve around marketing communications. This perception may limit CMO’s ability to maximize revenue growth, which requires strategies beyond marketing communications.

How do senior executives evaluate marketing performance?

The Marketing Board survey also included several questions designed to get a sense of how senior business leaders feel about their companies’ marketing performance. In the introduction to the survey report, the authors wrote, “…marketing managers will be more than happy with the scores they receive on the new C-Suite scorecard for the marketing value and effectiveness measured in this report…”

My opinion of these survey results is not that enthusiastic. If I was asked to assign a letter score to Marketing based on the total survey results, I would give Marketing a “B”, i.e. Hassan but with Clear room for improvement. Here are two survey results showing my reasoning.

Marketing performance in 2020 – On a 10-point scale, 6% of executives surveyed rated the performance of their marketing teams in 2020 as Exceptional (9 or 10), and another 40% rated their marketing performance as very well (7 or 8). However, 45% of survey respondents rated their marketing performance last year as only Moderate (5 or 6).

Marketing ability to drive growth in 2021 17% (17%) of business leaders surveyed said they are until far away Confident that their marketing function could lead to a growth rebound in 2021. However, 52% of survey respondents said that they were only somewhat confident In marketing’s ability to drive growth this year, another 29% reported that only somewhat confident.

The bottom line here is that marketing leaders still have work to do to earn the highest levels of trust from other top business leaders.

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