The Evolving Marketer: The Role of the New CMO According to NewBase

What: NewBase has published “The Evolving Marketer”, an online global survey among 120 CMOs in over 20 markets. The survey, conducted between November 2017 and January 2018, explores the role of the CMO and the changing marketing landscape.
Why it matters: In order to help companies stay on top of the game, today’s CMOs must evolve with the changing expectations of the customers and manage from branding to promotions, content creation to distribution, and data analytics to overall marketing strategies, while keeping customer satisfaction in mind at all times.

As NewBase explains in its recently-published study titled "The Evolving Marketer", the new role of the CMO is to move through the “elevator shaft” of the company, managing information from the ground to the top executive levels. They must drive revenue and lead their business through nowadays’ fast-paced change and transformation. As technology evolves, the role of the CMO expands widely. Proof of that is that the CMO now oversees an average of 12 creative and MarTech areas, an 64% are directly responsible for at least 10 (or more) areas.

Out of 24 marketing functions measured by the survey, digital marketing is a the top of the list according to 85% of respondents, followed closely by marketing strategy (83%), advertising (81%), content marketing (79%), and branding (76%).

The survey identified a clear 50/50 split on how CMOs perceive their roles: they either consider themselves “creative-driven” or “analytically minded”. The Creative CMO, now storyteller and copywriter, places great emphasis on perfecting the customer experience and most likely gained experience in traditional marketing later expanding into the tech realm. They now need to be “digitally astute, fully immersed in the technology stack, and accountable for business results”. Their main area of budget responsibility is content marketing (85%), followed by digital marketing and events (83%), marketing strategy (81%) and branding (80%).

The Tech CMOs most likely built their experience based on technology innovations and data mining and analytics. They’re involved in sales and advertising processes, with digital marketing and advertising as their main marketing functions (86%) followed by marketing strategy (85%). Even though Tech CMOs try to keep up to speed with tech changes, 61% of overall global CMOs consider that it’s essential, but often difficult for them to follow up on the stream of new stuff.

92% of respondents [global CMOs] agree that creative and analytics need to work more closely together to drive success.

The most reasonable solution would be to merge the talents of both CMO counterparts, since up to 77% of CMOs agree that “there is an increasing interest in marrying art, science, and data”. 92% respondents agree that “creative and analytics need to work more closely together to drive success”. It only makes sense that a Tech CMO could benefit from a strong creative partner, and a Creative CMO could work closely with an analytical second in command.

CMOs agree that “marketing decisions should be based on how they impact the customer, rather than the business”, which is why data analytics is increasingly taking up more of their time and responsibilities, registering the highest percentage of budget increase. As technology dictates the customer’s experience with brands, content marketing, social media, digital marketing, and data analytics, these are areas of great concern for companies. Moreover, the increased importance of these areas in recent years has caused an expansion of the CMO role, who is now involved in almost all areas of marketing. 61% of global CMOs consider the role to be complex and almost half agrees that "Tech changes often make it difficult for the CMO to keep up", but 97% agree that "It is essential to keep up with innovations in technology."

However, as necessary as it is for measuring customer satisfaction, the global CMO claims that over half the data available “is not being used to its full potential”. Instead of just accumulating and storing data, CMOs say that some of the analytics budget should be used in deeper analytics, interpretation, and implementation of the data they already have, with 74% of respondents agreeing that it’s more important to refine data management and analytics systems than to focus on the latest tech.

Taking into consideration the extended scope of their responsibilities, it’s only natural that CMOs need to surround themselves with a competent team. In order to do that, they must select a mix of in-house and outsourced team members. The highest “fully outsourced” service among global CMOs is programmatic (43%), followed by advertising (36%), creative and design, and research and insight (both 28%). Nevertheless, many critical functions need to remain in-house: marketing strategy is delivered fully from company insiders (86%), followed by product marketing (76%), customer experience (75%), and social media (52%).

A successful CMO must always remain in command and at the center of the organization. "The Evolving Marketer" shows that empowering the CMO with more autonomy over budgets, operational and strategic decisions can have a positive impact on the business and strengthen their relationship with the board members, since they need to work closely with the CTO to define goals and functions and educate CFOs so they can fully understand the impact of marketing on their businesses.

Janet Grynberg @grynberg_janet

Janet has worked as editor and translator since 2013. After graduating with honors when receiving her Bachelor's Degree in English literature, she began working as a book reviewer for Expansión, the leading business magazine in Mexico. She has also worked as editor of young adult literature for publishing houses like Planeta and Penguin, and she's the author of a book of short stories. She's in the process of getting her MA in English at McGill University. Her interests include arts, good food, and her 8 pets.