EssenceMediacom + NewtonX Illuminate the Growing Role of B2B CMOs

EssenceMediacom, in partnership with NewtonX, launches its first-ever global B2B marketing report, revealing how B2B CMOs are now digital leaders and growth orchestrators with CEO-level responsibilities.


EssenceMediacom CMO report

Are B2B CMOs the CEOs of digital transformation? EssenceMediacom and NewtonX release a global survey on the complex role of the B2B CMO.


Market research insights

As B2B buyers and the digital world change, EssenceMediacom wanted to investigate the new realities of B2B marketing

B2B buyers now demand B2C-like experiences. Marketing is often charged with digital transformation and data orchestration to achieve customer centricity.  

EssenceMediacom, a global media agency and part of WPP, is renowned for its data-driven and creative approach to media planning and buying, and expertise in digital media and commerce. To navigate the evolving landscape of B2B marketing, EssenceMediacom established the B2B Group, empowering organizations to effectively engage the next generation of B2B buyers, overcome the challenges of siloed and proliferating audience data, and orchestrate complex customer experiences. To lead this B2B marketing transformation, EssenceMediacom embarked on a thought leadership initiative to understand the opportunities that lie ahead and how B2B CMOs can take advantage of them.


Specialized personas

EssenceMediacom and NewtonX survey 188 Fortune 500 B2B marketing leaders to uncover why B2B marketing is becoming more and more complex

To gather insights from B2B CMOs at the forefront, EssenceMediacom commissioned NewtonX to partner on a global survey of 188 Fortune 500 B2B marketing leaders, spanning a broad range of industries. The findings revealed that today’s B2B CMOs face a complex and demanding role. To succeed, they must orchestrate multifunctional growth engines across branding, demand generation, data science, e-commerce, technology, and CRM.

They’re outpacing their organizations in digital transformation in service of customer experience – with 62% reporting a shift from a sales-owned to a marketing-owned customer relationship. To deliver results, organizations are prioritizing customer centricity, which 80% of respondents cited as growing in importance over the past 2-3 years, but only 50% of organizations prioritize sharing critical audience data across teams.  

CMOs are also being asked to accomplish more with less. Nearly 90% of respondents said their role had become “more” or “much more” complex in recent years. As one US CMO in professional services put it: “There seems to be an unlimited number of initiatives that marketing can do. Determining and getting alignment around what’s the best and wisest use of marketing resources can be challenging.”


Fortune 500 B2B marketing leaders surveyed

Partnering with NewtonX to produce the agency’s first-ever B2B marketing report positioned us to lead the conversation at a critical point in B2B marketing.

Kristen Gower
Global President, B2B and Commerce at EssenceMediacom


Respondent quality

EssenceMediacom redefines the B2B CMO role in the marketplace, sparking a new conversation about its evolution

In October 2023, at the IAA 2023 Global B2B Brand Summit, EssenceMediacom debuted its first-ever B2B marketing report, The CMO Coming of Age Story: How digital transformation has elevated marketing to a C-suite growth driver. At marketing events like the WPP B2B Summit and Advertising Week, EssenceMediacom leaders presented findings that sparked an open discussion about the need for CMOs to be bold, innovative, and customer-centric. 

Industry trade publications like Ad Age, WPPQ, and The Drum quickly publicized the findings. In the Ad Age article, “B2B CMOs are Under More Pressure as AI and Data Make the Role More Complex,” Kristin Gower, EssenceMediacom’s global B2B president, outlined the next steps for marketers. “CMOs must navigate three core challenges: marketing departments often outpace their organizations and must use this opportunity to drive cross-organizational innovation; the rising importance of delivering customer-centric experiences to the B2B buyer; and the need to rewrite the rule book as marketers face increasingly complex ecosystems for gaining buyer attention.”

The power to catalyze industry change stemmed from EssenceMediacom’s commitment to delivering thought leadership backed by NewtonX insights. “Partnering with NewtonX to produce the agency’s first-ever B2B Marketing Report positioned us to lead the conversation at a critical point in B2B marketing,” said Gower. “What our clients and marketing leaders truly seek is a clear story and actionable direction – based on insights from peers who are actively steering transformation. They require dependable, comprehensive data they can trust. Together, with NewtonX, we quantified the challenges and opportunities facing B2B CMOs, which gave our research the authority to ignite an important industry discussion.”

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