CMO Council Founder Donovan Neale-May on CMO Job Loss, Financial Impact Analytics for Marketing, and Why Proof Is So Important

  • Record Number of CMOs Lost Their Jobs in 2016
  • Failure to Show Business Impact Cited as #1 Reason
  • Delivering Financial Impact Analytics is the Key to Success
  • Need to Bridge Marketing’s Data Analytics Skills Gap
  • The Power of the Proof Analytics Platform

AUSTIN, Texas, March 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  #SXSW -- Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, has a reputation for straight talk as a thought leader. Neale-May regularly shares his thoughts with thousands of CMO Council members around the world.  One pressing item on Neale-May’s advocacy agenda is for what he calls “financial impact analytics for marketing.” He has written repeatedly about it in reports and PeerSphere, the CMO Council’s quarterly digital magazine.

The marketing profession is listening.  2016 saw a record number of CMOs lose their jobs.  Recent C-suite surveys and studies, including by the CMO Council, indicate that the #1 reason for CMO job loss was failure to show business impact and to justify what are often very large marketing budgets.  In addition, two other recent statistics further illuminated both the very real challenge confronting marketers:

  • A CMO Council / Deloitte report published in late 2016 revealed that only six percent of CMOs are defining and executing routes to revenue across all facets of their business, including margin expansion and cash flow impact. In stark contrast, nearly 70 percent of surveyed leaders consider these sorts of business impacts to be core to the CMO role.
  • According to data provided by Spencer Stuart, out of the approximately 10,000 board directorships in the Fortune 1000, CMOs occupied just 38 seats in 2013. That number has almost doubled in the past two years, but it’s business leaders with significant career experience in sales or sales management that currently occupy more than 3,500 of those 10,000 board seats.

“The message from business leaders is exceptionally clear: today, there’s nothing more necessary to CMO success and longevity than having the proof of how marketing is driving the business forward in a multiplicity of unique and powerful ways,” said Neale-May. “Proof is a powerful, highly collaborative platform that computes marketing’s business impact using long-accepted algorithms and a nifty UX that requires no data science expertise to operate. Proof represents a very big step forward.”

"The real problem has been that many marketers and communicators don’t have meaningful data skills, and most data scientists don’t understand marketing and communications," Neale-May noted. Recent reports indicate that the demand in 2017 for data scientists will be 10-12X the available supply. And once they join a team, the company very often prioritizes their efforts elsewhere. In many companies, this means that marketing and communications departments remain a cost center to be managed, not a revenue driver to be maximized.

Last year, Neale-May wrote in The CMO Council newsletter that the delivery of on-demand Financial Impact Analytics across all areas of marketing is essential for leaders and teams to prove marketing's real business impact. “This means mathematically computing and assembling the sequence of causes and effects, including headwinds and tailwinds. And that means computing how long it takes to generate an impact. This is crucial, particularly in longer B2B conversion cycles where cause and effect cannot be observed.”

“The team at Proof has delivered a powerful suite of self-service analytics that compute business impact and how long it takes to generate that impact, all embedded in a highly collaborative platform. Marketing teams now can plan, execute and prove their business impact with precision, predictability and profitability.  I particularly like the way they have crowdsourced the collective perspective of so many top business leaders to build a platform that meets the needs of the business as well as marketing and communications,” Neale-May concluded.

Mark Stouse, Proof’s founder and CEO, said: “In 2001, Donovan Neale-May founded what has become one of the most prestigious CMO communities in the world, whose thousands of global members control more than $500 billion in aggregate marketing spend each year. That’s one-half trillion dollars spread across the more than 110 countries in which its members run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations.  As the leader of the CMO Council, Donovan Neale-May stands out as a major exponent of the need for ‘financial impact analytics for marketing.’  CMOs listen to him, and we are pleased that he is a Proof Customer Advisor and such a powerful evangelist for proving marketing’s business impact.”

Over the past decade, the individuals that founded Proof have collaborated with hundreds of business leaders to create a logic framework, a computational engine, and now a software platform that associates all manner of functional, business and outside data to demonstrate marketing’s business impact and how long it takes to generate that impact. Visit for more information.

To read what others have recently written about Proof:

Founded in 2015 in Arizona, Proof is the first software company in the world to compute the time-lapsed business impact of marketing and communications performance.  Co-created with a powerful roster of top marketing, communications, PR, risk management, procurement, and business leaders, Proof is available as a Software-Enabled Service (SeS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).  @proofanalytics @cmocouncil #CMO #ProveIt2017 #proCMO #proCCO #proCFO #proCEO #proSales #proAgency


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