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PAS | WFA Marketer of the Future

Importance of CMOs effectively leading multifaceted teams

A new study by the WFA, in partnership with research agency 2CV and 28 national advertiser associations around the world including Pakistan has highlighted the need to look beyond the cult of the CMO as the person with ultimate wisdom in all the complex areas that now affect the role.

Marketers typically have responsibilities ranging across an average of nine distinct areas, from marketing strategy (79%) through to data ethics (34%), business growth (58%) through to sustainability (37%). Team capabilities, and the softer skills needed to effectively lead, are increasingly critical for an ever-expanding remit.

The CMO Conundrum and the Search for the Unicorn Marketer, which involved responses from 683 senior marketers as well as in-depth interviews with marketing leaders at blue-chip brands such as AirAsia, Airbnb, Aston Martin, Diageo, Mastercard, Nissan and Unilever the most international attempt yet to identify what will ensure marketing can thrive in companies of all geographies.

Many of these areas were also expected to become more important over the next five years, with 80% predicting that sustainability would grow in importance, 77% predicting a rise in the need to manage digital martech and platforms and 74% expecting data ethics to become more important. A further 73% expect data analytics to become more important, with 72% expecting Customer experience / centricity to become an increasingly vital component of their work.

Alongside these specific areas, 71% of respondents also agreed that ‘General business acumen beyond marketing’ is an important skill and 82% Agree that “Cultural sensitivity” is important. Top mentions for softer skills were curiosity, energy, passion and flexibility, all cited by 91% of respondents.

“The CMO is not dead, they are just being reborn in a new form. The truth is that the CMO is more important than ever as the conductor of the orchestra of marketing experts, both internal and external, both local and global. Soft skills are even more important than data understanding in ensuring the all elements of the team are working together for the common good,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA.

Only 20% people agree that the role of CMO won’t exist in 10 years’ time. The importance of soft people – skills is increasing in order to manage cultural differences between regions and markets as well as the interaction between central organizations and local market teams.

European marketers put more value on short-term growth and sales, while Asia put less emphasis on the breadth of sills. In the Americas brand purpose and collaboration all over-indexed, while the Middle East and Africa put more emphasis on leadership, digital skills and innovation.

Marketing has the power to serve as a source of internal and external change. Purpose has been much talked about over recent years but the CMO is perfectly positioned to track consumer sentiment and help the wider business respond or even lead changes that benefit the wider community.

Eighty-four percent think marketing should transcend business goals and have a positive impact on wider society and 92% agree that “using data in an ethical way is vital for the sustainability of digital marketing”.

Click here to download the full Pakistan and Global Report. Please note this is PAS Member content only.

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