2016 Predictions: Marketers, Batten Down The Hatches, It's About To Get Rough Out There

If there’s one major takeaway from 2015, it’s that marketers’ lives are not getting any easier. There may be more technology to address our problems than ever before and CMOs are getting more credibility in the boardroom, but with great power comes even greater responsibility. And where there’s responsibility there’s a significant obligation for marketing executives to deliver tangible results, fast. 

Two constants will remain as we head into 2016. First, data will continue its exponential growth in volume and across all-new channels. Second, marketers will continue to struggle making sense of it all.

Here are three concrete predictions for the coming year: 

1. Marketing Roles Get Shaken Up
About five years ago, it was widely thought that businesses’ CIOs and CMOs would have to work harmoniously together in order to tackle what was then a blossoming data problem. Although it seemed to be an insurmountable task at the time — CIOs and CMOs have a notoriously spotty relationship — many companies benefited from this newfound partnership. There was just one problem: When marketing data sources started to scale at an explosive pace, adopting an omnichannel strategy to collapse the gap between businesses and customers became increasingly difficult.



This led to the rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist. As omnichannel marketing analytics has become the standard for marketing departments, CMTs will start to reengineer internal marketing roles and responsibilities with a greater focus on becoming an analytically driven department. Gone are the days of not being able to interpret which marketing efforts are successful and which are failures. In this new environment, the CMT will be responsible for configuring the department to accomplish this task with appropriately skilled talent.

2. IT Spend Related To Omnichannel Efforts Increases
Gartner famously predicted three years ago that CMOs would outspend CIOs when it came to IT solutions. This has become reality. Looking back, I consider 2014 the year of data acquisition and 2015 the year of visualization. So, what’s next?

Marketing leaders are eager to start connecting the dots. In other words, they’re not just looking for solutions that present information via pretty pie charts. Rather, they’re looking for meaningful insight they can act upon in order to drive business impact. I see 2016 as the year that recommended actions come into the limelight as CMTs pursue analytic solutions with omnichannel positioned right in the middle of it all. The venture capital firm Foundation Capital recently identified five marketing technologies on its radar. Four of them require omnichannel as the keystone.

3. Marketing Becomes Central To Companies’ Business Engines, With Cross-Department Analytics Leading The Charge
With marketing playing a more significant role in a business’s success, there will be an increased need for fact-based accountability and cross-department harmony. While marketers are used to accountability, I foresee them crossing into new territory by having sales and customer service report to the marketing organization.

Though this may sound startling to some, the reality is that through optimized customer acquisition, the marketing department will become the owner of improving the sales cycle, as well as ensuring that customers continue to have positive interactions with their brand in an effort to keep them loyal. The only way this can happen is through effective cross-department analytics. 

Next story loading loading..