CMOs Looking For A 'Path To Better, Not Perfect'

CMOs are slowing the “madness” of adopting marketing technology to focus on finding experts with the skills to make the tech work -- of looking for the next silver bullet to bring together the data, according to data released Thursday.

AI may still be the latest buzzword, but rather than analyzing the technology, CMOs are working to determine how the technology will empower their team, according to a study by the CMO Council, which polled the advisory board to get a snapshot of the technology environment.

“It’s not about campaign performance as much anymore, but rather growth performance,” said Liz Miller, senior vice president at the CMO Council. “The study was really to validate what we were seeing, perhaps the beginning of a shift to ramp up revenue driving actions and not so much an age of digital experimentation.” 

Of the 100 responses that came back from advisory board members, 43% said the biggest obstacle is finding people with the skill set. Some 40% said data is not unified and clean, complete and accurate across all marketing systems. About 36% said the biggest challenge is leadership appetite for throwing money into technology when the return on investment is not immediately obvious.

Some 31% said finding a balance between getting projects done and obtaining information about new technology is challenging, followed by having the time and energy to sort through the more than 7,000 vendor solutions available today.

The most pressing topics for CMOs include forging smarter ways to more effectively align and collaborate. Some 74% said they place importance on building relationships with the c-suite; while for 53% the focus is on consumer trends, insights and intelligence and 36% say they focus on productivity and performance of marketing teams; 31% on making a business case for marketing spend; 31% on career advancement beyond marketing roles; and 31% on leadership challenges and internal political dynamics.

CMOs do plan to overcome digital deficiencies and improve the performance of teams. Some 74% said they will encourage peer engagement and the sharing of knowledge, while 67% said they will attend relevant conferences and take courses, 60% plan to run regular internal training programs, 55% will subscribe to resources and research, 53% said they will add new resources and skill sets, and 47% will bring in constants and domain experts to present their view.

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