The Gist

  • Report on CMOs. CMSWire recently released its 2023 report on “The State of the CMO.”
  • Creative thinking. Creative thinking is a top priority for CMOs.
  • Tech skills needed. CMOs don’t just value creative thinking — the rise of tech has stretched marketing to require a wide variety of skills.

Recently, CMSWire released its 2023 edition of its report on “The State of the CMO: Insights from the 2023 Annual Chief Marketing Officer Survey.” To create the report, CMSWire conducted a survey of 709 current marketing leaders and 286 aspiring marketing leaders. What did CMOs have to say about our findings? We asked a few to give their thoughts on the accuracy of the report, focusing on the three top takeaways. The takeaways and responses are discussed individually below. 

Takeaway 1: Creative Thinking Top Marketing Competency

Creative thinking is the top competency for a marketing leader, no matter how we cut the data. While much of recent focus has been on the value of measurement and analytic skills, at the end of the day, marketing leaders see their jobs as creative. More technical skills are just another tool in their toolbox to help them.

Each respondent who mentioned this takeaway expressed agreement, emphasizing the importance of creativity in creating a successful marketing department. As Sebastian Petrosi, CMO at, commented, “Creative thinking can help CMOs differentiate their brand, develop innovative campaigns, and create a unique customer experience.”

Liza Kirsh, CMO of Dymapak, agreed, emphasizing the importance of technological creativity. “Marketing has always been a creative field, but to be successful in today’s age, you must be able to think outside the box. This is especially true when it comes to digital transformation. How will we reach clients when they’re being bombarded with marketing from the second they wake up until they go to sleep?” Kirsh said in a response.

Related Article: The Top Challenges Facing CMOs in 2023

Takeaway 2: CMOs Face Constant Change

Most marketers agree that their role has changed in several ways. More than a third of CMO leaders say the role now requires increased cross functional partnership with sales, that there is more pressure to improve the customer experience and that they have been tasked with digital transformation.

The respondents were in agreement here as well, predicting that even more changes will soon come to marketing roles. Daniel Nyquist, CMO at Crosslist, responded saying, “I can't say I'm surprised that marketers are seeing a change in their role, but it still doesn't make me feel any better. As a marketer, I've always been responsible for leading my team and making sure they have everything they need to do the best work possible. Now I'm also responsible for how well we're doing with our customers — or how badly we're failing them.”

Learning Opportunities

Petrosi predicted what these trends will look like as marketing roles change. “This trend is likely to continue as businesses adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape. The challenges associated with these trends may include managing different teams, developing new skills, and adapting to new technologies,” he wrote.

Related Article: Inside the Mind of the Modern Chief Marketing Officer

Takeaway 3: More Technical Chops for CMOs?

One in three marketing leaders have had to increase their technical competencies significantly in the past three years. The explosion of the digital customer experience over the past few years has indeed made even the most technically mature organizations rethink the future of customer experience and the skills they need to succeed in a more digital world. 

Alex Mirzaian, CMO of Eightvape, agreed and elaborated on the challenges of changing tech. “Gone are the days where you can just make sure a customer gets to your site. You now have to think about cross-promoting between different platforms, omni-channel sales and much more. Touching on the last point, working with different departments is very necessary. We have our own logistics department that help us get new locations for shipping,” he responded.

Conclusion on Chief Marketing Officer Role

All in all, the CMOs we reached out to expressed agreement with the findings in our report. It's expected that marketing will continue to grow in complexity — especially when it comes to the digital side. You can find the full State of the CMO report here on CMSWire’s site.