In this rapidly changing and disrupting world, CEOs are looking to marketers to understand and interpret the trends that are going on now and the impact they will have on the future of the business.

It is this knowledge that is becoming the backbone of their growth strategies.

CEOs now expect marketers to interpret and utilise the enormous amount of data and analytics available to track every interaction with customers and provide genuine insight, not only on their behaviours today, but into where they are going in the future.

We are part of the ‘customer era’ and need to use all the data at our disposal to determine truly customer-centric strategies that they can operationalise deep into the business.

Growth Mantra asked some of Australia’s top business leaders – including Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Carnival Australia Chairman Ann Sherry –what marketers need to do to both advance the organisation and their career.

According to the CEOs they spoke to, all expressed a strong desire and need to see their marketing teams initiating and navigating the future and path for growth.

Six key themes emerged that CEOs most value from marketers:

  1. The world is changing and disrupting faster than any time in history. No industry is immune. Business models are under threat. By understanding and interpreting trends, CEOs look to marketing to continuously paint a picture of the future and the ‘So what’ or ‘What if’ for the business. An eye on the future is no longer a nice thing to have. It is key to survival.
  1. Growth is the focus for CEOs and they are looking to marketers to provide exceptional customer analytics and insight – big data and deep data – to help form the who, what, why, how and when. They see marketers more closely aligned to the Chief Information Officers or Chief Technical Officers than ever before and being able to interpret and utilise big data and own these insights will be vital for marketing to be an effective discipline for growth.  Clubs and pub, no matter what size, can no longer afford to carry a marketing department that is simply ‘brochure, poster and coaster’ focused.
  1. CEOs expect marketers to be leading the company in understanding the digital environment. The world is now digital and businesses need to be at the forefront of this societal transition. Digital is no longer a department that works alongside the business, it needs to be core to everything the business does in engaging, retaining and attracting customers.
  1. Marketers will continue to be viewed as the ‘colouring-in department’ if they don’t drive real, measurable results that can assist their organisation in driving growth – particularly through new customer acquisition and share of wallet growth. Eyeballs don’t matter anywhere near as much as generating revenue and CEOs want marketers to act and respond accordingly.
  1. Marketers who are ‘creative’ need to get more analytical and ‘analytical’ marketers need to get more creative – it is critical that the Chief Marketing Officer in today’s world is a hybrid of both.
  2. CMOs need to understand every bit of the organisation. Their role is to create demand and ensure they understand the impact this has on the rest of the organisation. This will require playing an influential role in informing and driving the customer agenda through the entire organisation.


Adapted from an article by Simon Corah from Growth Mantra, a boutique strategy consultancy based in Sydney.  It first appeared in Mumbrella.  Click here for the full, original article.