CMOs are among the most important executives at a company — and they know it and want to take the next step to the CEO’s office. The good news for CIOs is that they can’t do it without you.
A couple of years ago, many CMOs aspired to move up the ladder by becoming the marketing chief at a larger, more prestigious company, but now they’ve set their sights on the CEO position, according to a new Forrester survey of 212 CMOs. Forty percent of business-to-business marketers aim to become a CEO in their next role.
What’s got CMOs aiming at the corner office? The short answer: fruits of technology.
Social, mobile and data analytics has brought the CMO in lockstep with the revenue pipeline. CMOs now know more about target customers and sales trends than ever before. Today’s digital marketer has qualitative sales feedback, sales lead data, sales opportunities, sales cycle times and, critically, measurable revenue tied to marketing efforts.
“Data is the marketer’s new best friend,” says Elisa Steele, CMO and executive vice president of strategy at Jive Software. “Marketing has always been a combination of art and science, but marketers today must create a strategy centered on data and insights, understanding our users and customers, what behaviors are happening, and what trends are emerging.”
As a result, the CMO has become one of the most important executives at a company, and that’s why many think they can take the reins of business strategy and planning — that is, be a CEO.
There’s no question CMOs have come far from the dark days of the recession when their spend-happy, black-art ways threatened their job security.