As companies become more digitally focused, is the CMO becoming more influential within the c-suite?

Developments in marketing technology have meant that CMOs have had to become more tech savvy in their approach, and we’ve all seen the stat that by 2017 CMOs will be spending more on tech than CIOs and CTOs. 

But does this transfer into greater influence in the c-suite? The logical answer is of course that yes, it does.

This is particularly true if we consider that CMOs are taking greater responsibility for the customer experience.

There are any number of digital touchpoints that feed into the overall customer experience, and most of these fall within the CMO’s remit.

Research by Econsultancy shows that marketers certainly feel they are important, with 77% of senior marketers agreeing that ‘marketing is a critical function within our business’.

Those that hold the purse strings tend not to agree however, as just 62% of finance directors shared that opinion.

Similarly, only 43% of finance directors believe that ‘the head of marketing has significant strategic influence on the business’, compared to 62% of marketers.

The CMO and the customer experience

In reality responsibility for the customer experience doesn’t solely fall under the CMO.

For example, research by IBM shows that CHROs know employees are an integral part of the customer relationship and expect to get more involved in improving the customer experience.

Finding and developing the right talent to make this happen is challenging. CHROs aim to shed some of their administrative activities to focus on talent management and the analytics needed to make better decisions.

CHROs want to focus more on enhancing the customer experience

CMOs leading the way in driving digital ambitions?

Have marketers been quicker to recognise the benefits of digital technologies than their colleagues?

The IBM report shows that CMOs, in particular, consider it critical to put the components of a strong digital strategy in place and want to overhaul every aspect of the customer interface.

CMOs want to put the components of a strong digital strategy in place

CMOs are strongly focused on enabling transformational change and see technology as key to helping them achieve these ambitions.

When asked what factors will pay a big role in helping them achieve their ambitions, advanced analytics and mobile applications proved to be the most common choices (both 94%).

CRM came third with 89%, closely followed by collaboration tools (87%).

CMOs believe technology will play a big role in helping them realize their goals

In summary

One of the overall trends that emerged from Econsultancy’s research was an agreement among CFOs and CMOs that the combination of increasingly precise measurement, greater involvement at board level and customer-centricity was pushing marketing towards a far more strategic role.

It is also dramatically improving marketing’s ability to deliver value.

To request for your exclusive invite to attend the Econsultancy/IBM BusinessConnect 2015 events, sign up here:

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (10 March 2015, Tuesday)

Bangkok, Thailand (12 March 2015, Thursday)

Singapore (13 March 2015, Friday)