According to executive-search firm Spencer Stuart, the average length of time chief marketers remained in their positions last year was 48 months. CMO tenure jumped from 45 months in 2013 to 48 months last year. That’s double the CMO tenure from 2004, the year Spencer Stuart began formally tracking it. As in past years, Spencer Stuart based its data on an analysis of tenure of CMOs of the top 100 U.S. advertised brands.
“CMOs’ ability to leverage digital and analytics to create value for the business also has been a factor in longer tenure,” Tom Seclow said in a statement. Seclow leads Spencer Stuart’s Marketing Officer Practice. “The ability to create measurably successful marketing initiatives built on customer insight has increased CMOs’ credibility in the C-suite.”
There is no doubt that technology platforms like marketing automation have helped Chief Marketing Officers in companies of all sizes to provide value at an Executive level.
“CEOs several years ago began to embrace the executive committee, and in those cases, the CMO is firmly planted as an element of that,” said Greg Welch, senior partner at Spencer Stuart. “An example is [IBM Senior VP of Marketing and Communications] Jon Iwata—not only is he at the table when a question is asked, he’s the one that speaks the customer voice with authority,” he said.
New technologies, more transparency with consumers and data, and technology in general “have been a fabulous springboard for those who want to own the customer voice within in the organization,” Welch said. “It’s a great time to be a CMO, despite some volatility, for sure.
“I do think that CMOs and the profession is getting better,” he added. “And when I think about the support that a sitting CMO has today—a better dashbroad, metrics, science that’s better understood by the boss, other agency partners you can lean on—I felt like in the early days, no one had the answers—there was a concerned look in everyone’s eye—now we’re getting a cadence; we’ve seen the profession grow up in the last several years.”
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