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OB and the CMO, CIO, CEO, CFO and COO

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When I was in business school in the last century, I took a class called Organizational Behavior.  In "OB,” we learned all about organizational dynamics ("politics") and the source of power and influence ("crummy bosses?").

As we enter 2013, I would suggest that CMOs brush up on their OB skills.

The stakes are going up fast for the marketing function. The successes or failures of marketing, which has often been left to its own devices to practice its "arts," will now be fully illuminated across the company. The main reason for this is the self-educated buyer. With more digital and social resources than ever before, buyers in all product and service categories are disrupting traditional marketing. The ability for marketing to capitalize on this is not just a "bet the marketing department" issue; it's a "bet the company" issue. And if you don't believe that, just look at the number of companies and industries already transformed by the Internet. And then multiply that rate of change by 5 times or more—and I think you are looking at the very near future.

This issue is going to catalyze a lot of difficult C-level conversations.

As such, here are IDC's top four predictions for 2013, related to the CMO's OB challenges:

  • Prediction 1: The C-suite (CEO, CFO and COO) will demand that the CMO produce both a strategy and a plan for how market-driven data will significantly contribute to corporate objectives.
  • Prediction 2: The CMO and the CIO will begin the year as functional peers and end the year as either friends or frenemies, and per the CEO, the CIO will become more actively involved with the CMO in all marketing automation decisions that have cross-functional implications.
  • Prediction 3: Even with their new partnership with the CIO, many CMOs will find that their positions are in jeopardy as they failed to produce a robust data analytics function—or even a game plan to get there.
  • Prediction 4: Starting in 2013, after the CMO realizes that he/she does not have the skill sets in place for data analytics proficiency, 50% of new marketing hires will have technical backgrounds.

If you would like IDC's full "Top Ten" list of CMO Predictions for 2013, just drop me a line.

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