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Is the Creativity Gap Holding up Business Transformation? Deloitte Digital and LIONS Analysis Launched Ahead of 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity Indicates Yes

New analysis illustrates a growing need for unconventional thinking to drive growth.

NEW YORK, June 15, 2022 – With new technology, cultural, political and pandemic-related shifts driving desire for new solutions to drive efficient growth, businesses face an emerging creativity gap. In advance of the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Deloitte Digital and LIONS have released the Creative Business Transformation study: “A Radical Re-Think - Why Business Transformation Needs to Get Creative.”

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. This 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.

Deloitte Digital conducted an analysis spanning more than 10 years of global company profiles and job postings to provide insight into how the CMO role has evolved. Deloitte Digital and LIONS then examined 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 esteemed jurors. (See full methodology below.)

Results from the company profile analysis suggest that companies are deprioritizing creativity, leaving gaps in C-suite leadership, talent skill sets and in organizational culture. To reverse this trend, an alternative approach visible in Lion-winning work, encourages marketing and creative leaders to apply creativity across all areas of business to deliver “creative” business transformation that differentiates from the competition.

“The Creative Business Transformation study is an unconventional report about the impact of creativity that we can all learn and benefit from,” said Andrew Sandoz, global chief creative officer, Deloitte Digital. “Together with LIONS we hope to inspire many organizations to think differently and use new ideas to shape successful futures.”

Simon Cook, CEO, LIONS, said, “At LIONS we’ve recognized the expanding role of creativity in driving businesses forward, and through our Creative Business Transformation Lions awards 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. 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.”

Pulling unlikely inspiration from George Miller, the director of action film “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Deloitte Digital and LIONS 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. Together Deloitte Digital and LIONS provide a blueprint for CMOs, creatives and brand professionals, which when utilized can close creative gaps, lead to growth generation through creative business transformation and produce solutions to complex problems:

  • Find hidden creatives: Inspiration can come from anywhere — from frontline employees, customers or partners. As such, forward-looking brands should encourage and consider all potential sources for the next big idea.
  • Curate creative excellence patiently: Many promising ideas need guidance and cultivation to reach their full potential. Business transformation is no different.
  • Widen the accountability lens: Many creative and impactful brands understand the scale of a business transformation is only as extensive as its corresponding measurement.

“A marketers’ 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. Drawing from some of the most creative business transformations in recent memory, the research provides a roadmap to growing the organization’s impact through creativity.”

Infusing creativity into business transformation is powerful; it can set organizations apart and lead to significant growth. The full study from Deloitte Digital and LIONS can be found HERE.

Deloitte Digital conducted an analysis spanning more than 10 years of global company profiles and job postings, including more than two million organizational profiles from public, private and nonprofit organizations (sourced by BoardEx), that revealed how C-suite titles evolved over the last decade. More than 3,000 CMO role postings from the Burning Glass database were analyzed as well, providing insights into how CMO role postings evolved.

Deloitte Digital and LIONS then examined 26 pieces of work entered into the Creative Business Transformation Lions Award at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2020 and 2021, completed eight in-depth interviews with Lion-winning brand-agency teams and four esteemed jurors. Comparing shortlisted and award-winning transformations against the rest of the field, Deloitte Digital and LIONS found several factors that set these transformations apart and led to significant growth to the bottom line.

At LIONS we have over 65 years of evidence that creative excellence moves people, business and society forward. Cannes Lions - The International Festival of Creativity - has been championing creative excellence since 1954 with the goal of providing a global destination and the definitive benchmark for creativity that drives progress. Progress for people, businesses, and society. Over the decades, we have recognized and celebrated creativity from a hugely diverse range of cultures around the world and showcased the power of creativity to the world’s largest and most powerful advertisers and marketers. We know that highly creative companies grow faster, more profitably and shift culture. It’s the power of ideas. They create new worlds from nothing.

About Deloitte Digital
Deloitte Digital helps companies create new growth by elevating the human experience — with connected ideas, technology and talent. Our ambition is to make the best customer-oriented organizations in the world. Alongside all of Deloitte, we foster the connections necessary to shape a better future for our clients, our culture, our society and our planet. Visit or follow Deloitte Digital on LinkedIn or Twitter to learn more.

About Deloitte­

Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 7,000 private companies. Our people come together for the greater good and work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today's marketplace—delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthier society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Building on more than 175 years of service, our network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte's more than 345,000 people worldwide connect for impact at

Media contacts:

Kori A. Green
Public Relations
Deloitte Services LP
+1 617 763 9593

Camilla Lambert
Public Relations
+44 (0) 203 033 4000

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