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Communicate Online | Regional Edition | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

Communicate Online | Regional Edition | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

Almost 50% CEOs don’t understand the role of this one C-suite position

Business UAE government

Research

Almost 50% CEOs don’t understand the role of this one C-suite position

A successful business strategy is one that effectively recognizes the importance of different roles from marketing to finance, and allocates budgets accordingly.

The role of marketing in business strategy has become increasingly important with big organizations embracing digital transformation and restructuring their departments accordingly.

Clearly, there is a massive understanding gap because the CMO’s role – and that of marketing – is only becoming more complex. Marketing’s scope has broadened and changed to become more results-driven moving from advertising and communications to also include data, customer experience, and more revenue-generating functions.

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Three-quarters of marketing leaders (72%) say their job has become more accountable and revenue focused, and at the same time 61% say their profession has become more accountable and increasingly complex.

CMOs and technology

As marketing becomes a more data-driven, tech-based business function, the CMO has to work ever closer with the CTO. However, as the CMO starts to secure budget for increasing tech investment, the boundaries between the CMO and CTO are blurring. This is probably why only one in three marketing leaders consider their relationship with the CTO to be very good and a fifth of CMOs (19%) say they have a fraught relationship with the CTO.

CMOs and finance

Even though CMOs (60%) believe that marketing is a primary revenue driver for their firm, CFOs still lack good understanding of marketing with 63% of CMOs struggling to convince the CFO that change, along with increased investment, is needed to grow the business.

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The lack of understanding makes investments and budget control even more difficult.

Unsurprisingly, (71%) of CMOs say marketing would do better if it were given greater autonomy, which is evident in the fact that 72% of marketers who do have full budget control have a better relationship with their CEO.

Study author and global head of insights at NewBase, Mike Jeanes, says: “As data and digital technologies provide solid numerical proof of marketing’s effectiveness, its contribution to the organization is increasing. However, there’s still greater understanding required among the C-suite about what marketing actually is and the revenue it drives. Our research shows that in companies where the CMO has greater autonomy, a higher proportion of CEOs, CFOs and CTOs fully grasp what marketing can deliver.”

In the Middle East and Africa region, he says, digital is transforming the role of the CMO. “In line with the global trend, digital ad spend in the region continues to steal share from TV, and expenditure on data and analytics is set to exceed $3 billion in the next few years.”

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