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5 Key Findings from Strategic Priorities Webinar for CMOs

The topic of 2021’s marketing challenges is a hot one. So when 380 CMOs and senior marketing leaders from North America and Europe got together for the Chief Marketing Officers Top Strategic Priorities BrightTALK Gartner webinar, there was a lot to say. The group, which spanned several different industries, covered topics including supporting internal growth goals, budget bounce-backs and taking on larger societal issues. 

Did your biggest challenge make this list? Here are 5 key findings:

  1. CMOs are basing their plans for recovery and renewal on existing customers. These options minimize risk, but may not be sufficient to support their organization’s growth goals. COVID has forced marketers to take risks and try something new; why stop now? More aggressive strategic action may be in order.
  2. CMOs have ambitious plans to expand digital capabilities. From adding new capabilities to overhauling existing ones, CMOs are looking to  reinvent. The caveat? They may be trying to accomplish too much. 
  3. After a year of cuts, CMOs expect budgets to bounce back in 2021. But is it realistic, given the market and enterprise needs? And do board members agree? 
  4. CMOS are re-examining their personal skill sets to deliver against the needs of the business and increase their influence. But they may be looking at the wrong skills. Most CMOs want to improve their knowledge of operations and execution, overall digital know-how, and financial acumen. How will they increase these skills in 2021?
  5. CMOs believe their companies should lead in solving key societal and cultural issues. But there exists a disconnect between thought and action. About 73% of participants said their companies have neither taken action nor made a statement in response to the Capitol riots. Yet more than 40% of consumers say that the No. 1 thing they look for is that a brand lives up to their values.