“CMOs have more responsibility for understanding digital than they did 20 years ago, when they may have been more focused on the creative for an ad,” says Emily Ketchen, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Intelligent Devices Group at Lenovo. “We still have to evoke that emotion through creativity, to make sure we’re connecting with customers, but we also have to understand the technology.”
Despite this, marketing still relies on other functions to drive data/digital initiatives and must petition them for digital funding. Almost two in three (64%) marketing respondents agree that their finance peers find it difficult to accept the unplanned nature of marketing expenses.
When asked who should lead on digital issues, CMOs say the quality of customer data should be their responsibility, while CTOs and CFOs say that this should lie with the CTO. CMOs express frustration with their lack of influence over the business’s technology and data strategy and believe their ownership of customer data should give them a stronger voice.
CFOs: the shift to a VC mindset
Our survey indicates that today’s CFO wants to become an enabler of digital innovation, but 60% say this potential is not recognized across the wider business. At the same time, finance respondents admit they are grappling with the challenge of calculating digital value and risk.
“CFOs have to become more comfortable with venture capitalist-style funding models,” says Adrian Slobin, EY Americas Customer and Growth Leader.
“CFOs need to adopt the mindset of a VC exploring series A or B funding,” Slobin says. “It’s about experimenting and putting stuff into the world, some of which will work, some of which won't. In terms of digital marketing product and service innovation, this means leveraging digital to build and engage relationships with consumers. Experimentation is critical because the market is moving so quickly.”