Presented by Winmo
For agencies, finding out a brand they represent has just replaced the CMO is one of the most stressful pieces of news they can get. It almost always triggers an agency review, which is a costly, often fruitless, process for incumbents. And CMO turnover is way higher than you probably think.
WinmoEdge, formerly known as DailyVista, monitors and reports on events that are prospecting triggers for agencies — and the media sales, adtech, and martech companies that work with them. While a change at the top of a brand’s marketing function is the most reliable indicator of further changes, the publication also reports on accounts on the move, industry news, and its proprietary Vulnerable Account Index which scores brand/agency relationships that might be about to change. In March, it published its first CMO Lifecycle Report, and the results were explosive.
“Tracking CMO turnover is crucial for a successful agency new business strategy,” Josh Stone, WinmoEdge’s managing editor, said. “Everyone searches Google for new CMOs. But, forecasting when brands are at the optimum point to switch decision-makers allows you to track down new CMOs before they end up in a press release or the trades.”
This report isn’t a Spencer Stuart-style breakdown of what the person sitting in the CMO office looks like. It’s not about those demographics. It’s also not limited to the CMOs of the 100 brands spending the most on ads. The WinmoEdge report looks at 1,400 tenures at 1,100 brands in major industries over the last decade and gives straightforward information on how long CMOs last in different industries.
Jumping into tenure data for industries like hospitality, retail, consumer packaged goods, financial services, and technology, we can see that median tenure varies significantly — in financial services, the median tenure is 33 months while in retail it’s a cut-throat 26. Mean tenures see the same pattern — financial services CMOs stick around for almost four years while their retail counterparts are moving on a full year sooner.
If you’ve read other reports and think the CMO you just started working with is going to enjoy 44 months in the hot seat, you’re probably missing the mark by a year or more — and that can have a big impact on the strategies they might employ. You’ll need to ask yourself if the big ad buy the brand just made was the equivalent of putting it all on red to save the CMO’s job, or if scaling back media budgets represents a lack of trust in the CMO or simply a reallocation of resources to other channels.
The report explains that chief marketers and agencies typically only work on a couple of campaigns together before one or the other is replaced, so media sellers can be prepared when their agency partners might be in danger of losing business.
For adtech, martech, media sales, and agencies, the WinmoEdge CMO Lifecycle Report is a treasure trove of information to inform prospecting and new business activities. It’s not going to tell you which brands to target, but can be a great guidance system when you’re going after new business. Armed with the average tenures for senior marketers in the industry your target client is in, you can get an idea of whether they’re about to open the door to new partnerships with an agency review, or walk out of it them self.
You can’t learn how to play your local course by watching the PGA Tour, and you can’t get a sense of how to win business for your company by looking exclusively at the CMOs of the biggest-spending brands. That’s why the number of data points matters. The most reliable picture of an industry isn’t found in the outliers, it’s found in the data inside the first deviation from the median. The volume of data means this is the most comprehensive report on how long CMOs stick around, and it includes brands that spend as little as $5 million on advertising every year.
The free report can be downloaded at winmo.com, and includes industry breakdowns, trend analysis, and use cases that explain solid strategies for leveraging the data in the report.
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