As privacy-related issues slide up into marketing conundrums across the advertising landscape, every participant in the buy-sell equation is trying to figure out how to proceed with minimal change and maximum results.

At the top of the food chain are CMOs, the execs holding the purse strings of advertising and in the seat of power. But they’re also under greater pressure than ever before from their CEOs and CFOs to deliver results for the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars they spend marketing their products and services.

How are CMOs dealing with the raft of privacy regulations, as well as Apple and Google’s recent moves to inhibit behavioral tracking? How big a priority are these issues to them?

It’s telling that the CMOs contacted for this story either declined to comment on the record, or didn’t return calls requesting interviews.

Speaking with other marketing experts though, one gets the sense CMOs know the identity issue has huge implications for the future health of their companies, but haven’t come close to solving it. For starters they’ve learned they need to stay flexible to adapt to changing circumstances. “Clients aren’t unsettled,” said Eileen Kiernan, global CEO of IPG agency UM. “At the end of the day, modern marketing is about being fluid and agile — whether it’s in response to changes in market, consumer or competitor activity or changes in regulations and technology.”

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