Brand strategy: top training priority for CMOs

Which marketing capability is the most important to work on in 2024 as you think about your marketing training priorities?

Marketing Directors were asked this question in a survey by Gartner (1). You might expect their answer to be ‘hot topics’ such as marketing analytics, digital commerce or multi-channel marketing. 

In fact, brand strategy came out on top (see below). 


Because, a strong brand strategy increases the effectiveness of the whole marketing mix, creating ‘brand-led growth’. It drives effectiveness by improving clarity, cut-through and consistency.

It is also encouraging that CMOs are focused on growing the core. We’ve long banged the drum about the importance of growing the core, having posted on it many times and having written one of only 2 books in the world on the subject. So, it is great to see 79% of marketing leaders are firmly focused on growing the core (see below). This is split between: 1. increasing sales of existing products (34%) and 2. core range extension (45%). A much smaller 22% are looking to stretch into new markets.

If you do want to boost your brand strategy capability in 2024, a second question is then what type of marketing training course to choose. To help answer this question and create the brandgym Mastering Brand Growth program, we askef marketers on what they wanted from an online marketing training course.

1. Practical marketing training tools

Practical tools brought to life with real-life examples came out as the top need for marketing training, above marketing theory.

The Mastering Brand Growth program includes a comprehensive 35 tool workbook to start using from day 1. The principles and tools are brought to life with case studies and examples from 30 years of real-life projects, the 8 brandgym books and 1,600 brandgym blog posts.

Marketers want practical brand strategy training

2. Direct 2-way interaction

Direct, 2-way interaction with the course trainer was also quite important, almost the same as marketing theory. The Mastering Brand Growth program features live Zoom workshops and a cap of around 40 people, so participants can directly interact with me as their brand coach.

3. Action oriented

The majority of people with a preference (64%) want to end a marketing training program with an action plan rather than an exam. Over the 8 weeks of The Mastering Brand Growth program, participants work on one key tool per week to apply the key principles on their own brands. That way, everyone finishes with a comprehensive action plan, ready to use.

Marketers want to finish brand strategy training with an action plan, more than an exam

In conclusion, it’s great to see the commitment to invest in brand strategy training, key for long term growth, including a focus on growing the core.

The 2024 edition of the Mastering Brand Growth program kicks off on April 15th. If you would like to sign up or learn more about the program, including a sample lesson, click HERE. If you are interested in your own custom version the MBG program, please drop me an email.

For more on capability building, see these other posts:

  1. How to stay fresh?
  2. Personal brand revitalisation
  3. Strengths based leadership


(1) Gartner CMO Spend Survey with 432 marketing executives in North America, the U.K., France and Germany at companies with $500 million – $20 billion annual revenue.