How CMOs Can Grab The Reins


Dear CMO, do you want to raise your profile at your company? Do you want to take on the biggest responsibilities — digital transformation, customer experience and revenue growth — and reap the highest rewards? 

Well, the good news is that they’re all tied to MarTech, as the CMO Council has learned in its report Making MarTech Pay Off

Here’s an excerpt from the report:

CMOs and CIOs in “very effective” working relationships not only drive more mature capabilities and higher MarTech performance but also appear to positively impact the CMO‘s role and responsibilities within the company. 

The CMO Council found that 62% of business leaders consider the essential role of the CMO as “customer experience advocate and champion,” followed by “digital transformation and marketing automation leader.” Revenue growth is the top component for measuring marketing effectiveness, with nine out of 10 marketers expected to grow revenue this year.

Interestingly, CMOs in “very effective” relationships with IT are more likely to be responsible for digital transformation, customer experience and revenue generation — i.e., the “big three. Additionally, they are more likely to be responsible for marketing analytics. All of this means these CMO can play a larger role in the future of the company.

In our study, CMOs in “very effective” relationships with IT also have the largest MarTech stacks and spend the highest percentage of their marketing budget on MarTech. Clearly, high performing MarTech warrants more investment. Case-in-point: Comcast’s marketing team has been aggressively adopting MarTech over the last few years, and now some 70 MarTech projects or deliverables are planned this year.

The message is clear: For CMOs aspiring to venture beyond marketing’s traditional borders, the road to ascension goes through MarTech. 

Digital transformation, customer experience and revenue growth — the big three technology goals — depend largely on how MarTech performs. All are within the CMO’s grasp, but marketing still needs to know how to seize MarTech’s reins.

The MarTech landscape has been growing by scope and complexity. The number of MarTech vendors pitching their products today is mind-boggling. Truth is, MarTech has become the hub of customer data and analytics, AI and machine learning. 

Unfortunately, many CMOs haven’t proven the case that they can handle MarTech. In the early days of MarTech, many CMOs were swayed by tech-vendor promises. Yet enterprise technology rarely works as advertised, and many investments delivered poor returns. 

Marketing lacked the wherewithal to separate fact from fiction and often failed to reach out to IT for help. While IT shoulders some of the blame for a dysfunctional relationship, the end result was a technology Frankenstack that stymied MarTech’s ability to adapt and evolve. 

CMOs have to change this narrative if they want to be seen as great change agents in their organization. CEOs must have confidence that CMOs can deliver on digital transformation, customer experience and revenue growth. And so CMOs need to show their MarTech inve

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