The boom in eCommerce and the importance of real-time data is significantly changing the role of the chief marketing officers (CMO). According to Capgemini Research Institute’s research, around three-quarters of CMOs are now responsible for contributing to business growth, while 90% are responsible for business strategy.

In this research, over 1,600 B2C focused marketing executives were surveyed worldwide. These professionals also work across the automotive, banking, consumer goods, insurance, retail, telecom, and utility industries. 

As CMOs’ responsibilities and goals become more diverse, the marketing department is not equipped with the necessary resources to respond accordingly. Only a few have access to the data, technology and know-how needed to deliver successful marketing campaigns. 

Looking at data-driven marketing

While all respondents stated that they use data in some manner, very few indicated that it informed their marketing strategies. For example, just 43% of respondents stated that they use data to inform their decisions when launching a new product in the market. Additionally, only 40% of the CMOs said that they use data to track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, while just under a quarter use data to identify customer needs. 

CMOs who champion data-driven marketing are currently a minority, according to research. With the figure at a mere 12%, these leaders are way ahead of their peers. This research shows that: 

  • 54% of CMOs who champion data-driven marketing say the benefits exceed their expectations. The vast majority (93%) are satisfied with the success of their marketing activities. 
  • 88% of data-driven marketers optimize the content of their marketing communications using real-time data. 
  • In addition, 35% of this group achieves higher revenues than traditional marketers due to the natural integration of marketing and sales. 

The benefits of a shift to data-driven marketing are clear from a marketing campaign perspective, but another factor needs to be appreciated: measurability.  However, CMOs are under increased pressure from CEOs to deliver results and increase ROI.

Digitisation is currently one of the key ways of demonstrating both successes and failures to leadership. Therefore, CMOs and their teams need to upskill and use data to showcase their efforts, further driving value for business. 

Upskilling for the future

Do marketing departments have the required skill sets to navigate this change? Less than half of CMOs surveyed in our study have the necessary data and marketing technology experts in their teams.  

Only 45% have a customer data platform that provides a complete view of the customer; 47% have no governance for data collection; and just 44% of respondents indicated that they employ data scientists within their marketing department.  

Organizations are already taking note of this. Many are investing resources in growing their team’s expertise and developing their skills. CMOs are increasingly dedicating a greater proportion of their budgets away from media and creativity and into data.  

Prioritising in-house capabilities

CMOs are becoming more determined to develop the required competencies in-house. Furthermore, half of those responsible for marketing say that their companies are recruiting or developing internal experts rather than continuing to engage with external service providers. 

How can CMOs reap the benefits and leverage their data? By forming alliances both internally and externally. There are four key steps to achieving this: 

  1. Re-imagining the customer journey with real-time communication at its core.   
  1. Developing an ideal new structure for the marketing department based on interdisciplinary workflows.  
  1. Outlining which data needs to be collected and identifying its use. This must be a collaborative effort, and it should incorporate the sales, customer service, and IT teams. 
  1. Understanding what skills and qualifications are needed in the team along the new workflows.   

In the next two to three years, we can expect to see – alongside the creative types – many more data scientists in marketing, perhaps even former colleagues from today’s consulting and agency world. This increases the need for leadership skills. The CMO of the future will be cooperative, an interdisciplinary thinker and a team player.  

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