Forrester: CMOs role unclear, not digitally in Tune

The CMOs role, at one time, has been pretty straightforward; all they need to do is focus on marketing and branding efforts. In the digital age, that is not the case as expectations now fall onto them to drive digital transformation.

According to Forrester’s latest report – CMOs: Define Your Role in Digital Transformation – that isn’t the case. Going by the study, less than a quarter from the survey sample are directly responsible for their organisation’s digital switch-over.

The study, instead, alludes to how CMOs are still dealing with short term ROI initiatives and competing priorities. The latter usually gets in the way of their focus to led long term strategic change.

Another challenge CMOs face is the short tenures they undertake. According to Forrester, most last between 2.5 to 4 years. CEOs and CFOs last longer than that.

Right Focus for CMOs Role

The study points to how the CMO’s poorly designed and unclear role; the mismatch expectations of the CEO is also another outstanding issue. All these challenges put these marketer chiefs in a tough spot of balancing between pushing revenues and driving digital transformation.

Forrester’s research includes polling over 2,000 global service decision makers; specifically, those who are part of digital transformation. Results show that those driving adoption agenda are CIOs/CTOs, CEOs, and IT Managers. Only 23% from the sample believe they are or will be responsible for this move; worse, 16% are part of the execution process.

This has to change as, Forrester argues, the trend to go digital isn’t entirely tech focused. It is also customer-centric as the digital consumer will lead the narrative on what they expect from companies.

Knowing and understanding both is essential for CMOs so they can play a bigger role in their organisation’s digital transformation. In doing so, they can better understand customer wants and, in turn, become better brand curators.

Text by: Victor Yap


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