TRENDING: Four focus areas for CMOs in 2024

By Louise Burgers, Retailing Africa Editor. There is no doubt that this year will be turbulent for Chief Marketers given local and global events. Here’s some of the top trends that we are tracking.

By Louise Burgers, Retailing Africa Editor. There is no doubt that this year will be turbulent given local and global events, and the mandate for Chief Marketers to steer business growth garners a superior skills set. Here’s some of the top trends that we are tracking at CMO Council to equip CMOs with the insights needed.

1. The CMO as a Growth Catalyst

It is up to the CMO to find “uncommon growth in the storm” assert both PwC and Prophet. “Now, more than ever, lines are being blurred across the C-suite, and CMOs can carve out a role as innovator, strategist and growth-driver. The modern CMO weaves their influence through the fabric of the C-suite, strategically supporting all facets of the business,” PwC predicts.

CMO Council bespoke research into how sales and marketing leaders are breaking the mould to better connect with customers and drive greater growth, the report “Sales & Marketing: Driving Revenue Through Collaboration”, looks at how sales and marketing have to redefine their relationship to enable new customer-centric purchasing paths. Most sales and marketing organisations haven’t been able to pivot fast enough to the new digital buyer. More than 70% of marketers don’t feel very confident in their current sales and marketing model to sell effectively in the digitalised customer journey. This means they risk falling short of their revenue mandate and requires an entirely new way to collaborate across customer strategy and data, initiatives, technology, activities and metrics. This study was codeveloped with KPMG Customer Advisory.

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2. CMOs as Organisational Changemakers

To create transformational growth, CMOs are becoming digital leaders and as the role of marketing has expanded, they believe it’s time to shake up the operating model, reports Prophet. “CMOs need to think about themselves as connectors and integrators. They should think cross-functionally across departments, linking channels and disciplines across products and experiences.” There is a need to increase cross-functional collaboration, adds Gartner.

In the CMO Council report, “Marketing and Finance: Fuelling Innovation or Falling Behind?” produced in collaboration with KPMG, it found that nearly four in five CMO-CFO partnerships aren’t very willing to collaborate on investments, goals and metrics. Among CMO-CFO partnerships that are indifferent or hesitant to collaborate, only 27% are satisfied with their ability to innovate. So, if marketing and finance wish to successfully navigate these headwinds, they’ll need to redefine their working relationship and align on financially responsible growth strategies that prioritise smart, realisable, innovative investments. The findings are based on a survey of over 275 marketing leaders across industries and geographies. Additionally, in-depth interviews were conducted with marketing executives from Schneider Electric, The Vitamin Shoppe, Fiserv, Agios, and others.

3. CMO Customer Acquisition Strategies

The influx of new technologies like GenAI has expanded the breadth and depth of knowledge and capabilities available to marketing leaders, reports PwC. “By translating analytics into insights, you can deliver enhanced and personalised experiences that cater to the ever-fluctuating behaviours and preferences of your customers. Loyal customers hold the key to long-term growth, and marketing leaders recognise the need for a customer-centric approach.”

In the latest exclusive report, “Fire Up Your B2B Revenue Generation Engine”, CMO Council provides strategies to help B2B marketers drive customer-acquisition and boost revenue, teaming with WM America and leading B2B account-based marketing experts for the development of a certified Lead Evaluation and Assurance Process (LEAP) that brings new levels of success, transparency, accountability and reliability to prospect verification, validation and sales conversion.

It looks at models and metrics for success, gaps between highly evolved and lesser evolved marketing organisations, strategic demand gen initiatives, and more. The findings of this report are based on a survey of over 170 heads of B2B marketing, sales, revenue, growth, demand gen and campaign execution. It includes in-depth interview insights from executives at IBM, Autodesk, T-Mobile, NTT, ABM Consortium, TechTarget, NetLine, B2B Marketing, Reachdesk, Momentum ITSMA, and Xometry.

4. CMOs Lean into Creativity

It would be a mistake to overlook the power of creativity, and how it allows brands to connect with customers on a meaningful level, reports Prophet. Brand managers today are being challenged to make smarter, more informed decisions. Brand managers today are being challenged to make smarter, more informed decisions at a time when new product success rates remain at dismal levels and marketing spend needs to be justified by revenue and market share metrics. There is a now a real imperative to embrace Generative AI in all areas of the go-to-market and customer support ecosystem, most notably creative development, content adaptation and customer interaction.

This requires more adept, imaginative, and inventive responses to shifts and changes in lifestyles, behaviours, socioeconomics, multicultural blending, psychographics, purchase intent, shopper behaviour, social media influencers, and digital media content engagement. The special interest group is your hub for innovation without limitation in today’s complex marketing world.

First published on the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. To become a member or subscribe, CLICK HERE.


Louise Burgers is the Publisher & Editor of She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She is also an Adjunct Lecturer in Marketing and Advertising Communications at the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business; and works with the global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council as Editorial Director. Specialising in local and Africa consumer trends, Louise is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger this decade.

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