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Environmental Issues at the Bottom of the List in Chief Marketing Officer Study

In the first half of this year, IBM conducted over 1700 in-person interviews with chief marketing officers (CMOs) in 19 industries and 64 countries. Each CMO was asked to prioritize a list of eight external forces in order of the impact it was having on his or her organization. As in a similar study of CEOs last year, the respondents identified market factors and technology factors as the top two most important forces. And they put environmental issues at the bottom of the list. So much for sustainability as a driver of corporate strategy.

On the other hand, CMOs from “outperforming” companies (those who ranked their own company’s position a 5 on a scale of 1 to 5) say they are committed to developing a clear “corporate character.” The study says they “recognize that what a business believes and how it subsequently behaves are as important as what it sells. And they make it their job to help management and employees exemplify the company’s values and purpose.” As we know, a growing number of companies are looking to a vibrant sustainability strategy as an expression of their corporate character.

The original document can be downloaded from IBM here.

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