How Analytics and Technology are Propelling CMOs to C-Suite Prominence

CMOs staffing influencer marketing staffing ROI

Marketing has become a data-driven discipline that begins and ends with the vast expanse of technology and tools at the CMO’s disposal. Those options and the growing tech-savvy of top marketing executives are making all the difference in the CMO’s rising stature and reputation in the ranks of senior corporate leadership.

The CMO role itself has evolved  dramatically over the last decade thanks to emerging digital technologies and increasingly reliable analytics talent from marketing analytics executive searches. Chief Marketers’ unprecedented ability to evaluate budgeting options, track their investments, and measure ROI is providing them with the ammunition they need to back up their claims and direction. And it’s showing; marketing analytics staffing and technology budgets are growing at a tremendous pace and will likely top $32 billion in spending by 2018.

One important change for marketing executives in recent years is that they are holding onto their jobs longer. Less than ten years ago, the average tenure for a CMO wasn’t even two years long. Now that figure has more than doubled to about 48 months–still short compared to most other C-Suite mainstays, but an improvement nonetheless. Businesses are finding they don’t need a new CMO executive search every couple of years, largely coinciding with CMOs’ expanded ability to prove their success and their perspectives on technology needs that have become more insightful and valuable than what any other chief executive can offer.

Marketing automation software, email marketing solutions, social media tools, programmatic advertising capabilities and more offer marketers amazing amounts of control over campaigns and, more importantly, huge amounts of data that allow them to track prospects. And with the right talent through a well-executed marketing analytics executive search, CMOs always have the data-driven insights they need to make effective decisions and show their success.

From anonymous website visitors to brick-and-mortar retail customers, well-run marketing departments are able to attribute quantifiable results to specific touch points across marketing channels and campaigns. This information in turn allows CMOs to demonstrate actual value to a company’s bottom line based on return-on-investment from marketing’s budget.

Technology vendors are increasingly selling directly to CMOs rather than the Chief Technology Officer or similar IT management, and CMOs are taking advantage of this power. Gartner research predicts CMOs will outspend even the CIO on IT and tech acquisition by 2017, and that forecast looks like it might actually be on the conservative side given the growth of CMOs’ technology role and the rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist.

Blurring the Lines Between Marketing, Sales & IT

Technology and metrics are forcing a shakeup of traditional corporate rivalries. One of those is the once-typical adversarial relationship between Sales and Marketing, which has by necessity evolved into more of a partnership.

Sales teams are finding that data-driven marketing is providing them with better-qualified leads instead of a huge amount of names to sift through. It also provides those sales reps with detailed information about those leads’ interests and behaviors that help close deals. Marketers in turn rely on Sales to accurately attribute conversions and provide their own data and insights to optimize marketing efforts.

The CMO is in a stronger position than ever in corporate leadership, and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon.

This development is important to the entire buying cycle. Even among B2B marketers with highly complex sales with long pipelines, prospects are doing their own research and are often as far as 85% or more down the funnel before ever even raising their hands and letting marketers know they exist.

Ryan Phelan, VP of Marketing Insights at automation software provider Adestra, has almost ten years of watching C-level interactions and says the importance of Marketing and IT alignment has practical and political implications.

“Typically, both have operated in silos comfortable with their discipline, but both struggling to understand the other side,” Phelan shared with Marketing Dive in an interview. “For the CTO, it’s been about the comprehensive infrastructure and how features and functions fit within the technology ecosphere. For the CMO, it’s been about what can provide deeper insight and paths toward profitability.”

Sure, he admits, both CMOs and CTOs are focused on the company’s overall success, as all C-Level executives should be, but are “SME’s (subject matter experts) within their own discipline first.”

“With changes in how technology decisions are being made, the fundamental change is that both roles are going to have to start learning about each other’s fields and teams as well as a partnership that has not existed in recent memory,” Phelan said.

The CTO will need to share technical insights, from the impact to infrastructure to how systems interact and become dependent on each other; and the CMO will have to talk about the impact on data, growing trends, and how those trends could help improve tech.

One thing is clear and that is the CMO is in a stronger position than ever in corporate leadership, and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon.

Article source: Marketing Dive

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