Marketing Decision Makers: Psychographics
Senior marketing executives are bold, adaptable and decisive, with strong leadership profiles. They are experienced and culturally engaged, have a strong social media presence, and follow technology closely. They are influenced by people such as Vala Afshar, read publications like Forbes and Adweek, and like to discuss media and entertainment, as well as social issues.
- The typical marketing executives tend to fall into the ENTJ personality type of the Myers-Briggs scale, described as "frank, decisive, assume leadership readily. Quickly see illogical and inefficient procedures and policies, develop and implement comprehensive systems to solve organizational problems. Enjoy long-term planning and goal setting. Usually well-informed, well-read, enjoy expanding their knowledge and passing it on to others. Forceful in presenting their ideas."
- They are more likely to follow their gut feeling than other c-level executives, have empathy for the consumer, and a strong social media presence. These tech-savvy professionals are customarily driven by curiosity and a business-oriented mindset.
- Russell Reynolds examined CMOs on 60 psychometric scales to understand what is unique about this group and discovered that CMOs differ from other c-level executives across a large number of attributes and to a significant degree.
- CMOs have a pioneering spirit, act unconventionally, test limits and are not beholden to structures; they are more imaginative, active, outgoing, and bold than the rest. Adaptable, innovative and decisive professionals, they lead from the front, with an abstract way of thinking.
- Great people skills are a must-have to be successful in this position, as well as strong leadership, a visionary mindset, and the ability to translate data and marketing inputs into a coherent strategy.
- These are not "green professionals," they bring the weight of years of experience through the ranks of the marketing chain, many times with financial and technological backgrounds. They value their time and expect others to value it as well.
- The new generation of marketing executives use words like "soul," "purpose," "community," and "art and science" when describing their aspirations and strategies. They believe in collaboration, both inside and outside of companies, and are aware of consumers’ interests in their social and cultural positions. The new professionals are more well-rounded individuals, ready to exercise different roles.
- CMOs are engaged with cultural and social causes. Prominent executives are now focused on conscious marketing, and how to turn good intentions into marketing. As one executive noted, being a CMO today is "to be a voice of the user or customer and to tell the truth." They emphasize an understanding of how the world operates and see their roles as both artists and scientists.
Habits and Interests
- As previously mentioned, senior-level marketing executives, especially CMOs, have a strong social media presence; in fact, they are 5.6x times more prone to update their LinkedIn profile and have 3.9x as many connections as the average user.
- Regarding technology, AI was the topic of most interest in 2018, followed by digital transformation, blockchain, 5G, marketing stack, and the internet of things.
- As for the topics they engage in the most on LinkedIn, demand generation took the first spot, followed by B2B marketing, content strategy, positioning, marketing, advertisement agency, personalization, SEO, and brand loyalty.
- Outside of the professional sphere, leisure, media, and entertainment was the most discussed topic, accompanied by food, technology, automotive, financial services, and telecom.
- The most commonly used hashtags were #marketing, #cx, #braveleaders, #seeher, #cmos, #AI, #5g, #womenintech, #tech, #innovation, #healthcare, #diversity, #tbt, #leadership, #health, #wednesdaywisdom, #autism, #purpose, #data, #brand, #timesup.
- The most influential people with this cohort were, as of 2017, Vala Afshar, Tamara McCleary, Scott Brinker, Gary Vaynerchuk, Kim Whitler, Brian Solis, Jay Baer, Evan Kirstel, R. Ray Wang, and Brenner Mitchel.
- Forbes is the number one publication, followed by Inc., Medium, The New York Times, Business Insider, TechCrunch, Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Bloomberg.
- When it comes to information about their trade, Adweek takes the number one spot, succeeded by Advertising Age, Mediapost, CMO, The Drum, Marketing Land, Digiday, Marketingprofs, HubSpot Blog, and Business2Community.
- Events they followed in 2018 include the Cannes Festival, SAP consumer experience LIVE, Web Summit, Consumer Electronic Shows, South by Southwest, SAP Sapphire Now, Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, Advertising Week New York, Fast Company Festival, PR Week Awards, and CMO Academy.
To draw a psychographic profile of the typical senior-level marketing executive, we started by looking for surveys and studies about this cohort, hoping to provide quantitative insights. To find the information, we searched news sites and think tanks, but unfortunately, and not surprisingly, most of what we could find related to their views about their business, the future of advertising and consumers, and pain points.
Considering the request is about decision-makers, our next approach was to narrow our research and focus on chief marketing officers; with this approach, we located sources with a qualitative approach, but still fact-based, as well as some insights about senior-level marketing professionals.
Next, we scoured through social media profiles and interviews of the most prominent marketing executives and gathered the traits we felt were more common among them. We then divided our research by different topics, which led us to a very detailed explanation about their social media habits.
We also expanded our date scope to include in-depth studies that didn’t have a more recent substitute, such as the RR study. With all our efforts, the information we found about their hobbies is superficial, at best, and spending habits could not be located. We considered using senior executives or even a demographic approach to triangulate an answer, what we’ve found about the differences in their way of thinking led us to believe that the alternate approach would provide too many inaccuracies.