Meet The Modern CMO's New Best Friend

January 28, 2014

Historical data on life of the Chief Marketing Officer has not been encouraging, with the average tenure for a CMO about the same as a contractor on a house. However, an emerging trend shows that CMOs are staying in their jobs longer each year. The reason? Data.

A big reason for longer tenure is that the CMO role has expanded to include data. According the AdAge.com, “The responsibilities now include social media, content, mobile, back-end technology, e-commerce and more -- and that's leading to better job satisfaction and more respect for the position”.

However, many CMOs have been ill-equipped to take advantage of data.

Data is the perfect partner for the modern CMO. By nature, the CMO is a visionary who wants and needs to understand the customer journey with a depth and clarity that no one else in the organization possesses. In the past, it was difficult if not impossible to measure the effect of visionary investments. As a result, many of the boldest marketing decisions were seen by other members of the C-suite as “soft,” and not accountable. CMOs were (and still are) barraged with ROI questions.

If only they could justify where to spend money where it matters and allocate resources where there is return. That day is now. CMOs are embracing technology and the warm, comforting arms of data to not only transform how companies engage customers, but how they evolve their business models. It also justifies their importance and bottom line value to the company.

One Problem. Many CMOs have had to learn about data—and social, and analytics, and more—on the job. Trial by fire is fine, as long as that doesn’t turn into a full-time job as a fire fighter. However, without a strong analytics background, CMOs often feel they have the right strategies—yet no defensible or go-to strategies for repeating the solutions. The fact is, many shunned data as cold and out of touch with the emotional drivers of consumer behavior. The opposite is true today, with the volume of data on customer sentiment at an all-time high.

So what’s The Modern CMO supposed to do? Go back to business school? Watch YouTube videos on Big Data? Actually, the answer is right in front of them.

Do You Know Your ERP? You’d be hard-pressed to find a Chief Marketing Officer adept at interacting with ERP systems long known for their lack of user-friendliness. This means the CMO is leaning on IT or Finance to get the reports they want. Modern marketing lives and breathes KPIs. These include customer perceptions and brand value, NPS, market share, event ROI, value equation, retention rate, customer lifetime value, etc. But the main problem is that sometimes each KPI can be found in a different source or, even worse, has to be calculated from data spread all over different sources.

It becomes more complex when the organization has a CRM platform with large amounts of customer data. These different internal sources—combined with social analytics, Google analytics reports coming from the website, and marketing automation tools—represent a database puzzle that defines the fundamental discussion with CIOs to handle big data and all the insights that can be taken from it. There’s no surprise that discussions around data, reporting and an overburdened IT department cause gridlock in many organizations.

It doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Certainly, working with IT is critical. However, integrating proven data software that manages multiple data streams—both internal and external—is now a viable option.

The Data-Driven Vision. It all comes down to end-to-end visibility of the marketing funnel and of the customer’s journey. With the right system is in place, CMOs can easily get the information needed to justify every decision made, and answer every question the CEO might have when it comes to marketing investments or strategies. On top of this, every organization needs quality data for segmentation and research, so even handling new projects becomes a less of a task when a clear data structure and products to support data outputs are in place.

CMOs need intelligence. As Drucker said: “What gets measured gets managed.” As a result of the exponential growth in data, CMOs need a single point of information to manage reports, analyses, KPI monitoring, and all fundamental marketing measures. They need Business Intelligence. But not just any Business Intelligence. They need the best way to visualize this data in easily shared dashboards and self-serve reports that don’t require IT. They need a product that will not only provide operational reports and basic analytics, but tactical capabilities that enable users to integrate big data from inside and outside the company. A tool that will enable them to correlate variables from all their sources and understand trends and patterns that would have been impossible to analyze before.

TARGIT Decision Suite is a product that allows CMOs to manage all your data and critical KPIs. The software also allows setting alerts that will trigger in case a KPI deviation occurs. And soon, you’ll even be able to ask for a specific multi-dimensional report from your phone while heading out to that critical meeting with the Board of Directors of the CEO. And you can’t do that with anyone except TARGIT.

Burning Questions:

  • What can you do internally that will drive revenue streams?
  • In which activities do you get the highest return?
  • Do you have full traceability and control over new customers?
  • Do you know how much retention and customer loyalty you have gained?
  • Do you have the numbers to show how it impacts revenue?
  • Are we doing better than the competition?

Data truly empowers CMOs to not only answer all the ROI questions coming from the CFO or CEO, but also gives them the courage to make critical decisions to improve efficiency. Data is changing the way CMOs do business, transforming it from a backward glancing “what happened” model and into a proactive, future-facing system of continuous improvement with direct impact in the company’s top and bottom lines. Best of all, it’s only the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Want to know more? Download the free white paper "Unleashing your Data with Ad-Hoc Queries" and find out how you can stay on top of the increasing number of data sources with the power of ad-hoc queries.