New Study by CMO Council Suggests Patronage, Partnership and Performance Are Key to CMO Success as Pressure Mounts to Transform Global Marketing Groups


PALO ALTO, Calif. (May 16, 2011) – With 50 percent of new marketing leaders hired to fix broken marketing organizations, how are these new corporate change agents going about the difficult and complex process of transforming global teams for maximum output and effectiveness?

A new authority leadership initiative by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, entitled "Renovate to Innovate: Building Performance-Driven Marketing Organizations," suggests there are three essential ingredients for early success by those taking command of an increasingly complex, business-critical and technology driven discipline. They include CEO mandate and support, a tightly coupled working relationship with peers in the C-suite, and early evidence of marketing’s expanded role and contributions in driving business value.

In its first strategic brief on Marketing Organization Review + Empowerment (MORE), the CMO Council has drawn on best practice interviews with over 20 newly appointed CMOs, a decade-long assessment of CMO effectiveness on the job, and in-depth historical review and commentary by Egon Zehnder International, a global leader in the recruitment and appraisal of senior management executives.

According to the CMO Council, which represents more than 6,000 senior marketers controlling some $200 billion in annual spend, their members are challenged like never before to reshape, restructure and re-skill their global teams. Driven by new forces and factors in the marketplace, marketing organizations, functions and processes are going through fundamental realignments and digital transformations.

No longer just brand agents and communicators, marketing groups must now fill the pipeline with predisposed prospects, further customer insight and interaction through social media channels, and be accountable for demand generation and market differentiation with integrated, multi-channel campaigns. This requires new competencies and knowledge in data integration and insight gathering, predictive analytics, behavior-driven marketing, precision promotion, online and mobile engagement, lead cultivation and provisioning, financial forecasting and mix modeling.

The 50-page report produced by the CMO Council and sponsored by Egon Zehnder International, advocates the need for chief marketing executives to revitalize marketing group cultures and mindsets. "Narrowly focused, risk-averse managers in isolated silos of tactical execution (research, PR, advertising, events, creative services, interactive, direct response) must be integrated into cohesive, cross-functional campaign teams. They have to be strategically aligned with corporate goals and business objectives and be held accountable for specific deliverables and deadlines," the report states.

"In essence, a new CMO has to become a "super-bonding agent" helping disparate elements in the organization come together, stick together and work together in a cohesive way," notes Donovan Neale-May, the executive director of the CMO Council. "This enables all functions, departments and divisions be more unified and focused on a common business agenda, brand ethos, and collective sense of urgency to better understand, activate and address the market."

The CMO Council has digested its conversations into a 10-step plan for new CMO entry into a marketing leadership role. To this end, the CMO Council offers the following set of pointers for those hired to fix broken marketing organizations:

  • Understand the company’s culture, mindset, customer and competitive conditions

  • Establish alignments and “listening” relationships with CEO, peers and stakeholders

  • Identify the marketing detractors, influencers, advocates and champions globally

  • Audit and assess internal competencies, processes, capabilities and perceptions

  • Determine leaders and laggards; inventory deficiencies and resource requirements

  • Map marketing strategy and model organizational change around plans and deliverables

  • Unify, enthuse, mobilize and strategically focus marketing assets and partners

  • Initiate upgrade and replacement process in key competency areas

  • Show results early and often with business-building, lead-generating marketing projects

  • Provide metrics-driven report and spend plan to management on a quarterly basis

"The seismic changes now transforming marketing have made the role of CMO more demanding than ever," notes Dick Patton, Head of the Global CMO Practice at Egon Zehnder International, "New media, new channels, and new expectations from Boards and CEOs have converged to require CMOs to constantly improve their performance and broaden their scope. Today's good CMO must seek to become tomorrow’s great CMO."

Based on its experience working with senior management teams across industries and on management appraisals conducted during the past five years, Egon Zehnder International has developed a comprehensive model of leadership that encompasses the core competencies of top leaders, no matter what their function or role.  Those universal leadership competencies include: customer orientation, results orientation, market knowledge, team leadership, organizational development, collaboration and influencing, change management, and strategic orientation. These are outlined in more detail in a commentary contribution for the report from Patton, entitled "Beyond the First 90 Days: Going from New to Great CMO."

The report -- Renovate to Innovate: Building Performance-Driven Marketing Organizations – can be sourced online at .


About the CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. The CMO Council's 6,000 members control more than $200 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include over 20,000 global executives in nearly 100 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The Council's strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE),, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, Customer Experience Board, Market Sense-Ability Center, Digital Marketing Performance Institute, GeoBranding Center, the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME), and the cause-directed research initiative, Pause to Support a Cause. More information on the CMO Council is available at

About Egon Zehnder International

Egon Zehnder International is the largest privately held executive search firm in the world with more than 370 consultants located in 63 wholly owned offices in 37 countries. The firm specializes in senior level search, board consulting and director search, management appraisals and talent management. View more information at