Companies are Deprioritizing Creativity, Leaving Gaps in C-Suite Leadership says New Research

According to findings from Deloitte Digital and Cannes Lions, companies “are deprioritizing creativity, leaving gaps in C-suite leadership, talent skill sets and in organizational culture.”

Leading up to the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Deloitte Digital and Cannes Lions have released the Creative Business Transformation study: “A Radical Re-Think – Why Business Transformation Needs to Get Creative.”

The analysis spans more than 10 years of global company profiles and job postings with the aim of providing insight into how the CMO role has evolved.

Deloitte Digital and Lions followed this up with an examination of 26 pieces of work entered into the Creative Business Transformation Lions Award at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2020 and 2021 and completed interviews with Lion-winning and shortlisted brand agency teams and jurors.

 
 

According to the findings, the company profile analysis suggests that companies “are deprioritizing creativity, leaving gaps in C-suite leadership, talent skill sets and in organizational culture,” said a release.

To reverse the trend, the report encourages marketing and creative leaders to “apply creativity across all areas of the business to deliver ‘creative’ business transformation that differentiates from the competition.”

“We’ve seen how successful businesses can flourish if they use a breadth of creative approaches to create value and drive competitive advantage alongside traditional brand communications,” said Lions CEO, Simon Cook.

 
 

“This report highlights the need for creativity in this space and we hope that this guide will help businesses understand how they can, and why they should, put creativity at the heart of their business transformation plans.”

“This research shows that in a fast-paced, technology-driven world, it’s easy to forget the central role creativity plays in driving growth and bringing meaningful change to customers and the organization alike.”



Key findings

  • The growth of the growth title: Since 2015, the total number of global C-suite roles with a specific focus on growth, such as chief revenue officers and chief growth officers increased dramatically (256% and 554%, respectively), and at a much faster rate than CMOs (51%).
  • The decline of chief creative officers: After a period of rapid growth between 2011 and 2018 (87% increase), the number of Chief Creative Officers declined 4% over the last four years.
  • A shift away from creative skill sets and talent: Analysis of CMO role postings shows the demand for design skills has decreased 41% since 2019 and is now far lower than the demand for analytical skills.
  • The shift is not limited to the C-suite. In nearly every industry, CMOs identify analytical expertise as a more important skill than creative expertise among their highest performing talent, according to a Deloitte Insights report on “Building the intelligent creative engine.”

The report specifically drew what it called “unlikely inspiration” from George Miller, the director of the action film “Mad Max: Fury Road,” from which it found “interesting parallels” from Miller’s radical approach to filmmaking, aiding CMOs, creatives, and brands in understanding key creative principles that support successful business transformation.



“A marketer’s role is ever-evolving,” said Suzanne Kounkel, chief marketing officer, Deloitte US.

“This research shows that in a fast-paced, technology-driven world, it’s easy to forget the central role creativity plays in driving growth and bringing meaningful change to customers and the organization alike.”


You can check out the full report here.

Image: Toa Heftiba Şinca

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