EssenceMediacom study reveals the pressurised priorities of CMOs

The findings are based on a global study of 188 senior B2B marketing leaders

GroupM’s EssenceMediacon has launched its new report, The CMO Coming of Age Story: How digital transformation has elevated marketing to a C-suite growth driver.

Based on a global study of 188 senior business-to-business (B2B) marketing leaders in companies with a revenue of at least $250 million, the report identified an increasingly complex set of requirements for this role.

The report found that the role of the CMO has expanded, with nearly two-thirds (62%) saying the customer experience has shifted from sales-owned to marketing-owned.

Key findings of the report:

  • Almost 90% said their role has become more complex, with 37% saying the driving force is an increase in data and tech complexity.
  • Marketers actively leverage data and technology, with 60% using generative AI for content development.
  • 62% of CMOs say the customer experience has shifted from sales-owned to marketing-owned.
  • 60% of CMOs say that proving marketing impact has increased in importance more than any other responsibility.
  • 70% reported an overall marketing budget increase over the last three years, especially in data and technology capabilities.

Additionally, the vast majority (80%) of respondents stress the growing significance of customer centricity, surpassing ROI. This is in large part due to changes in the buyer profile — who today prefer self-directed research over traditional sales pitches.

Today, CMOs must navigate three core challenges as they become what we’re terming ‘Growth Orchestrators” within their organisations. These include the reality that marketing departments often outpace their organisations and must use this opportunity to drive cross-organisational innovation; the rising importance of delivering customer-centric experiences to the B2B buyer; and the need to rewrite the rulebook as marketers face increasingly complex ecosystems for gaining buyer attention. To support the CMO in this effort, organisations must rally behind this vision of marketing-driven growth and lean on the CMOs’ expanding remit and cross-functional influence to unlock new unprecedented business outcomes.

Kristin Gower, Global B2B President, EssenceMediacom

Featured image: EssenceMediacom