Staff Reporters
Nov 7, 2023

Only 22% of CMOs say their jobs are understood by other C-suite executives

TOP OF THE CHARTS: According to a new survey by McKinsey, the gap between CEOs and CMOs is widening. CEOs claim to know what marketing chiefs do, but not every CMO agrees.

Only 22% of CMOs say their jobs are understood by other C-suite executives
  • Nine out of 10 CEOs say that the role marketing plays is clearly defined at their companies. But only 22% of CMOs say their jobs are well-defined and understood by other C-suite executives, down from 31% in 2019.
  • 66% of CMOs surveyed by McKinsey said their CEOs were not comfortable with modern marketing, versus 50% of CEO respondents who said they do feel comfortable with modern marketing.
  • When asked to name their marketing departments’ primary responsibilities, only 50% of CEOs gave the same answers as their own company’s CMOs, according to the McKinsey survey.
  • Only 10% of Fortune 250 CEOs have marketing experience, and only 4% have previously held a CMO-like role. In contrast, more than 70% of Fortune 100 CEOs have an operations or finance background.
  • On average, CEOs feel that marketing metrics clearly tie to business impact less than 60% of the time.
  • CEOs who place marketing at the core of their growth strategy are twice as likely to have greater than 5% annual growth compared with their peers.
Other findings
Companies that place marketing at the core of their growth strategy perform better. CEOs can no longer afford to underestimate marketing as their growth partner and can get started now with the following steps:
  • Clearly define a C-level growth role with marketing at its centre.
  • Engage with CMOs to discuss the business’s growth strategy and build conviction in marketing’s role within it.
  • Together with the CMO, define a clear cascade of business outcomes into marketing KPIs to ensure the strategy has a direct impact on the bottom line.
With this road map, any organisation can reposition marketing so that it’s at the core of its growth engine to capture the incremental sales potential of marketing-led growth.
McKinsey conducted a survey and had conversations with more than 100 people in C-level growth roles (chief marketing officers, chief growth officers, etcetera) and 21 CEOs from B2B and B2C companies of all sizes and across multiple industries.
Campaign Asia

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