2019 State of the CMO: Cut the Buzz, There is Only One Priority

Originally posted on conDati.

When you do a search for marketing trends in 2019, you get a plethora of buzzwords and themes, especially in the marketing technology space. By the end of 2018, we saw a record breaking 7000 tech products serving marketers and we saw MarTech become mainstream as a profession —all while the year has thrown a curveball to marketing with personal data protection regulations such as GDPR.

Here’s the reality: The world of the CMO has been digitally disrupted, the digital landscape is increasingly complex and your accountability has expanded to include tech investments, customer experience, compliance and more.

So, let’s cut through the noise. There is only one priority for the CMO, and it continues to be driving pipeline and revenue growth. Here we look at the impact of the challenges and tips on what we have seen CMOs do to embrace our data-driven, digitally-led world when it comes to sales and pipeline generation.

  • The What: Defining what goes on that executive scorecard, and balancing between keeping it to core top level KPIs without unintentionally creating blind spots in your pipeline and sales revenue.  
    • Tips: While it’s good practice to keep it simple and core for executive staff, data is still king. It’s important to have the ability to dive deep. For example, if a new product line is a key revenue growth driver, you’ll track sales performance for the product line by digital channel, by region, by ad campaign performance, by peak hour or day of sale, by sku, and slice and dice the data so you have the information to inform your executives rather than being caught off guard.  
  • The How: The time it takes to create or update the scorecard. Do you or your ops staff spend hours manipulating manual data from spreadsheets, reports and analytics tools every time you need to update the executive scorecard? It’s scary to think a CMO would spend hours on a Sunday evening (a true story at a Fortune 500 company) updating the exec scorecard for a staff meeting.
    • Tips: With the technology resources we have today, there is no reason any CMO or marketing ops team or digital analysts should spend hours or days manually pulling data to update an executive scorecard. Today, CMOs are looking for ways to unify omnichannel performance and show direct impact on revenue and sales as a first step, and then layer on predictive modeling for forecasting and optimization. Would you spend 1-2% of your marketing budget to transform this process, provide some governance and standards, and have your data science as a service readily available when you need it? The answer is often yes.
  • The Why: There isn’t a shortage of data when you open the flood gates. Take digital campaign data from inquiries to MQLs, web engagement, display ads or social performance as examples. The challenge is the narrative around your data points. Why was there a peak, or why was there a shortfall in pipeline or revenue, is just as important to prepare for your exec staff meeting, which is often overlooked because we are consumed with showing % performance to plan, conversion rates, etc.
    • Tips: Knowing the Why gives CMOs confidence to clearly articulate the story behind a pipeline revenue dip or peak. Always be prepared with the narrative on your scorecard data before an executive staff meeting. Some CMOs have turned to leveraging AI-driven technologies to proactively alert on revenue or pipeline shortfalls and even provide intelligent recommendations to bridge any sales shortages. This changes your narrative completely. One intelligent recommendation example is to shift campaign ad spend to a specific channel that has proven to perform from past behavior learned. conDati is one such technology that can help.

screen shot 2019-01-10 at 9.02.39 am

Caption: Example of a digital marketing scorecard for an eCommerce division showing real-time sales revenue results from digital ad campaigns.

While the web will give a very wide range of marketing trends, themes and priorities for 2019, from content strategy to customer experience to account based marketing, at the end of the day, the consistent #1 priority we’ve heard time and time again from marketing executives across large and midmarket B2C and B2B is figuring out how to create pipeline and revenue growth first while navigating through all the digital complexities.

For more information on conDati, visit www.conDati.com

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Jenny Schecher is a Client Services Director & Social Media Manager at The Millennium Alliance. Jenny is an avid contributor to our blog, Digital Diary, as well as all social media platforms. When she is not writing about digital transformation and technology, she is working with her team to make visions come to life at our events. (and eating all of NYC's best food.) Follow her on Instagram: @jennyschecs or find her on LinkedIn!

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