A new report from Singular, a marketing intelligence provider, called “Chief Growth Officer 2019: The state of the CGO” explores the role of the chief growth officer (CGO). According to the research, companies are beginning to designate leaders as CGOs to catalyze growth from marketing initiatives and help drive profit. CGO-led brands, the data suggests, are using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and scientific marketing at significantly higher rates than other companies.
Singular surveyed 700 marketers at companies with over $151 billion in combined annual sales and found that 14 percent of companies currently have a CGO while 29 percent have a VP, director or head of growth.
The findings indicate there are significant differences between companies that prioritize growth and those that don’t. A main point of difference is the importance growth-oriented organizations place on digital and mobile. Seventy-seven percent of CGO-led organizations said “apps are revenue generators and customer value creators,” indicating that these companies are more likely to utilize tools that unify data and generate intelligent insights to drive growth. Those same organizations tend to have marketing departments twice the size of those without CGOs.
Another key differentiator between companies with and without CGOs is how they use and interpret data. Fifty-six percent of CGO-led companies said their top need is the “ability to connect user-level data with aggregate spending data.” Companies without CGOs said their top need is to spend less time exporting data into Excel for analysis. A focus on granularity allows for companies to understand what’s creating good and bad results, then tweak the initiative accordingly.
“We’re beyond data-driven marketing now. Marketers have too much data to manage already. To drive scientific marketing, they need the insights for growth that are hidden inside the data,” says Singular CEO Gadi Eliashiv.
CGO-driven organizations are also 24 percent more likely to invest in AI and machine learning insights that would drive return on investment (ROI). Additionally, 65 percent of companies with CGOs are more likely to invest in new marketing technologies. On the other hand, companies that don’t have a CGO are much more likely to have fewer marketing technology tools.
The findings also point to the fact that companies with a CGO are more committed to new skills training as 59 percent of them said they planned to double down on skill development.
The rise of the CGO marks a shift towards scientific marketing and the path to what Forrester considers “analytics mastery,” the report notes. The bottom line: CGO-led companies that utilize analytics tools to improve campaigns via results measurement and spend optimization are in a better position to drive growth and profit than those that don’t.