Tomorrow's CMO

Marketing's generation of change

The next generation of CMOs want to revolutionise the marketing industry

Following the most challenging period in business history, the next generation of CMOs is determined to shake up the marketing industry for the better.

Doing more with less over the last 18 months has focused the mind of senior marketers on the processes and tools that will help them drive growth, whatever the challenge — and they’re determined to revolutionise their ideal marketing future.
Our Methodology

Adobe Workfront commissioned Arlington Research to undertake research amongst 1,100 marketing managers, directors, and SVPs within enterprise organisations with at least 500 employees. The study was conducted in July 2021 in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Australia.

This report explores the vision that tomorrow’s CMOs have to shake up the future of marketing. It reveals the key attributes they expect to bring to the role of CMO, their ambition to reinvent the marketing ecosystem — and why existing CMOs need to step up and help their teams make those shifts today.

Change is coming. 

27 %

feel the biggest motivator to be a CMO is the opportunity to innovate and change marketing for the better. 

43 %

believe the biggest challenge facing CMOs is managing the business of work (including areas such as completing projects, managing people and coordinating workloads).

“We’ve seen that the next generation of CMOs are an inspiring generation of changemakers looking to improve the industry and the workplace for the rest of us, and those coming behind them. Our role as senior marketing leaders is to provide them with the resources, and the technology, to affect that positive change now.”
Alvaro Del Pozo
VP International Marketing, Adobe

Tomorrow’s CMOs are technologists.

77 %

of marketers rely on technology to demonstrate the value of marketing.

45 %

of tomorrow's CMOs believe technology is most valuable to improve the speed of processes and make efficiencies.

They will build a culture of hybrid creativity.

71 %

marketers feel that creativity suffered during the pandemic. 

79 %

plan to bring back face-to-face meetings to encourage creative thinking when workforces return to the office.

And expand the marketing skill set.

31 %

most value the skills of data analysis, financials, project management and coordinating workloads. 

49 %

want to invest in ways to improve visibility into top business priorities and strategy. 

To shake up the way marketing works.

37 %

value the ability to create a single place for managing all work. 

43 %

want to reduce the distraction caused by using so many digital tools.

Empowering tomorrow's CMO — takeaways for marketing leaders


For current CMOs, the insights from the report highlight opportunities to help their teams improve ways of working and instigate the shake up that their teams need now. To consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences, marketing teams need to be agile, creative, and fast.

It’s time to create amazing experiences for teams by removing inefficiencies, headaches, and hurdles that stand between them and their best work to help the CMO of tomorrow revolutionise the marketing sector. 

“I’m energised by the drive and passion we see from my fellow generation of future CMOs. Following the last 18 months of unbelievably challenging digital-first work, tomorrow’s CMO is striving to shake up the industry and deliver not just outstanding work, but cultural change that will shape the future of the marketing ecosystem for the better.”
Jada Balster
Head of International Marketing, Adobe Workfront

State of Work 2021 Report

Taking the pulse of a workforce just weeks before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, and again eight months later, revealed how drastically the pandemic changed digital work. It became clear that employees weren’t just working from home — they were working by very different, constantly changing rules. Read the 2021 State of Work Report to learn how technology expectations shifted and leaders can support their digital workforces through uncertainty.


Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) of Workfront study

Read the report to learn how Workfront can provide companies with a 285% ROI over three years with a payback period of less than three months.

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Complete Guide to Work Management for Marketers

Download this guide to learn how to use the combined power of Workfront and other Adobe applications in one cloud platform to automate workflows and processes, operate more efficiently, and accurately measure the value, outcomes, and impact of marketing’s work.

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