[Research Round-Up] What CEOs Think of Marketing/CMOs and How Much Tech Buyers Trust Marketing


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(This month’s Research Round-Up features a study by Boathouse that reveals what CEOs actually think about marketing and CMOs, and a survey by Informa Tech that addresses how much trust B2B technology buyers actually place in marketing.)

The Third Annual CEO Study on Marketing and the CMO by Boathouse 

Source:  Boathouse
  • Based on a survey of 150 CEOs at U.S. companies; 55% were with public companies, and 45% were with private companies
  • Survey respondents were with companies having $250 million to more than $1 billion in annual revenue
  • Survey respondents represented 17 industry sectors
  • The survey was in the field September 9, 2023 – October 4, 2023

This survey explored the perspectives of U.S. CEOs regarding the performance of their marketing function and their CMO. It also addressed how CEOs view their job and the major issues they are facing.

Overall, this survey contains good news for CMOs and marketers. On most points, the survey found that CEOs have a more favorable opinion of their marketing team and CMO than they did when earlier versions of the survey were conducted in 2022 and 2021.

To set the stage, the survey asked participants about the problems they want marketing to help them solve. The top five problems selected by respondents (from a list of 15) were:

  1. “Create new customers, retain existing customers, and drive revenue growth” (52% of respondents)
  2. “Drive sales and grow market share” (45%)
  3. “Stay ahead, differentiate, grow faster than our competition” (44%)
  4. “Improve our brand/reputation” (41%)
  5. “Transform the company’s narrative in the marketplace” (40%)

Nearly half (49%) of the surveyed CEOs rated the performance of their marketing function as Best in Class. That was up from 24% in the 2022 edition of the survey.

The latest survey also found that CEOs view their CMO more favorably. In the 2023 survey, 26% of the respondents gave their CMO a grade of “A” for the overall performance of their role. That was up from 16% in the 2022 survey.

Concerning artificial intelligence, over half (57%) of the surveyed CEOs in the 2023 survey gave their CMO a grade of “A” or “B” on their ability to integrate AI/machine learning into their marketing efforts.

Despite the high grades for overall performance, the latest Boathouse survey identified areas where CEOs aren’t as pleased with CMO performance. For example, only 23% of the surveyed CEOs gave their CMO a grade of “A” on strategy, and the lowest number of “A” grades given to CMOs was on their “ability to drive company growth.”

2023 Trust in Marketing Index:  How B2B marketers can fill the trust gap by Informa Tech

Source:  Informa Tech
  • Based on a survey of 150 B2B technology buying decision-makers
  • 68 of the respondents were at the C-level or executive level of seniority; 82 were at the director level
  • Respondents were located in the United States and the United Kingdom
  • The survey was conducted in the summer of 2023

The purpose of this research was to assess the level of trust that B2B technology buyers have in marketing and identify factors that will increase or reduce that level of trust. To quantify the level of trust, Informa Tech created a “Trust in Marketing Index.”

The survey used to develop the index included five index questions with numerical values assigned to each potential answer. The researchers calculated the average score for each index question and then added the average scores together to create the overall index score.

The resulting index showed that B2B technology buyers’ level of trust in marketing is at 61 on a scale of 1 to 100. So, while the level of trust isn’t horrible, there is significant room for improvement.

Here are the five index questions and the key survey finding for each.

  • “In general, how much do you trust the information marketers provide in B2B content?” – 62% of the survey respondents said they trust all or a majority of the content B2B marketers provide.
  • “How often are you disappointed with the value of B2B gated content?” – 71% of the respondents said often or sometimes.
  • “How much do you trust personalized content . . . from B2B marketers you’ve already shared your data with?” – 59% of the respondents said they trust all or a majority of such personalized content.
  • “How good of a job are all B2B brands doing in general when targeting you with content and offers?” – 62% of the respondents said good or outstanding.
  • “How good of a job are all B2B brands in general doing when it comes to sending content and offers at the right time?” – 64% of the respondents said good or outstanding.

The survey also identified several factors that increase or reduce buyer trust in marketing. For example, 85% of the respondents said high-quality B2B thought leadership content improves the perception of a brand. In contrast, 42% of the respondents said content that is too general reduces trust.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

David Dodd
David Dodd is a B2B business and marketing strategist, author, and marketing content developer. He works with companies to develop and implement marketing strategies and programs that use compelling content to convert prospects into buyers.


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