What does it take for CMOs to transition the organization from the well-known to the unknown? At Forrester, we call it adaptive marketing. In previous research, we identified the five habits of adaptive marketers. But many CMOs ask whether the destination is worth the journey.

Another way of putting it: What’s the implication of doing things the way they’ve always been done?

That’s the question Forrester sought to understand when we fielded a study in collaboration with The CMO Club to understand how well CMOs have developed capabilities that enable them to nimbly adjust to changing consumer behavior and market conditions.

You can read more about the findings of the study in the CMO Strategy section of Advertising Age.

Here’s the top line:

  • The vast majority of marketers are still struggling to adapt. Seventy-eight percent of marketing leaders are having difficulty with transforming their organization to embrace the habits of adaptive marketers.
  • Marketers who embrace adaptive habits report higher performance. (See chart below.)
  • Three adaptive behaviors drive performance. The three adaptive marketing behaviors that correlate most highly to the performance of sales, customer satisfaction, and innovation are: 1) equipping and training employees with new technology; 2) acting like a customer-obsessed company; and 3) piloting new media and technology.

So if you’re a CMO transforming the organization for the digital age, the only question you need to ask now is, “What bad habits do we need to kick in 2012?”


Marketers who practice adaptive habits report higher sales, customer satisfaction, and innovation: