13th Aug, 2019

5 key articles to accelerate marketing-led growth

40% of marketing leaders cite driving growth as their #1 challenge, according to the Spring 2019 Deloitte CMO Council Survey. Even more telling is that the next highest ranked challenge was ‘delivering a powerful brand’, at a mere 14%. This disparity speaks to both the sheer number of leaders facing the growth challenge and the difficulty of the challenge itself: Nothing taxes a marketing team quite like the challenge of delivering sustained growth to the business.

Below are five quick but essential reads full of research-backed insights from leading advisory firms and consultancies to help frame, focus and galvanize action toward delivering marketing-led growth. Increasingly that growth is fueled by data-backed insights.

As Ana D’Anglade and her colleagues at Spencer Stuart write in The Quest for Growth, “Directing how data serves growth is what brings the marketer to the desks of the CEO and the CFO armed with growth-strengthening strategy leads and innovations.” 

We couldn’t agree more (though we’d explicitly add that insights are the true currency of growth, not just data).

The CMO’s Growth-Driving Marketing Playbook, Deloitte & CMO Council

Deloitte outlines five “plays” adopted by CMOs who are poised to succeed as growth drivers within their organizations. Each play includes a specific “growth leader play” with actionable advice. Three plays that stand out include:

  • Shift your frequency from gains to growth
  • Develop fluency in the language of the business
  • Build success beyond silos

The Quest for Growth: How global marketing leaders are approaching the growth challenge, Spencer Stuart

Spencer Stuart, the global executive search firm with a specialty in CMO placements, partnered with multi-disciplinary marketing leadership specialists and interviewed 10 leading marketers to “identify the characteristics that underpin real growth and to understand the implications for top marketing leaders.” They found that any viable business which seeks to capture real, sustainable growth must have data and analytics at the core of its strategic decision-making.

Directing how data serves growth is what brings the marketer to the desks of the CEO and the CFO armed with growth-strengthening strategy leads and innovations.

What CEOs and Other Execs Really Think of Marketing, McKinsey

McKinsey partner Jason Heller and expert Biljana Cvetanovski interviewed over 200 leading C-Suite executives to better understand how a CMO’s peers view marketing. The results are a window into the challenges, and opportunities that await CMOs on their journey to being a key growth engine. Topics include the CFO/ CMO relationship, how (C-suite) relationships matter, and why customer-centricity and data-driven decisions are a CMO’s secret weapon.

The CMO Survey: Spring 2019, Deloitte

One relevant findings from this year’s CMO Survey was that 57% of marketers are using AI for content personalization. Yet only 34% used AI to drive ROI from better content. This gets right to the heart of the challenge that brands need to tie innovation and martech spend to positive ROI and growth. Persado teams see client success when marketing leaders tie key marketing metrics to business metrics such as revenue and conversion rate improvements.

Key Findings from the Marketing 2020 Initiative, The Institute for Real Growth

250 CMO interviews and 10,000 survey participants across 90 countries found that it’s less about big data and more about big insights. The Marketing 2020 initiative found three elements characterize winning brands: Identify relevant big insights, establish a clear and engaging purposeful positioning and create brand value through a personalized, consistent and engaging total experience.


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