Only 11% of CMOs lead on customer experience


An overview of CMO leadership on topics of C-suite discussion.

  • Just 11% of C-suite executives said their CMO leads on typical customer experience discussions.
  • Instead, one-half (48%) said the Chief Sales Officer leads.
  • CMOs lead discussions on marketing strategy (46%) and new markets (42%).

CMOs are lacking leadership on customer experience and digital transformation, according to the latest research from Deloitte. In a survey of 575 Fortune 500 executives across the C-suite, just 11% said that their CMO leads the typical C-suite discussion on customer experience. Instead, one-half (48%) said the Chief Sales Officer takes charge. Although Fortune 500 businesses are US-based, the group works globally – the list includes Amazon, Nike and PepsiCo.

In addition, just 1% of C-suite executives said their CMO leads on digital transformation discussions – the lowest percentage across all major roles.

Instead, CMOs are leaders on marketing strategy and new markets. Nearly one-half (46%) of executives said their CMO leads on the company’s marketing strategy, while over two-fifths (42%) said the same for typical discussions on new markets.

Deloitte notes that the evolving roles of marketing, technology and customer experience is blurring traditional boundaries and often leaves the CMO with the least defined role. This presents an opportunity for CMOs to cement their leadership – most executives see CMOs as knowing the customer better than other members.

Overall, 50% of CEOs surveyed said they believe their marketing chiefs are highly effective.

In additional research, CMOs say their greatest internal pressures are leading on new technology and showing ROI. Analysts have noted the rise of the hyper-relevant CMO, driven in part by the growth of data and technology.

This article first appeared in

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