Trending Topics for CMOs

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Chief Marketing Officer Topics of Interest

Popular topics that are of interest to today's chief marketing officers (CMOs) include the evolution of the marketing industry, technology and digital communications, internal collaboration, customer centricity, big data, online advertising, and social media.

POPULAR TOPICS OF INTEREST

  • Edelman Intelligence, a global research and analytics consultancy firm, recently used natural language processing (NLP) to determine emerging patterns in media conversations. It analyzed media conversations involving 56 distinguished global CMOs to understand the topics that interest these executives the most.
  • Based on this analysis, the topics that interest CMOs the most are as follows: industry evolution, technology and digital communications, internal collaboration, customer centricity, big data, online advertising, social media, storytelling, and collaboration with agencies.
  • According to Edelman Intelligence, conversation topics can be classified into the following categories: data ecosystem (41%), communication management (38%), and internal and external collaboration (21%). Data ecosystem encompasses topics such as industry evolution, customer centricity, and big data, while communication management encompasses topics such as social media, digital communications, technology, and online advertising. Internal and external collaboration encompasses topics such as collaboration with internal teams and collaboration with external agencies.

TOPIC 1: INDUSTRY EVOLUTION

  • Industry evolution represents 17% of CMO conversations.
  • This topic covers how the marketing industry has evolved, how new data and insights have enabled this evolution, and what the current trends are.
  • CMOs express interest in this topic likely because they recognize how important evolving market dynamics is. Just like other C-suite executives, CMOs know that evolving market dynamics, along with new distribution channels and changing customer needs, should be taken seriously. Most CMOs understand that, given the way the industry is transforming, they should consider shifting their focus "from products to experiences."

TOPIC 2: TECHNOLOGY AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS

  • Technology and digital communications represent 15% of CMO conversations.
  • This topic covers the manner by which CMOs regard and utilize technological advances and digital communications.
  • Interest in this topic is likely caused by the inevitable shift to digital forms of marketing and the emergence of various marketing technologies. Twenty-four percent of CMOs say they plan to focus on improving their digital marketing capabilities. Also, according to Chris Hummel, CMO of United Rentals, "there's so much technology out there for marketers that it's almost paralyzing."
  • Brent Feldman, CMO of B.Good, says he spends a lot of time pondering technology and how it can enable brands to serve customers better.
  • Technological investments are top of mind for 41% of CMOs. Also, #digital, #tech, and #digitaltransformation were three of the hashtags CMOs most commonly used in 2017.

TOPIC 3: INTERNAL COLLABORATION

  • Internal collaboration represents 15% of CMO conversations.
  • This topic covers how teams within an organization and members within a team collaborate and cooperate with each other, and how these relationships promote diversity.
  • CMOs are interested in this topic for a couple of reasons. First, most of them believe that aligning and collaborating with others in the C-suite is important. In fact, 74% of CMOs indicate that, when they talk with other CMOs, aligning and collaborating with others in the C-suite is one of the discussion topics they find most pressing.
  • Second, some CMOs view internal collaboration as a challenge. For example, Eric Reynolds, CMO of Clorox, says work structure or how work flows between teams, internal agencies, and external agencies is a pain point.

TOPIC 4: CUSTOMER CENTRICITY

  • Customer centricity represents 14% of CMO conversations.
  • This topic covers the value of hearing out customers and developing customer experiences that are both seamless and personalized.
  • It appears CMOs are interested in topic because they recognize the growing importance of both understanding what customers what and listening to what customers say. They know that, in this age of social and digital media, it is imperative to work closely with customers.
  • Twenty-six percent of CMOs intend to focus on unifying and uplifting the experience of customers across channels. Also, consumer centricity was one of the most-discussed topics among CMOs at the recently held Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
  • Both Andrea Brimmer, CMO of Ally, and Brent Feldman, CMO of B.Good, indicate that they are focused on customer centricity.

TOPIC 5: BIG DATA

  • Big data represents 10% of CMO conversations.
  • This topic covers how important big data is and how best to collect and utilize big data.
  • CMOs express interest in this topic likely because better collection and utilization of customer data are part of their top priorities. Twenty-six percent of CMOs report a focus on better customer data collection and utilization.
  • According to Karen Jones, CMO of Ryder System, data remains a challenge. The amount of data brands have access to is growing, but brands are having a hard time mining through this data and determining which data is important.

TOPIC 6: ONLINE ADVERTISING

  • Online advertising represents 9% of CMO conversations.
  • This topic covers the development and use of online advertisements, plus the associated strategies and challenges.
  • Interest in this topic appears to stem from the fact that, among CMOs, there is a growing consensus that they should take a tougher and more proactive stance on the matter of digital ad policing and brand safety. This is amid reports that ads were being displayed next to extremist or inappropriate content, and that personal details of consumers were being used without their consent.

TOPIC 7: SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Social media represents 8% of CMO conversations.
  • This topic covers the outlook for social media and the manner by which CMOs and brands utilize social media.
  • This topic is of interest to CMOs because they recognize the way social media has transformed how people consume media, how they get entertainment, how they present themselves to the world, and how they connect with other people. According to Kristin Lemkau, CMO of JP Morgan Chase, "social media is the single biggest cultural change of our lifetime."
  • #SocialMedia was one of the hashtags CMOs most commonly used in 2017.
  • According to Riham El-Lakany, CMO of Freddie Mac Single Family Business, leveraging social media effectively and integrating social media with marketing strategies remain "a challenge and an opportunity."

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To identify the topics that are of interest to today's CMOs, we consulted recently published sources that list the topics that are top of mind for CMOs, the priorities of CMOs, the points of discussion among CMOs, and the topics that emerge in media conversations involving CMOs. Articles released by Edelman Intelligence, Marketing Charts, The TradeDesk, Forbes, and the CMO Council were among the sources we examined. Of these articles, Edelman Intelligence's write-up about what is in the minds of CMOs was the source we found most useful. It readily lists the nine topics that CMOs find most interesting, and it readily identifies the percentage of CMO conversations that each of these topics represents. To explain further why these topics are of interest to CMOs, we presented additional insights from Chief Marketer, Raconteur, and IBM.
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Chief Marketing Officer Websites/Publications

The top websites or publications that chief marketing officers (CMOs) turn to for information appear to be Adweek, Advertising Age, MediaPost, CMO.com, and The Drum.

TOP PUBLICATIONS

  • There appear to be only two sources in the public domain that list or rank the websites or publications that CMOs read the most. Both sources were articles published by Forbes. One article, which was published in February 2018, lists the marketing industry websites or publications that CMOs read, shared, and tweeted the most in 2017, while the other article, which was published in September 2017, lists the general/mainstream publications and the marketing industry publications that CMOs read and shared the most in the first half of 2017.
  • Both these articles cite social media agency Leadtail as the source of the rankings.
  • According to Leadtail, based on 765,767 tweets made by 1,288 CMOs, the marketing industry publications that CMOs read and shared the most in 2017 were Adweek, Advertising Age, Mediapost, CMO.com, The Drum, Digiday, Marketing Land, Marketingprofs, PR Newswire, HubSpot Blog, Content Marketing Institute, CMSwire, MarTech Today, eMarketer, Social Media Today, Marketing Week, Search Engine Land, ChiefMarTec Blog, Econsultancy, and Social Media Examiner.
  • According to Leadtail, based on 372,180 tweets made by 1,267 CMOs, the mainstream publications that CMOs read and shared the most in the first half of 2017 were Forbes, Inc., Medium, The New York Times, Business Insider, TechCrunch, Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Bloomberg, The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Fortune, Mashable, VentureBeat, CNBC, Re/code, The Guardian, and WIRED.
  • Marketing agency Top Rank Marketing identifies the websites or publications that target CMOs specifically, but it does not indicate whether these websites or publications are among the top websites or publications that CMOs turn to for information or entertainment. According to this agency, the publications that target CMOs specifically are CMO.com, CMO Today, Chief Marketer, CMO Survey, Harvard Business Review: Marketing, and Forbes CMO Network.
  • The top websites or publications that CMOs turn to for entertainment could not be reliably determined, as there is no information in the public domain that is specific to this topic or that could be used to triangulate the ranking.
  • The top websites or publications presented below are the marketing industry websites or publications that CMOs read and shared the most in 2017. They were chosen because, unlike mainstream publications, they are targeted specifically at marketers.

ADWEEK

  • Adweek was the most read and shared marketing industry publication among CMOs in 2017.
  • Available across digital, print, mobile, social media, and several other platforms, it is the foremost source of brand marketing news and insights. Brand marketing professionals and executives are its target audience.
  • It offers news and insights in the following categories: agencies, brand marketing, creativity, digital, brands, programmatic, and television/video. Apart from showcasing an ad each day, it also features op-eds, news and insights about diversity and inclusion, thought leadership pieces from industry leaders, and news and insights about the retail industry.
  • Its coverage of brand marketing news and insights is award-winning. 1979 was the year Adweek was first published.

ADVERTISING AGE

  • Advertising Age was the second most read and shared marketing industry publication among CMOs in 2017.
  • It is an award-winning media brand that serves both the marketing and media industries. First published in 1930, it touts itself as a daily-must read for decision-makers in these two industries.
  • The news it offers is categorized into the following sections: marketing, advertising, digital, media, agency, and data. Apart from news in these categories, it also provides industry insights, thought leadership content from leading marketers and brands, and proprietary data. The Leading National Advertisers Report is a prime example of the proprietary data Advertising Age offers.
  • The focus of Advertising Age (or Ad Age) is on "curated creativity, data and analysis, people and culture, and innovation and forecasting."

MEDIAPOST

  • MediaPost was the third most read and shared marketing industry publication among CMOs in 2017.
  • Available since 1996, it considers itself the most influential and biggest news site serving the marketing, media, and advertising industries. Its aim is to help readers improve the way they plan and purchase both online and traditional advertising.
  • MediaPost offers news in the following categories: agencies and the agency business; futures; digital marketing, advertising, and media; research; media planning, buying, and research; television; publishing and publishers; product and brand marketing; target markets; marketing sectors; and marketing tools and strategies.

CMO.COM

  • CMO.com was the fourth most read and shared marketing industry publication among CMOs in 2017.
  • CMO.com by Adobe is a resource designed for use by CMOs, chief information officers (CIOs), chief digital officers, and other executives who are interested in giving customers the best experience possible. Its goal is to help these leaders lead and manage their brands in this digital age.
  • It delivers news, insights, research, advice, interviews, guides, inspiration, and expertise for and by thought leaders across countries and industries.
  • The content it offers is divided into the following sections: customer experience, future of work, emerging technology, and trends.

THE DRUM

  • The Drum was the fifth most read and shared marketing industry publication among CMOs in 2017.
  • A global media brand, The Drum shares news about the marketing industry through its website and magazine. Its website delivers up-to-the-minute news from various parts of the world, while its monthly magazine features marketing that is innovative and groundbreaking.
  • It serves all sectors of the marketing industry, be it brands, media owners, agencies, or ad tech providers.
  • The content it offers is divided into the following categories: news, in-depth analyses, opinions, interviews, case studies, resources, drumcasts, and videos. News, in turn, is divided into the following categories: brand, agency, creative, digital, and media.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To find the top websites and publications CMOs visit to consume information or entertainment, we looked for articles, reports, or images listing or ranking the top or leading publications, websites, resources, or sources that CMOs read, consult, view, user, or share for information or entertainment. We researched the media consumption habits of CMOs as well, as sources covering this topic may contain insights about the publications or websites that CMOs read or visit most often. Sources that discuss how marketers reach or market to CMOs were researched too, as they possibly offer some clues as to how CMOs can be best reached. Ultimately, we found only two sources that offer insights into the top publications CMOs frequent or use the most. These two sources, which are both articles published by Forbes, cite social media agency Leadtail as the reference for the rankings. We were unable to find anything specific to entertainment.

Since there is no other feasible way of determining the top websites or publications, and the CMO readership of well-known mainstream and marketing industry publications could not be located in the public domain, we decided to use the latest of Leadtail's rankings. The latest ranking shows the top marketing industry publications that CMOs read and shared the most in 2017. The websites of the top five publications were consulted afterwards for information about the content these publications offer.
Sources
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