Chief Marketing Officers Overview – 2013 Outlook

by Bradford L.  McLane



Leaders in FMCG are grappling with a global shift in spending patterns. Consumer expectations around purchasing and delivery models as well as the overall customer experience continue to evolve, requiring companies to continually innovate to meet these new demands. Successful marketers within consumer companies need to sharpen their consumer insights, develop new offerings, reduce time to market and optimize supply chains for success. One-to-one marketing and community building skills will be in more demand.

With a projection of better than six percent growth over the next five years, it is widely believed that the media and entertainment sector will continue with the success it has enjoyed over the past decade. Consensus forecasts suggest that most of the growth will come from new digital media that was designed from inception to be interactive. Mobile Apps will reign, as will marketers who understand community-building marketing and the associated metrics of digital marketing (particularly audience acquisition costs)

Retailers are beginning to think of the future needs of the consumer, and what must be done to ensure they will continue to attract, engage and serve the customer. Yesterday, consumers would often go online from home to research product information, competitive pricing and user reviews before purchasing in the store. Today, there is a rapidly growing use of mobile devices to do these same things from within the store for real time research at the point of sale. Retailers and sales associates must be equipped with at least the same technology and access to information in order to continue to provide value, assistance and competitive differentiation.


Overall, we anticipate continued strong activity and demand for marketers across the full spectrum of financial services. Retail and consumer financial services will continue to focus on demand generation, online and quantitative marketing skills. Brand marketers will still play a role at the enterprise level with an anticipated need for brand migration in the face of acquisitions.


As marketers in the B2B arena budget for 2012, they remain cautious but willing to invest in their growth. The adoption of digital marketing has typically been slow but companies have recently been exploring social media, virtual events/webinars and search engine optimization. This growing trend is a result of the changed behaviors of B2B buyers and the perceived cost effectiveness of these marketing channels.


As the trend continues of traditional tech hardware companies moving further in the direction of software and services business models, the need for visionary marketing leaders will continue to grow. Marketers with CPG and/or retail roots who are able to adapt to new industries, both from a product and cultural perspective, are being viewed by these companies as critical to their transformation. Adaptability, flexibility and the willingness to change course quickly when new innovations arise are critical attributes for driving business-focused marketing strategies in this sector today.


The recession has been tough on 501(c)3s and college endowments. Thus, 2012 marketing roles will reflect the increased pressure to identify, segment and attract donations at the individual level. We expect to see continued demand for highly skilled marketers who are motivated by mission more than personal compensation.


There continues to be a need for experienced therapeutic-specific product launch experience across most companies, whether launching a new cancer drug or a combination therapy. The skills are rapidly changing with nearly every client now requiring recent launch experience due to the relatively current use of technology to more rapidly increase penetration, share of voice and. of course, revenues. Tools such as Facebook, Google searches, text messaging, Twitter, etc., are quickly becoming acceptable in large and small pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Most marketers will correctly argue that these tools represent a very minor (less than 10%) impact on sales, but most agree that influence is increasing rapidly. We’re finding the agencies often have the best talent in these tech areas.

There hasn’t been too much change in this market, but we expect medical technology companies, like pharma/biotech, to begin to rapidly adopt online resources more aggressively as well. Medical products companies have generally been more successful in developing and launching new products over the past five years and therefore feel less pressure to maximize revenues as fast as possible—but that is changing.

Significant monies are being spent on technology and, as a result, the better companies are spending large sums on online marketing tools and technologies to rise above the noise—noise that is caused by the large expenditures on IT solutions, which is causing many new entrants. Marketing in general has not been very sophisticated in healthcare IT companies but they are quickly catching up by bringing in outside talent and adapting that experience to healthcare.

Again, this is an area that has historically not been known for marketing. Given the pressures on hospitals to cut costs, there is very little effort being made to upgrade marketing talent. Some payors have invested in marketing with great success including Medco and CVS/Caremark. On the other hand, the more traditional insurers have not yet begun to discover the value of marketing in general—though some regional players have been experimenting with apparent success.


Legal and accounting services are looking for growth once again, and Chief Marketing, or Chief Business Development, Officers are back in demand. The key differentiator is to determine the issue at hand. Is your firm facing a brand awareness issue and need strength around bringing attention to practices and partners, or is your firm looking at strategic business development and longer term revenue potential. The roles, and concomitant skills, are quite different.

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