SPRINGBOX / Insights

5 Key Takeaways from Top CMOs

by Springbox, May 9, 2014

What’s the role of tomorrow’s CMO: Chief Magic Officer or Chief Logic Officer? The 12th annual Spencer Stuart CMO Summit brought voices from brands like Target and Cigna to answer that question and more.

Here’s what they found. And a little of what we think about it, too.

Change is inevitable — and it happens fast.

We know all too well how quickly trends change in digital — #AmazonCart for example. CMOs for big brands have found that talent in smaller, more nimble agencies (hey, that’s us!) are better able to equip brands with the tools they need to stay ahead.

Agility means being a little uncomfortable.

Tech, and digital, is changing the definition of fast. Agile marketing strategies are now essential for brands to stay relevant. For CMOs, that means putting the right people in the right roles, bringing in outside tech companies (again, here’s a little shameless self promotion) and most importantly, letting go of some control.

Strategy is the ability to balance analytics and creativity.

Data matters. But it does not answer the need for great ideas. Analytics may give empirical data, but creative thinking allows brands to connect with consumers in ways that resonate. CMOs are finding that solid strategy is the answer, striking a balance between the “logic” of analytics and the “magic” of good creative.

Talent Needed: Creative Analysts/Analytical Creatives

Even though CMOs agreed that creative and analytics are both essential, only 19% of attendees felt that their teams strike the right balance between both skills, according to the CMO summit survey. So what’s a CMO to do? Increase collaboration and rotate talent across functions. (And speaking from our experience. It works.)

Customers come first. Always.

Consumer insights drawn from solid analytics can drive great creative. (Heck, it’s what we strive to do every day.) But data without passion for the consumer is meaningless. Asking the right questions and putting the customer’s voice first is key for every organization.

Boy, that’s a lot to think about and manage day-to-day. So what’s the role of today’s, and tomorrow’s, CMO?  The verdict was Chief Growth Officer. But we think maybe Chief Maturation Officer works, too. That way they don’t have to update those business cards.