The Chief Marketing Officer: Stats, Data, Research & Insights

The role of the Chief Marketing Officer is dynamic and ever-changing. Businesses need CMOs now more than ever before because they directly influence the business’s growth and are the key drivers of change, even outside the marketing organization.

Being a marketing strategy guru is no longer enough for a CMO. Previously, the CMO’s role mainly included branding, communication, and advertising. However, with the rapidly advancing technology, unpredictable market trends, and evolving consumer behavior, the role of the CMO must also change to fit the needs of the customer and the business.

What is Chief Marketing Officer?

Sounds like a dumb question, I know. Chief Marketing Officers develop and oversee marketing initiatives for an organization. They are responsible for creating and executing marketing plans that promote the organization’s products or services. In addition, CMOs develop and manage relationships with customers, partners, and other stakeholders. They also work to identify new markets and target customers. The CMO position is crucial because they drive growth and generate revenue for the organization. Without a strong CMO, brands will struggle to reach their full potential.

What does a Chief Marketing Officer Do, Day-to-Day?

A Chief Marketing Officer’s day-to-day responsibilities vary depending on the organization’s size. In enterprise companies, the CMO will focus more on high-level brand health, strategy & planning, workforce planning, and generating new revenue streams. They also oversee the sales organization and will spend most of their time on revenue-generating work streams.

In smaller organizations, they may be more hands-on with marketing campaigns and execution. Their day-to-day tasks might include the following:

  • Developing and executing marketing plans
  • Oversee the PR strategy & execution
  • Creating and managing budgets
  • Managing relationships with customers, partners, and other stakeholders
  • Analyzing data to understand customer behavior
  • Overseeing advertising and promotion campaigns
  • Manging agency relationships

What’s Top of Mind for CMOs?

Short answer. Data.

An image of the following statistics: 91% of CMOs with direct access to customer data say it provides them with a competitive advantage.

High-velocity data marketing is the language of modern data marketers. According to a 2022 CMO Council Report, 91% of marketers with direct access to customer data say it provides them a competitive advantage. However, the difference between top and bottom performers comes down to speed. How quickly do you detect market and consumer behavior shifts and adjust accordingly? I can relate. Speed to insight is a primary factor for me when evaluating data partners.

Analytics for the Chief Marketing Officer is a priority, but they’re not confident. While all top-performing marketers agree that access to consumer data gives them a competitive advantage, only 26% of the 300 marketing leaders in the survey reported being very confident in their data, analytics, and insights platforms.

Data currently drive the marketing world, given that actionable data insights are the source of the primary marketing KPIs, including conversion, content response, acquisition, and repeat purchase rate. In addition, the actionable insights from the data enable you to keep your finger on the pulse and adjust where necessary to hit your revenue targets.

Critical consumer data, such as buyer intent data signals, can help you map the shopper’s journey and identify where they’re to provide the right content at the right time. In addition, consumer data gives you valuable insights that enable you to create content that will resonate with your target audience.

The CMO’s job is to measure data marketing performance using several KPIs, including consumer market insights, advertising performance metrics, customer lifetime value, and more. Content response, conversion, and advertising performance metrics should be at the top of the list of metrics to improve KPIs.

Chief Marketing Officer Strategy: Translating Data Into Action

The most mature marketing data capability has been customer segmentation and targeting. However, top performers’ data marketing maturity curve has shifted to generating actionable data insights. Both are important.

Every marketer in the industry relies on similar data sets for their segmentation and targeting, so where’s the competitive advantage? Top performers not only generate real-time insights that enable them to identify shifts in the market and consumer behavior, but they’re the first to act on these insights and adapt to the changes.

Data systems and processes should be built for speed and action, enabling you to make sense of the data signals and generate actionable insights. Your aim should narrow the gap between gathering relevant data and generating insights.

The noise across digital channels grows louder, so the challenge is finding relevant data signals. The ultimate goal is to turn this data into insights that will help improve customer experience through personalization. According to research by McKinsey, 71% of consumers now expect organizations to provide customized interactions, and 76% get discouraged when this doesn’t happen.

Still, high-velocity data marketing remains largely out of reach for many CMOs. According to the CMO Council report, the top two data capabilities still out of reach for marketers are real-time availability of insights (42%) and predictive analysis (40%). As a result, CMOs still struggle with the time needed to extract relevant data, generate actionable insights from the signals, and make the insights available to marketers, all to create a meaningful experience for a customer.

The Challenge of Data Blockers

Many factors contribute to high-velocity data marketing being a dream for many Chief Marketing Officers. These factors include insufficient technology, data control, data management processes, system silos, and skills shortage.

The need for more predictive analytics and the demand for higher data speeds have increased exponentially over the past couple of years. Marketers need the right tools, but choosing from the thousands of available solutions is another challenge.

You need a deep understanding of the data supply chain to improve data management. Your organization should create an efficient data ecosystem to support data integration in real-time to improve speed.

Lack of data control is a significant data blocker. If your data control lies in IT or a third party’s hands, it takes much longer for data insights to reach the marketers who need them. A strong alignment between CMOs and CIOs can effectively help overcome data blockers.

How Adaptable Are Your Data Systems?

Our world is full of sudden disruptions, so adaptability and agility are crucial to high-velocity data marketing success now more than ever. Data systems should be agile enough to accept new data sources and make interconnections without slowing down the production of outputs. The system should also be flexible enough to answer all business-critical questions.

  • How accessible are the insights from your data systems?
  • These insights are helpful to different people in the company at other times.
  • How easy can they access the data and insights for decision-making?

You should use these metrics to test the agility and adaptability of your data systems.

Intuition and Intellect in Data Marketing

While data is at the center of high-velocity data marketing, the success of strategies depends heavily on the intuition and intellect of the marketers. Even the most relevant, up-to-date data insights are useless if you do not have people to make sense of the numbers and develop strategies to put the insights to work. According to 48% of marketing leaders, the key to success is balancing intuition and intellect.

An image of CMO insights: Intuition and intellect is critical when contextualizing data when uncovering actionable insights.

A significant goal for marketers today is to create meaningful connections with their consumers to increase customer loyalty, mainly driven by human emotion. Your job is to use data intellect and human intuition to create personalized customer interactions across the full omnichannel experience.

Even in data-driven marketing, creativity is still vital. Data analytics can creatively create new customer experiences, campaigns, and even new products. Striking a balance between intuition and intellect enables you to combine both strengths and maximize your insights’ effectiveness to drive revenue growth.

The Role of AI and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning is the underlying technology that makes high-velocity data marketing possible. As a result, AI is at the forefront of digital transformation, with AI adoption rising steadily across various industries. According to a McKinsey report, the AI adoption rate in emerging economies rose to 57% in 2021, up from 45% in 2020.

AI can improve critical marketing functions, including targeting, personalization, campaign buying, and more. AI solutions continue to evolve every day with improved capabilities. With AI, you can manage a lot of data quickly and effectively.

CMos can make the most of AI by partnering with IT. While marketers use data-driven tools, they may not fully understand the nuances of these tools, and this is where IT comes in. An effective relationship between marketing and IT is the key to adopting AI successfully.

High-velocity data marketing is only possible with the right data ecosystem in place. This includes data control, agility, and flexibility. Additionally, success depends on the marketers’ ability to balance intuition and intellect. Finally, AI is a critical technology for driving a high-velocity digital marketing strategy and analytics for the CMO.

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Michael Brito

Michael Brito is a Digital OG. He’s been building brands online since Al Gore invented the Internet. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.