CMOs embrace 'two-way learning relationship' with next generation of marketers



Marketing directors are convinced there is more of a two-way learning relationship between themselves and their likely successors than ever before, according to new research.

The sample of 50 marketing directors and CMOs surveyed by client-agency intermediary and market intelligence provider Creativebrief was unanimous in its agreement with the statement: "There is more of a two-way learning relationship between senior marketers and new generation marketers than ever before."

However, just 64 per cent of an equal-sized sample of up-and-coming marketers agreed with the statement, which was posed as part of an effort by Creativebrief to help agency CEOs understand how younger client-side marketers think and behave.

This group, dubbed Future Market Leaders for the purposes of the survey, are in their late 20s to early 30s and are already senior and influential within the brands that they work for, many holding titles such as brand director, head of marketing and in some cases even marketing director.

The difference in the extent of agreement could be explained by the latter group’s reluctance to blow their own trumpet, according to Creativebrief MD Charlie Carpenter.

"It’s easier for marketing directors to say ‘yes we learn from the people below us’ than it is for Future Market Leaders to say ‘yes we think our marketing director learns from us’," Carpenter said.

He added that what came through in the research was marketing directors had "a healthy level of respect" for how in touch Future Market Leaders are with what is going on in marketing, what other brands are doing and how digital channels are developing. In addition, they were involving their juniors in key decisions at a much earlier stage than they might have done in the past.

All the marketing directors, and 97 per cent of the Future Market Leaders, agreed with the statement: "Due to the pace of change and development in the industry today, curiosity is an essential trait of the successful modern marketer."

Creativebrief, which specialises in providing marketers with intelligence on agencies and the latest developments in marketing, held an event last month to present the research to marketers and agency CEOs.

Speakers included Mel Matson, senior director of brand comms at Asda, and Sara Holt, vice-president of marketing for BBC Store at BBC Worldwide.