Marketers the ‘transformers of business’, CEOs struggle to find change agents

CEOs are looking to marketers to help business transformation to the digital age, chief insights officer at Forbes Bruce Rogers told the ADMA Global Forum, with more than half concerned their organisation lacks the skills required to adapt.

Rogers shared research conducted among chief executive officers which found 93% of multinational companies are in some phase of changing their business model.

Alarmingly however, only half of these executives believe their company is well versed in transformational change, according to the research.

“Digital is the great transformer of our time,” Rogers said. “It is the creator and destroyer of business models. Now is a unique role and time for the CMO to help mandate that organisational transformation.”

The key barriers to overcome for organisations tackling change are conflicting visions among executive leadership or decisions makers, inefficient execution or lack of formal process, lack of adequate technology and lack of internal talent to spearhead business change.

The single most important factor in overcoming these barriers is developing KPIs that are clearly linked to business performance, Rogers continued.

In the research, 67% of top performing businesses had KPIs clearly linked to business performance, while among the lower performing group only 47% had linked KPIs established.

“It’s not about brand management or net promoter score, or likes or share; it’s about revenue,” Rogers said. “The CEO cares about revenue – if you’re seen as a partner in that, that is a high indicator of success.”

Armed with data, the CMO can become the growth partner and transformer of the organisation, Rogers added. “That’s the defining difference in the CMO role today.

“The transformation I’ve seen has been from marketers that were the super creative person that created all this great advertising to the person that manages a complex ecosystem of marketing channels, and now today to someone who is orchestrating the organisation in a complex way.”

The study also revealed half the marketers surveyed believe their organisation is wasting money on poor execution.

“Marketing is a $1.2 trillion economic activity around the world,” Rogers said. “Half of that is wasted. Can you imagine what even small incremental increases in efficiency could do not just for your organisation but for the world economy?”

Chris Byrne
BY Chris Byrne ON 31 July 2014
Chris Byrne used to be research editor of this publication, but now contributes from various locations. He also contributes to The Fetch and has been published in The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Tweet him @penseive