Organizational alignment is crucial
According to the survey, nearly four in 10 CMOs say the most important change toward improving their efficiency would be better organizational alignment behind the firm’s objectives. That’s never been more critical than now, as businesses face a current climate filled with unknowns. “Enterprises that are able to allow more agility in their teams and the way they work are going to be more successful, and marketing is at the center of all of that,” says Caren Fleit, Managing Director of Korn Ferry’s Global Marketing Officers practice. “There may be redesigns of organization with the customer in mind that have less functional lines.”
Who’s up next?
Succession planning is particularly relevant for CMOs because they have the shortest tenure in the C-suite, averaging 4.1 years. Last year, 84% of CMOs felt as though there was no ready-now successor. This year, 80% of CMOs said that developing a successor was a priority. “One of the reasons there’s a shortage of leaders is that many people are specialists who aren’t cross-trained to become generalists by the time they reach the CMO level,” Fleit says. “There’s a need for agility and the ability to take on new roles to eventually be a contender for the CMO role.”
Getting creative about finding talent
CMOs are hampered by a shortage of talent, with 36% of them reporting that it’s their biggest challenge to building a best-in-class team. As hiring starts up again, once the crisis dies down, companies that have a clear and authentic purpose will be able to attract better talent. “To fill their current talent gaps, CMOs need to think creatively, looking outside of their industry or collaborating across functions to solve for capabilities in high demand,” Fleit says. “CMOs must also put greater focus on developing talent from within in addition to looking outside—blending a build and a buy approach.”
CMO Action Plan