Skip to main content
The Mad Clientist

Half of CMOs on Road to Burnout

By April 5, 2017April 16th, 2020No Comments

In some ways it’s a CMO’s dream—demand exceeds marketing supply. CMOs face a record level of RFPs and now carefully orchestrate between 50 and 500 directory submissions or more—all coming due at the same time. This alone can absorb major capacity—before adding in all the daily tasks of running the department, mentoring, partner requests, events, webinars, sponsorships, web updates, PR, client teams, a string of special projects, strategic initiatives—and life. The CMO cup runneth over.

Unfortunately, the surging demand is taking CMO attention far, far away from ROI. More than 3 times as many CMOs (48%) worry more about getting their work done than showing ROI (14.9%).* Whenever the need to complete daily work exceeds all other priorities—you have all the makings of burnout.

CMO Workload Stunting Growth Too

Another 23% of CMOs also see resource constraints as the 2nd largest obstacle to law firm growth. CMOs have no time for the strategic and proven drivers behind revenue growth (think partner support, client feedback, client teams, industry programs, content marketing)—these law firm marketing leaders are too busy trying to get through the day without dropping any balls.

The Urgent Drains the Strategic

Thought-provoking strategic work provides the fuel to make dealing with the urgent easy. Take away the fuel and all of a sudden you are running on empty. The best CMOs thrive on the energy of making an impact. Focusing on the urgency created by lack of resources sucks the positive energy out of the most enthusiastic person—and leaves them with only a large, laborious to-do list.

Beyond Grousing

C-Level executives never have enough resources—typically, no more than 11% to 15% see this as an obstacle—it’s more a way of life they work around. But, law firms are facing almost half of their CMOs telling them resource constraints are hurting the business—3 times the number you would expect.

Law Firms Facing a Tough Decision

We know law firms spend substantially less on marketing and business development than other professions. Law firms are facing a decision point: the law firms who start adding high-caliber resources can and will develop an advantage over those who don’t.

CMOs will have to take a break from the urgent to develop a strategic pitch for more resources. These CMOs can learn from the top legal marketers who have earned trusted advisor status.

The firms who don’t feed the marketing and business development beast risk falling behind the 52% of law firms who don’t see themselves as resource constrained—and also run the risk of burning out their CMOs.


*Based on in-depth interviews BTI conducted with more than 150 law firm marketing leaders between June 2016 and September 2016.

Leave a Reply