Analytical skills finding more importance than design skills in global firms: Study

A recent study by Deloitte & Lions shows that the roles of Chief Revenue Officer & Chief Growth Officer have grown exponentially over the last five years 

e4m by Kanchan Srivastava
Published: Jun 28, 2022 10:55 AM  | 4 min read
Deloitte & Lions

Top roles in business houses are increasingly getting oriented towards growth and revenue generation, thanks to emerging technology and cultural, political and pandemic-related shifts, a new study by Deloitte and Lions has revealed. 

The study also says that global companies are giving little consideration to creativity’s role in the pursuit of growth.

This report was released ahead of the Cannes Lions Festival Of Creativity 2022. 

The researchers noted that analytical skills were getting more importance than design skills for the CMO’s role. 

“The CMO role’s postings show the demand for design skills has decreased 41% since 2019, and is now far lower than the demand for analysis skills. In nearly every industry, CMOs identify analytical expertise as a more important skill than creative expertise among their highest performing talent,” the authors point out. 

The study also notes that after a period of rapid growth between 2011 and 2018 (87% increase), the number of Chief Creative Officers have declined 4% over the last four years. 

At the same time, the number of global c-suite roles with a specific focus on growth, such as Chief Revenue Officers and Chief Growth Officers, has increased dramatically (256% and 554%, respectively), the study found. 

“This can leave a gap in the c-suite where creative solutions can be championed; a gap in talent where creative skills are needed to develop ideas into outcomes; and a gap in organizational culture, where creative thought can permeate. In short, we are seeing an expanding creativity gap,” the researchers say.

Deloitte Digital conducted an analysis spanning more than 10 years of global company profiles and job postings to provide insight into how the CMO role has evolved. Deloitte Digital and LIONS then analyzed 26 pieces of work entered into Creative Business Transformation Lions at Cannes Lions 2020/21 and eight in-depth interviews with the shortlisted and Lion-winning brand-agency teams, and four interviews with members of the Creative Business Transformation Lions jury to arrive at these conclusions. 

A chief creative officer (CCO) is the highest ranking position of the creative team in most global brands. CCOs are usually responsible for the overall look and feel of marketing, media, and branding associated with the organization. 

Big Indian conglomerates like Reliance Industries, Adani Group, TCS, Piramal Group, ITC group, BYJU’s, Dunzo, Swiggy, Paperboat and BookMyShow have their in-house creative teams with Chief Creative Officer/ creative director heading them. However, many brands still hire ad agencies for their creative needs, industry experts pointed out. 

Aalap Desai, CCO Isobar and Taproot dentsu, disagrees with the study’s findings. “The roles of CCOs and CMOs are evolving into more prominent ones. And, that is the need of the hour. Let’s not forget that we have just about stepped out of a global pandemic that’s changed the way we think and operate. Lives were lost and livelihoods were destroyed. It is natural for the roles to evolve.”

“Nevertheless, creativity will never go out of fashion. With every role that’s evolved so has the role of the CCO. The roles that are diminishing are the ones that are refusing to evolve. There are such ingenious creative solutions that we have just witnessed in Cannes 2022 that never existed. And, that’s from the desk of a CCO that’s evolved,” Desai says. 

“On the working end, more CCO understand business challenges and solve them with the power of creative campaigns than ever before. The tricky part right now is that our rules of measurement have not changed. The day they evolve too like everyone else, maybe this data will also cease to exist,” Desai noted. 

Harish Bijoor, Business & brand-strategy expert, says, “This is a yo-yo trend. It moves every 5 years. At the end of the day, the CRO, the CGO and CMO are all complementary roles. Each contributes and none can do without the other.”

The pandemic had awakened many brands and marketing leaders to the reality of digital scale and helped new-age brands capitalize on this. At that point, perhaps the divide between digital-savvy marketers and traditional marketers was too much, thus, resulting in new sharper roles, says Smita Murarka, CMO-Corporate & Brands, Digital, Duroflex.

Murarka further said, “However, a CMO that has experience and knowledge of building brands in a digital era can bring holistic and strategic changes in the brand and create momentum beyond media. Many companies have realized this and are consolidating efforts too.”

Recommendations of the study

Business leaders need to take a new approach and lean upon marketing and creative leaders to apply creativity across all areas of business; in short, deliver creative business transformation, the authors of the study say. 

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