Adweek + NewtonX Quantify the Business Impact of CMO Collaboration

What separates great CMOs from good ones? NewtonX and Adweek reveal the skills, behaviors and attributes of great CMO collaborators.

Adweek CMO Collaboration


Market research insights

Adweek sought to quantify a business opportunity that was elusive to pin down: how CMO collaboration drives business growth

How do you quantify and understand something as intangible as collaboration? Paul Barbagallo, Executive Editor of Thought Leadership at Adweek, the leading media company for the marketing and advertising industry, wanted to find out. His driving hypothesis: effective marketing collaboration directly translates to positive business outcomes. CMO research was abundant, but Barbagallo noticed a need for an in-depth exploration of CMO collaboration. What was its definition? Best practices? Most importantly, who was having the most success at facilitating cross-functional teamwork?

This presented a unique challenge–the topic was complex, and CMOs were hard to reach. But Adweek’s audience of 73K+ readers and 2.7 million unique monthly website visitors, many of them marketers, were seeing collaboration gain traction and make a positive impact on their roles–and their business. Barbagallo sought a research partner to help him quantify collaboration and provide this premium content to Adweek subscribers.



NewtonX Custom Recruiting

Adweek partnered with NewtonX to quantify the business impact of collaboration for the first time ever

NewtonX began research by surveying 80 CMOs across the US and Canada, asking them questions around two key themes: “Are you hitting your KPIs?” and “what key initiatives do CMOs most commonly collaborate on across different departments?” After segmenting responses into CMOs who consistently hit their KPIs (Great CMOs) versus those who did not, and analyzing their collaboration activities, the findings were extraordinary: Great CMOs are the most effective collaborators and drive dramatically stronger business results. Including 2X more revenue growth, 9X higher customer satisfaction, and 6X greater innovation than peers. 

NewtonX & Adweek: CMOs who collaborate effectively


Adweek and NewtonX also conducted in-depth interviews with CMOs at organizations like Xerox, IBM, Instacart, and Hootsuite to dig further into the findings.

Great CMOs don’t just collaborate often, the research found; they prioritize nurturing personal relationships across the organization. As Elina Vilk, CMO at Hootsuite, shared, “I view everyone as an internal customer. My goal is to ensure the success of others, transcending the boundaries of my specific team, to ultimately contribute to the company’s mission. This means putting myself in the seats of other leaders—seeking to understand the challenges they face, how their work ties to our overarching corporate objectives and what I can do to help them succeed.”

Building personal relationships


Moreover, they are adept at navigating the C-suite. Notably, 42% of Great CMOs report that their CEO “perfectly understands” the value of brand, significantly higher than the 32% reported by Good or Average CMOs, suggesting strong and collaborative relationships with their chief executives.



CMOs who collaborate effectively drive 2X sales growth

This research is a big deal. It applies science to something that is squishy and subjective—collaboration… Working with NewtonX was a phenomenal experience. I learned a lot about what’s possible when editorial and research strengths are combined to provide a new premium experience for customers

Paul Barbagallo
Adweek Executive Editor of Thought Leadership and Practical Journalism



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On stage and online, NewtonX and Adweek reveal groundbreaking research, delivering premium subscriber content and providing a playbook for CMO greatness 

On December 4th, NewtonX and Adweek unveiled their exclusive CMO collaboration research live at Adweek X, captivating an audience of hundreds of marketers. NewtonX CMO Jackie Cutrone and Adweek‘s Paul Barbagallo took center stage, presenting unprecedented insights and unveiling a playbook for transitioning from a good to Great CMO.

Jackie Cutrone & Paul Barbagallo


On the same day, Adweek launched How Great CMOs Collaborate, an editorial guide featuring findings from the research and portions of the interviews with CMOs from Xerox, IBM, Instacart, and more.

“This research is a big deal. It applies science to something that is squishy and subjective: collaboration,” said Barbagallo. “It allowed us to provide exclusive, premium content tied to our event’s theme— it’s the kind of thought leadership our audiences ask for more of, delivered in a sophisticated, memorable way.” 

Since publication, the response has been phenomenal—CMOs have expressed that the findings resonate seamlessly with their priorities and the way they conceptualize their marketing organizations. Adweek has observed impressive impressions for the article, widespread email blast circulation, and increased invitations for additional discussions on CMO collaboration are now on the agenda.

“Working with NewtonX was a phenomenal experience. Both our organizations are trying to achieve similar goals—that is to say, we’re both in the business of providing intelligence to businesses, “ said Barbagallo. “My goal in forging a partnership with NewtonX was to combine our editorial-development and thought-leadership acumen with their scientific research capabilities and expertise. It was a great partnership. I learned a lot about both our individual and shared capabilities—and what’s possible when strengths are combined to provide a new premium experience for customers.”

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