Posted by Fifty Team

29 Jun, 2021

5 Things You Didn’t Know About CMOs

Chief Marketing Officers are enigmatic creatures. They are vital to the C-suite, and in recent years have had to evolve beyond thinking about advertising and increasing revenue, to understanding digital consumer behaviour. But what do CMOs really care about? What are they interested in when they aren’t strategising the next campaign roll-out or figuring out the latest marketing technology?

We decided to find out, analysing leading digital marketing titles and communities CMO Today, CMO Club and CMO.com to better understand CMOs, their personal preferences and passions. In the analysis, we uncovered 32 different tribes with 15.14 million connections between them. We found out, expectedly, that CMOs are in love with all aspects of marketing, thirsty for knowledge about changes in their sector. But we also discovered some unanticipated quirks, like their love of low-brow culture and an unflinching loyalty to iPhones.

Read on to find out more about that mysterious cohort of CMOs.

1. They are life-long learners, with erudite reading tastes

While we expect CMOs to read business news and sector-specific publications like Marketing Week and The Wall Street Journal's CMO Today, they are avid readers of long-form reporting like The New Yorker and seek knowledge through engagement with organisations like TedTalks and authors like Daniel Pink and economist Paul Krugman.

2. They care about positive social change

While for many CMOs one of their primary goals is to increase revenue for their business, that does not mean they are solely driven by capitalist motives. In fact, many CMOs are even more socially conscious than mainstream consumers thanks to their insider knowledge of industry. They engage with niche organisations like youth empowerment platform Girl Effect, alongside sustainability-focused companies like Futerra and Patagonia.

3. They are patrons of the arts

With many describe themselves as creatives, CMOs like to channel that creativity not only through their work life but also through their social life. Many are avid theatre-goers, and lovers of art. They engage with art fairs like Frieze and are patrons of museums like The Whitney in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris and The Wellcome Collection in London.

4. They really love their iPhones

CMOs are addicted to their iPhones. It didn’t matter whether they were Italian marketing leaders or part of the London Creatives tribe, iOS is the operating system of choice for this group. On average, 60% of people in our study used iOS over Android - and even less used desktop. Unsurprising, considering they are most likely flitting from meeting to meeting, and rarely at a desk but on average only about 10% used a desktop as their main device.

5. They are secret pop culture junkies

So yes, CMOs are a bit high-brow, know their Basquiat from their Warhol, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love a bit of low-brow culture like the rest of us. Indeed, they engage with the occasional influencer – even if they claim it’s for work – and keep tabs on pop culture. But even CMOs aren’t immune from the sway of Queen B, with several in the London Marketers micro tribe following Beyoncé, alongside other music stars like Rita Ora and Tinie Tempah.

Catch up on the latest trends and insights here.

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