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The CMO Survey | A Coming of Age Story

How digital transformation has elevated marketing to a C-suite growth driver


Digital transformation – integrating advanced technologies into all aspects of the business – may seem like a Chief Technology Officer remit, but with B2B buyers demanding B2C-like experiences, orchestrating data in service of customer-centricity increasingly lands with Marketing leaders. What else lands with marketing today? Near-CEO responsibility without the authority.

The modern CMO is at a corporate crossroads – a far cry from a half-century ago when Marketing didn't even command a C-suite title. Today's B2B CMO must act as a tech integrator, customer oracle, and cross-department orchestrator.

According to an August 2023 global survey of 188 Fortune 500 B2B Marketing leaders, commissioned by EssenceMediacom, B2B CMOs today face three primary considerations in their ever-expanding role:

Am I outpacing the organisation?

Can customer-centric marketing shift from rhetoric to reality?

Are B2B Marketing playbooks due for a rewrite?

1. Are modern B2B Marketers outpacing the organisation?

As orchestrator of the customer experience, CMOs increasingly must serve as the
pace car for digital transformation across the entire company, yet they
frequently face institutional roadblocks.

Are you leading or lagging in digital transformation? Find out now!

2. Can customer-centric Marketing shift from rhetoric to reality?

80% of survey respondents said customer centricity has become ‘much more’ or ‘more important’ to their organisation over the past 2-3 years.
To be customer-centric, marketers must possess a complete understanding of the customer, but as the buying journey has become more complex and anonymous, achieving a single, integrated view of the customer has become increasingly challenging.

Is your marketing truly customer-centric? Find out how you compare.

3. Are B2B Marketing playbooks due for a rewrite?

CMOs are tasked with spearheading a revolution in Marketing objectives, digital transformation, and customer-centricity, which demands innovation and bold experimentation. Many CMOs, however, still rely on legacy playbooks about what constitutes B2B Marketing or a B2B buyer, limiting their creative approaches and differentiation.

Is your B2B marketing playbook outdated? Discover more here.

The 2023 Global B2B CMO Survey was conducted by EssenceMediacom and NewtonX, and is based on a study of 188 senior business-to-business (B2B) marketing leaders across North America, EMEA, China and Southeast Asia.