- More than three-fourths (77%) of chief growth officers (CGOs) said that apps are critical to delivering customer value or generating revenue, according to a survey that marketing intelligence firm Singular shared with Mobile Marketer. In contrast, only 59% of organizations that don't have a CGO said apps are important.
- CGO-led brands are 24% more likely to be investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and are 65% more likely to invest in new marketing technologies than brands without CGOs. CGO-led companies tend to have marketing departments that are almost twice as big as those without CGOs, and they generally have larger advertising budgets as well.
- While more companies have added CGOs to their executive suites, they're still uncommon at most organizations. Only 14% of companies have a CGO, while 29% have a VP, director or head of growth, based on Singular's survey of 700 companies.
CGO-led companies are more likely than non-CGO-led companies to see apps as important to delivering value to customers and driving revenue, as mobile usage increases and companies look to target consumers on their phones. App adoption varies by industry, with apps becoming indispensable for retailers, fast-food restaurants, food-delivery services, banks and other financial services companies, transportation providers and the entertainment industry, per an annual report by analytics firm App Annie.
Some companies are restructuring their C-suite management to carve out a role for a CGO as technologies like mobile communications compel them to seek new avenues for growth amid a significant change in shopping and media consumption habits. CGOs tend to bring together several different departments — such as product development, marketing and sales — with a focused pursuit of revenue growth. They also hold responsibility for new technologies, digital marketing channels and data analytics, differentiating themselves from chief marketing officers (CMOs) that oversee more traditional approaches of brand management, per Singular.
The CGO trend is a recent phenomenon, with Forrester Research predicting in November 2017 that more organizations would replace CMOs with CGOs to make the customer experience a centerpiece of business strategies. The list of Fortune 100 companies that have hired a new CGO or replaced an existing one since then includes: Archer Daniels Midland, CVS, GE, General Dynamics' information technology division, PepsiCo and TIAA. Fortune 500 companies that have added or replaced CGOs include Altria, Colgate-Palmolive, Kellogg's and State Street, according to Keith Johnston, vice president and research director at Forrester, in a blog post.
Keith Weed, who helped to redefine the CMO role during his nine-year tenure at Unilever before retiring last month, left a vacancy that Unilever may not fill as the CPG giant brings brands like Dove, Lipton and Axe into an era of smartphone shopping, greater social awareness and diminished loyalties to established brands. The company's decision on whether to replace Weed or to create a new managerial role, such as a CGO, may reverberate among major advertisers. Johnson & Johnson's consumer division this month parted ways with its CMO amid a restructuring that divided responsibilities among other managers.
That's not to say that the CMOs are going extinct, either, especially when they embrace the latest marketing technologies. Financial services company Northwestern Mutual, for example, hired its first CMO two years ago with the promotion of Aditi Javeri Gokhale into the newly created role.