Marketers work as the storyteller behind a brand to drive customer engagement and create brand awareness. While creative campaigns and media pushes used to define a marketers success, they are now faced with the task of lead generation and sales growth which strays far from their comfort zone according to a recent Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council report titled “CMOs and the Spark to Drive Growth.”

This report, the first in a three-part series on growth-driven CMOs, polled 191 global senior marketing leaders who are hesitant to embrace the responsibilities of lead generation and sales. Thirty-five percent polled identified their role as being the chief storyteller and only 20 percent view themselves as market acquisitionists. Over 80 percent believe they are the primary driver of brand development, but not necessarily sales conversions. Only one in four marketers polled say they are driving customer retention and re-engagement.

“Sales and driving incremental revenue growth are the first steps on the path to profitability, but this is not the destination,” said Liz Miller, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the CMO Council.

Some CMOs are focusing on sales as their path to growth, but only 18 percent say they are confident they will reach their organization growth goals for the coming year. Ninety-five percent of marketers agree that growth is the top measure for growth in an organization, but only 68 percent polled expect to drive growth through new customer acquisition.

“What best practice leaders have demonstrated is that ownership of experience strategy and voice of the customer must inform key business decisions, ranging from product specification and identification of market expansion and global market readiness. This will require a new mastery of data and intelligence, along with skills that cross finance and operations boundaries that most marketers feel uncomfortable and unprepared to cross,” said Miller.

To reach these new metrics of success, marketers must focus on brand development, lead generation, and begin to explore business transformation initiatives to align with their organizations overall performance goals.

Read the latest CMO Council report “Gaining Traction With Every Digital Interaction” here.

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