blog post

Top CMO Priorities for 2024 That Keep Them Up at Night

Madhu Puranik
Madhu Puranik
May 20, 2024
8 min read

CMOs have countless considerations to manage in 2024 whether it is for maximizing pipeline generation, increasing conversion, optimizing budgets, or recasting marketing value. They are at the epicenter of driving growth and revenue for their companies. 

We recently got an opportunity to engage with 6 SaaS CMOs to learn more about top priorities for this year. 

These marketing leaders spoke to us about the challenges they are facing and the strategies they are adopting to overcome them. They also shared what’s occupying their minds given the present scenario of economic unpredictability, constant changes in tech innovation, and evolving customer expectations. 

Let’s take a peek into what’s on their minds for 2024.

Top-of-the-Mind 2024 CMO Priorities

1. Proving Marketing Value to the C-Suite 

Proving marketing value to the C-suite emerged as one of the topmost priorities for marketing leaders in 2024 and beyond. 

CMOs are looking to improve their focus on how marketing delivers value by building business-wide alignment on new customer growth strategies. This is especially important since they need to convincingly communicate this value to senior executives and the non-marketing teams. 

Manny Rivera, CMO at Chicago Advisor Group shares that pinpointing which marketing efforts directly impact revenue comes across as a big challenge. 

Manasi Shah, CMO at The Clueless Company adds that proving marketing value to the C-suite is a top priority for her team. This comes as a challenge as marketing encompasses quantitative and qualitative results, of which the latter is tough to measure and communicate effectively. 

She also points out that the time to achieve tangible results from the marketing initiatives adds to their woes.

The CMO Survey 2023 reveals that demonstrating marketing impact on revenue is the topmost challenge for marketing leaders. 


The situation gets more complex in the case of enterprise high-ticket B2B selling owing to multiple stakeholders being involved. Nikhil Mirashi, the Head of Marketing at MoEngage shares that is a big reason why the team prioritizes demand capture versus the long-term non-measurable activities that matter a lot.

Nivas Ravichandran, Head of Marketing at SpendFlo adds that when the attribution game kicks in, channels are measured individually based on their outcomes.  Results. In such a scenario, he suggests speaking the language of the C-suite and non-marketers. 

Yet, we have companies that are acing at effectively convincing the C-suite on how marketing adds value to the overall business. 

Sahil Bhushan, Chief of Marketing at Kellton shares that his team has been able to successfully communicate the value of marketing by doing the basics right. 

When it comes to assessing the value of marketing, senior stakeholders are looking at metrics like return on investment and new customer acquisition. 

CMOs have a crucial role to play in driving growth and this depends heavily on the strength of the partnerships they forge across the organization. Hence, winning over the skeptics in the C-suite is emerging as a key priority for them.

2. Increasing Retention 

The adage, ‘Keeping a customer is easier than finding a new one,’ is apt for the intricate SaaS ecosystem. The cost of customer acquisition is spiraling out of control, making it important for SaaS marketers to focus on retention. 

Nikhil Mirashi shares that retention and customer marketing are the new priorities for his team. In other words, their focus is more on churn reduction, up-sell, cross-sell, and expansion. 

A few priorities the MoEngage team has in mind to covert paying customers into faithful advocates - 

  • Awesome onboarding and support
  • In-app communication
  • Useful resources, community, and academy
  • Communicating offers, wins, and growth of your company
  • Helpful non-product related content that helps your users and buyers
  • Webinars, events aimed at simplifying your offering, improving adoption, or helping them maximize value

A recent post on FinancesOnline reveals that a 5% increase in customer retention rate can potentially lead to up to 95% increase in profits. Thus, it makes complete sense to retain a handful of customers by answering their queries, solving problems, and paying attention to their suggestions. 

3. Breaking Departmental Silos 

CMOs are gradually turning into Chief Collaboration Officers, breaking down silos, getting immersed in new technologies, and empowering internal and external teams. A new report by the CMO Council and KPMG reveals that 70% of marketers feel underconfident in their current sales and marketing model to sell effectively in the digitalized customer journey. This can only be fixed by breaking silos because 60% of the survey respondents shared that marketing and sales don’t co-own customer strategy and data. Manasi recollects battling departmental silos on operations and data that made it tough to have a unified view of customer interactions and business performance.

She plans to break these siloes by ensuring cross-functional collaboration. In other words, they plan to strengthen collaboration between marketing and other departments through regular meetings, shared objectives, and integrated planning processes. 

Sahil shares that an objective as simple as reducing the cost per lead can get complicated when teams are working in silos.

In an interview with Retail TouchPoints, Jason Galloway, Principal, Customer Advisory Leader, and Marketing Consulting Lead at KPMG shares that breaking down silos between functions is by no means an easy task. 

Yet, it’s critical to break such silos and our marketing leaders have summed up four sales-marketing alignment initiatives that can help. 

  • Collaborate across departments to achieve business objectives (e.g., revenue, customer acquisition, market share)
  • Collaborate on marketing and sales campaigns to drive lead generation
  • Define shared KPIs for marketing and sales 
  • Align the customer personas

4. Getting Marketing Aligned with the Overall Strategy 

Modern businesses have moved from traditional tactics to a strong emphasis on tangible business outcomes. This transition has led CMOs to prioritize aligning their initiatives and goals with the overall business strategy. 
But this is easier said than done.
Jakub Zięcina, CMO at Bouncer shares the challenges he and his team face as they work towards this alignment. 

Here’s how his team is working around achieving this goal. 

  • Jakub and his team realized that they needed accurate database analytics, enriched with CRM data so that they could estimate in which growth engines in which quarter to invest to prove the expected results.
  • They leverage analytics, maintaining 0 and 1st-party data at a high level of quality, constant monitoring, and patching holes.
  • They procure accurate and reliable insights from the Google ecosystem concerning privacy and cookie policies. They are working on pinning down all this data and making decisions based on it. 

In 2024 and beyond, the team Bouncer plans to -

  • Improve analytics, better processing and working on data from their application and those provided directly by their customers in forms, questionnaires, etc. 
  • Invest in better structuring of CRM processes and identifying all leaks from the growth bucket. 

Nikhil adds that prioritizing marketing and making marketing a strategic role rather than a support role can help. 

This is in line with a recent research report from McKinsey that shares that businesses that put marketing at the core of their growth strategy outperform the competition - revenue growth of 5% or more than those that don’t. 

Here are a few other strategies Nikhil adopts to achieve alignment at MoEngage. 

  • Focusing on overall revenue/pipeline rather than breaking it by inbound, outbound, partners, etc., and trying to give attribution
  • Adjusting marketing budget and allocating money for brand awareness and demand generation, not just demand capture
  • Measuring efficiency by changes in sales pipeline velocity, account engagement, inbound leads, opportunities, brand search volumes and traffic/dwell times, and organic social engagement. 
  • An aligned approach across all teams where sales, SDRs, partnerships, and marketing collaborate on the same target

The overarching strategy and departmental plans for several organizations end up being made independently. However, this year the CMOs we interacted with were clear on changing this scenario. Along with other departments, the marketing team clearly has a role to play in achieving revenue numbers. 

Alignment isn’t a perfect science. However, the closer the marketing is aligned with the business strategy the better it gets. 

5. Investing in the Right Technology 

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, CMOs face the challenge of staying ahead of the curve. They need to adopt a data-driven and customer-centered approach
And, this is possible only if they invest in the right technology infrastructure and have the skills to leverage it to drive marketing success. 
The noticeably shrinking marketing budgets, harsh economic conditions, changing customer expectations, and challenging spending habits are putting CMOs under C-suite scrutiny. They are often asked to do more with less which is at odds with their desire to get a comprehensive view of the customer. 
In fact, in a  Gartner 2023 CMO Spend and Strategy Survey, 75% percent of CMOs admitted facing increased pressure to do more with less.


Manny Rivera shares that opting for a relevant technology in such a scenario can be tricky. 

Yet, despite their best intentions, organizations suffer from severe tech bloat. The WalkMe State of Digital Adoption report reveals that enterprises have an average of 187 applications in use. 

In the absence of a clear digital adoption strategy and the right skill set, extracting maximum value from this investment can be tough. 

Nikhil Mirashi has had a similar experience. He points out specific challenges his team faces when opting for the right tools. 

Nivas suggests a practical method to overcome the challenge. For him, having a healthy mix of tech-savvy generations, primarily Gen Zs in the team allows them to stay ahead of the tech trends. 

Besides, he suggests the pilot approach when adopting new tools.

Delivering efficient growth and innovation through a marketing tech stack is central to a CMO’s ability to fulfill business goals. The data culture prevalent today will only pick momentum going forward. Hence, to reach maximum levels of data maturity, marketers need to gear up with the right technical skills. 

Focusing on tech stacks alone isn’t enough; they need to find the right balance to get long-term value from their investments.

6. Keeping Dispersed Teams on the Same Page

After the pandemic, teams haven’t moved to the office and embraced the remote/ hybrid working style. Though this work culture comes with several benefits, it does take extra for the senior management to manage the dispersed workforce. 
A 2024 Workplace Flexibility Trends Report by TechSmith reveals that only about one-quarter of companies have trained their leaders to successfully manage hybrid and distributed teams. 
Jakub shares this as one of the common challenges faced by his team. 

Jakub suggests that CMOs should proactively share knowledge, keep the concerned people in the loop, and experiment with new meeting formats. This allows teams across geographies to share their ideas and feedback. 

Nivas shares the significance of keeping all team members on the same page by constantly communicating priorities and goals with them.

Robust communication tools and regular virtual meetings are also Manny’s strategy when it comes to building a sense of unity and collaboration among team members across locations. 

Here’s what he suggests - 

Ensuring that the dispersed team acts in tight orchestration and open and proactive communication is key to organizational success. Hence, one of the priorities that came up among the CMOs we interviewed was to devise innovative ways to bridge geographical gaps, enable seamless communication, and cultivate a cohesive organizational culture. 

Summing Up 

Every year comes with its set of challenges. The feeling of uneasiness when it comes to certain subjects is common for most CMOs who wear more hats than ever before. 

We were curious to know what was going on in their mind and hence were fortunate to interact with this group of high-profile CMOs from established enterprises and burgeoning startups. They also threw light on how they are working towards coping with their challenges. 

We are sure you gained practical insights on how to keep up with the rapid pace of change happening in the SaaS domain.

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