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The average tenure of a CMO has increased from 23.6 to 43 months since 2004 according to Spencer Stuart. That’s good news. Perhaps, companies are finally appreciating the business impact a CMO has. After all, if an organization is going to succeed, it’s got to grow its customer base, and nobody’s better at doing that than a strong marketer. Does longer tenure put more or less pressure on CMOs? If you have a longer tenure, you have greater pressure to live with results. With all of the data out there now, many expect greater accountability from CMOs to demonstrate strong analytic skills and the ability to measure return on investment (ROI). How are CMOs doing?

Here are 21 stats that show most CMOs leap before they look at ROI.

  1. 91% of senior marketers believe successful brands use customer data to drive marketing decisions; yet, 39% say their own company’s data is collected too infrequently or not real-time enough to be useful (source: BRITE Study)
  2. 90% of CMOs say social data has impacted at least some of their decisions; only 47% use social data to make predictions or forecast sales. (source: Bazaarvoice)
  3. 85% use social networks in some way; only 14% tie financial metrics to it. (source: AdAge)
  4. 80% feel challenged by the amount of data they have to deal with and the difficulty of accessing it. (source: Forrester)
  5. 77% say getting tradition and digital marketing to work better together remains a major goal (source: BRITE Study)
  6. 71% see potential for Big Data to have a large impact on sales; only 16% have Big Data strategies for sales. (source: Forrester)
  7. 70%+ of CMOs report feeling unprepared to harness the power of their data to make intelligent marketing decisions. (source: HubSpot)
  8. 63% of CMO’s say “ROI will be the standard for their performance by 2015:” yet, today, only 44% say “I can measure ROI.” (source: McKinsey)
  9. 57% are not basing their marketing budget on any ROI measures. (source: AdAge)
  10. 52% say achieving or increasing measurable ROI is a top priority for the coming year (source: MarketingSherpa)
  11. 51% say a lack of sharing customer data within their own organization is a barrier to effectively measuring their marketing ROI (source: BRITE Study)
  12. 42% of marketers report that they are not able to link data at the level of an individual customer. (source: BRITE Study)
  13. 39% admit they cannot turn their data into actionable insight. (source: BRITE Study)
  14. 36% of senior executives believe “old favorite” events such as open houses, hospitality functions, fundraisers and seminars deliver the best returns among localized marketing channels but can’t do direct tracking. (source: Marketing Charts)
  15. 29% report that their marketing departments have “too little or no customer/consumer data.” (source: BRITE Study)
  16. 28% of CMO’s say their decisions are based on gut instinct (source: Edelman)
  17. When asked which attributes they will need to be personally successful over the next three to five years, 28% said technological competence, 25% said social media expertise and 16% said financial acumen. (source: (IBM)
  18. 24% say determining any kind of cost-benefit analysis is a challenge. (source: Marketing Chart)
  19. 23% find it difficult to measure and evaluate campaign effectiveness on a local level. (source: Marketing Charts)
  20. B2B CMO’s say demonstrating ROI is their No. 1 concern yet fewer than 20% say they have the ability to measure it (source: Forbes)
  21. 7% say most of or all their spending decisions aren’t based on any metrics at all (source: Edelman)

Being a CMO is a complicated job. I know from the ROI modelling I do with CMOs; teaching Measurement and ROI curriculum at Rutgers CMD as part of their MBA faculty and conducting workshops through the new On-Site Search Marketing Training with my Biznology colleagues, Mike Moran and Tim Peter, available as part of Biznology Jumpstart Workshops. If you need look at ROI before you leap, let me know. I can help you.

Are you glad the tenure for CMOs has shown improvement? Do you believe CMOs are going to be more accountable to analytics and ROI in the near future? Do you think CMOs leap before they look at ROI now?

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Rob Petersen

About Rob Petersen

Rob Petersen is an experienced advertising and marketing executive and President of BarnRaisers, a full service digital marketing agency that builds brands based on proven relationship principles and ROI. He is on the MBA Faculty of Rutgers CMD and is the author of two books on digital marketing.

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