Who’s leading the digital transformation process?

Data from Forrester highlights the need for more CMOs to take charge.

When it comes to going digital, many CMOs could be mired in analog.

That’s according to survey data from Forrester Analytics, which finds that only 16% of CMOs are involved in their organization’s digital transformation process.

The company surveyed 885 global marketing decision-makers in organizations of more than 500 employees (more than 100 in Canada and Australia ) in its “Global Business Technographics Marketing Survey.

In a blog post explaining the data, Thomas Husson, VP and principal analyst at Forrester, points to high CMO turnover as one barrier to transformational change, as on average, CMOs are the shortest-tenured of all C-suite execs.

Husson also warns that chief information, operating, experience, and development officers are increasingly taking the lead with respect to digital transformation – and that consumer voice and brand vitality may be lost in the shuffle.

One question asked as part of the survey was “what are your organization’s biggest challenges with marketing programs?”

Of survey respondents, 32% said that “technology skills” were their organization’s biggest challenge with respect to running marketing programs. According to the report, “demand for rapidly evolving digital skills and talent continues to frustrate marketing teams, which must compete with adjacent industries.”

Respondents also cited “driving decision-making with customer insights” (28%) and a lack of “expertise in new channels” (27%) as being other major challenges when it comes to marketing.

In order to drive positive outcomes, Husson recommended that CMOs develop a clear mandate to transform their marketing approach. This could include blending team skills, embracing agility, and investing in creative tech solutions for customer experiences – not just for digital, but offline platforms as well.