A new report jointly produced between Forrester Research and Heidrick & Struggles paints a bleak picture of the (d)evolved CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). You can download the report here, but only after agreeing to become a “lead.”
While two thirds of CMOs want to get a higher involvement with business strategy development and increased P&L responsibility, the reality is that far too many of them are in fact disconnected from where the real action is.
Some of the findings are mind-boggling:
- Only 45% of CMOs have responsibility for product, service or solution development. Only 37.5% are responsible for pricing.
- Only 27.5% are in charge of sales training.
- Only 25% are responsible for in-store buying experiences.
- Only 12.5% are accountable for the activities associated with customer service and support.
How can you be the Chief Market Listener and not be in charge of what customers say after they buy your product? If you are the Chief Market Officer, how can you not be in charge of deciding what gets sold in the marketplace and how much it will cost the buyer to acquire it? And if you are the Chief Customer Officer, how can you not be in charge for the in-store customer experience? The sales training issue is either a cause or effect for the ongoing rift between most sales and marketing department…
But wait, it gets worse…here is some data about their top objectives:
- Only 27.5% have “increase customer life-cycle value” as one of their top objectives.
- “Innovate” is an objective for only 40% of the survey takers
- Only 27.5% have “increase customer retention” as an objective
And just when you thought you got the extend of the sorry state of CMOs, you find this:
- Only 12% consider “personal knowledge of your customers” as one of their top 5 competencies to their personal success.
- Only 17% consider technology savviness to be one of those top 5 skills
Thankfully (sarcasm intended), more than 65% see people management as one of those top skills. But wait a minute…isn’t it leadership characteristics that get you into the C-suite? Management skills are so Industrial Revolution/last century skills…
Other interesting tidbits from the report include:
- On a scale from 1-3, with 3 being the most important, CMOs found marketing measurement (2.55) to be way more important than customer community development ((1.89) and social computing/web 2.0 tools (1.73). That goes hand-in-hand with the fact that 92% have advertising as one of their main responsibilities.
- There is room for new industry marketing organizations, conferences and publications. Those three resources come in dead last in a list of 16 resources that CMOs ranked most valuable to their professional career development.
The recommendations from the authors to improve the situation?
- Spend more time on career development
- Seize the opportunity to lead the organization towards customer-centricity
- Build credibility through the marketing team and leadership contributions.
How about not accepting the CMO job if it does not mean you are really the Chief Market Officer, or the Chief Customer Listener, or the Chief Voice of the Customer Officer, or the Chief Customer Lifecycle Value Owner?