+44 (0) 207 605 8000 Twitter LinkedIn Member Area
Leadership priorities for CMOs in 2021 and beyond

The C-Suite: 2021 and Beyond

What’s changed for Chief Marketing Officers?

Last year CMOs were focused on setting purpose and working with stakeholders whereas this year, to respond to the challenges of the pandemic, their focus has necessarily had to be more operational and delivery focused.

In 2021, consumer behaviours have changed radically. The pandemic has increased digital shopping globally and businesses are redefining how to reach consumers in new ways with innovative digital interfaces. CMOs will need to ensure customer relationships are strong enough to resist potential decreases in brand loyalty as a result of increasingly remote commercial interactions.

There will be a permanent shift to consumers expecting less friction in the purchasing journey, necessitating service offerings based on collaboration between software vendors and manufacturers.

CMO Mega Themes

Back Better

Diversity and society have jumped to the top of the marketing agenda. This theme of higher ethics and ‘business for good’ has also had repercussions in every aspect of data and the relationships with different regulatory systems and governments.

Digital Skills

The new digital skills required by marketing have been given a booster by COVID-19, bringing forward plans and tough decisions. These need to be combined with operational change agents who can drive excellent operational growth.

Data & Innovation

Marketers will need to be data leaders. Unique customer insights are driven by data, real time and personalised marketing, new customer ecosystems and relationships are flourishing, dashboards and ‘moments of truth’ have become the menu of the day

Brand & Digital CX

The personalisation enabled by data creates many opportunities. Consumers have changed their behaviours and there is a greater expectations of brands -and that may lead to the drawing of new ethical lines. It essential the brand identity remains clear and consistent and is not kidnapped by out of purpose distractions.


The alignment work between purpose, vision and values has now been done by many organisations and is feeding into to the product offering and marketing.
Explore these themes further at one of our Chief Marketing Officer Network events

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

“The next 12 months will be defined by how effectively marketers continue to respond to the changes the pandemic has brought.

We have witnessed a huge shift in buying behaviour as digital adoption has accelerated among people of all ages and demographics. Customers are demanding more from brands than ever before.

The CMOs that succeed in 2021 will be the ones who adapt to these fundamental changes in the right time frame, while retaining trust in the brand value proposition that involves every part of the business.”

Chris Daly, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Marketing

Chris Daly, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Marketing

CMO Challenges & Opportunities 2021

As Chief Marketing Officers lead their teams through 2021 and beyond, what are the key challenges they must confront and what opportunities can they exploit?
  1. Delivering a world class digital customer experience

  2. Personalisation: using data and tech to deliver relevant content

  3. Social media trends and managing reputational risk

  4. Process optimisation and leveraging AI and machine learning

  5. Aligning customer insights with strategy, resources and reporting

  6. Change management skills and managing transformations

Apex Group

“To respond to almost every force driving change in 2021, across digitisation, personalisation, optimisation etc., CMOs need to focus on embedding Marketing Operations at the centre of everything they do.

Data is unequivocally one of the most important elements of the modern marketing machine, and in order to harness that data to identify opportunities and respond to changing expectations from customers, CMOs will need to evolve the skillsets of their teams and embed operational change agents to successfully drive systematic growth.”

Rosie Guest, Chief Marketing Officer, Apex Group

Rosie Guest, Chief Marketing Officer, Apex Group

Join Winmark’s Chief Marketing Officer Network!

Request a Membership Information Pack


It’s time for the C-Suite to look beyond ‘normal’. Time to build a resilient organisation with a purpose, business model, skills, resources and strategic direction fit for the new future. Find out how C-Suite leaders are prioritising their leadership agenda.

Click here to download

To download the content fill the form below: