CMOs expected to have short shelf life over coming years

CMOs expected to have short shelf life over coming years
Marketing Tech’s editor has more than a decade of editorial experience spanning computing, performance marketing and, currently, enterprise digital strategy. Simon’s career began in print, where he edited the news section of business computing title PC Plus and contributed to a variety of other special interest titles, including MacFormat and Computer Arts. He then made the transition to digital journalism, joining PerformanceIN where he covered a sector of the marketing industry where advertisers only pay on a performance basis. Most recently, Simon became editor at TechForge Media where he manages the editorial strategy of Marketing Tech and the company portfolio’s newest launch Connected Car.


Longevity may not be a word used to describe a chief marketing officer’s (CMOs) reign over the next few years if the predictions made by market research company IDC ring true.

A quarter of all high-tech CMOs will be replaced every year until 2018, according to the insights revealed during a recent IDC web conference that was part of the company’s new FutureScape report.

The figure might make gloomy reading for some, but Marketing Tech spoke to Donovan Neale-May, executive director of The CMO Council, who provided a more positive spin on IDC’s outlook for 2015.

“It [IDC’s findings] certainly does not apply across the board. The marketing function is on the rise, thanks to more influence and clout in the C-Suite, better insight and predictability from data analytics, and a greater span of authority in the organisation,” he said.

Broad experience

While in the past CMOs were more likely to cut their teeth in a marketing role, Neale-May went on to explain how these executives now came from a myriad of other specialist areas, all of which greatly benefit modern digital businesses.

“We’re seeing a new crop of marketing leaders with diversified operational backgrounds, product development credentials, and P&L experience take the helm of marketing organisations,” he observed.

“50% of new CMOs are hired to fix broken marketing organisations and to drive the digital transformation agenda. The latter is critical to ownership of customer experience, which we believe should be pivotal to the CMO position in the enterprise.”

IT and marketing consolidation

Elsewhere IDC anticipates that the merging of marketing and information technology is unlikely to gather momentum for the foreseeable future, with only 25% of CMOs and CIOs having a shared road map for marketing technology by 2018.

On a more positive note, by 2018 one in five business to business (B2B) CMOs will fuel a rise in their budget by linking campaign results with revenue performance.

A CMO’s budget prospects could also be improved through the halting of some outsourced activities. Indeed, IDC states that in the next year 50% of large high-tech marketing organisations will create their own in-house agencies.

Overall IDC has a mixed outlook for the industry’s top decision makers in the run up to 2018 then, but all this could further improve as new technologies, aimed at assisting the role of the CMO, come to market.

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