Can CMOs tame their technology challenges?

In an era of ongoing uncertainty, CMOs continue to face constant evolution and great expectations. And things aren’t getting any easier, especially with the pandemic pushing towards a digital-first focus. 

New challenges, opportunities, and evolving priorities mean that the job has expanded beyond its traditional roots. This includes driving growth, aligning the organisation around the customer, building digital capabilities, and mastering data and analytics. 

Tension from this workload contributes to why CMOs have the highest turnover in the C-suite with 57% of CMOs having been in their position for less than 3 years.

The combination of a rise in responsibility and uncertainty is a daunting task, and many CMOs are looking to technology to help them solve increasingly difficult organisational challenges. 

Typically, CMOs are now spending more on technology than the CIO.

The promise from vendors is that technology will transform the way marketing works, increase efficiency and deliver a step-change in performance and results.

CMOs know they need the technology (or can’t move away from it), but is technology ever the answer in itself? 

The Digital Connections report points to a more complex reality. Modern interviewed 300 CMOs from B2B organisations across the UK and US and found that the path to enlightenment isn’t always as sweet and true as it is promised to be. 

CMOs are finding it difficult to keep up with emerging technology

What emerges from the report is that 2 out of 3 CMOs believe that they are using less than 50% of their marketing technology stack. There is a lot of pressure for CMOs to demonstrate the value of their tech investments, but how can they do this when they are not leveraging their marketing technology fully?

Measuring marketing technology performance is not just a tongue twister; it’s hard work. 

Research shows that 28% of those surveyed do not expect to see ROI on marketing technology investments they’ve made for at least 18 months. 

But are these timelines fast enough? This is a major concern for CMOs, particularly in light of the average tenure mentioned above. Their expectations will have been a faster fix from technologies that delivers that return.

The pressure to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of marketing technology is one of the downsides of having all this technology available – there’s always something new on the horizon that claims to solve another (or existing) problem.

So, what factors are contributing to the pace of success for CMOs? And more importantly, what are the biggest issues that are making CMOs toss and turn at night?

When digging into the problems further, the report finds that a variety of factors are impacting CMOs and their teams’ ability to get the best of the marketing technology platforms available to them. Let’s dive into these obstacles a little further.

Talent at a turning point 

The rapid acceleration of transformation in enterprises is creating a digital skills gap when it comes to effective execution. The skills shortage has far-reaching consequences, as outlined in the report. Digital skills are the currency for CMOs to succeed and the solution lies in making development sustainable and fostering a learning culture that embraces development.

Data and integration complicating the issue 

Alongside getting up to speed with their new investments, many CMOs clearly have challenges with integrating modern platforms with legacy data and systems. There is the technical integration and set-up which requires a deep understanding of the technologies. After all, we live in a data-driven world. The secrets to success lie hidden in the numbers.

Challenges with developing digital strategies 

What we’re overwhelmingly seeing is CMOs are in the race to bring in new technology,  – with the average organisation using over 17 pieces of martech

After all, there’s a technology platform for everything. 

Quite simply, there’s a lot of technology without strategy  – and certainly not a comprehensive strategy across all platforms that works harmoniously to bring it all together for seamless orchestration and faster time to value. Take a look at this short article about this: ‘Strategy before technology. Always.’

The report shows the key areas of focus for CMOs and raises these critical questions. 

How can they plug the skills gap that will help them to achieve faster ROI? And how can they create a well-defined strategy that will help them to solve integration issues and re-focus on growth and delivering results? 

Digital Connections answers those questions and shows how CMOs can regain control with a plan based on understanding the problem, creating a roadmap for consolidation and fostering a new learning culture. You can download the full report here.

Are you ready to regain control? 

Through long-lasting partnerships, we support CMOs to shape change through technology, strategy, and execution of programmes designed to enhance the customer experience at every part of the buying journey. Talk to us to see how we can help you move forward with confidence.

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