Remember the days when the role of marketing was limited to promotions, campaigns, and branding? Because we…don't 😅. Marketing has evolved into an all-encompassing function that covers everything from demand generation and sales enablement to CX and pipeline growth.
And at the helm of all this? The Chief Marketing Officer.
CMOs today are responsible for far more than just creative strategy. In addition to leading traditional marketing functions, It’s essential for CMOs to stay on top of product-market fit, consumer trends, competitive landscapes, and marketing’s bottom-line impact on revenue.
And none of this would be possible without data.
In fact, 64% of marketing executives strongly agree that data-driven marketing is crucial to business success. But how exactly is data, analytics and visualization influencing (and even improving!) the responsibilities of a CMO?
This article highlights everything you need to know about the evolution of CMO responsibilities and the profound impact of data and technology on the marketing function.
Data and technology has transformed the current state of CMO roles and responsibilities. Here’s how:
In the past, CMOs relied heavily on intuition and creative judgment to form strategies that may or may not work. These decisions were based on personal experience, high-level market trends, and subjective industry knowledge.
Now, CMOs work with data-driven insights to guide their decision making process. No doubt, intuition and personal judgment still play an important role in successful marketing. But it certainly helps to back up a hypothesis with hard-hitting numbers.
As businesses increasingly become digital-first, collecting relevant data across the customer journey has become far more accessible. Marketing leaders can leverage this data to drive results across brand strategy, customer acquisition, and retention by understanding what works and what doesn’t.
In addition to validating decisions, data-driven marketing also encourages dynamism and adaptability within various marketing functions. Experiments that would otherwise take months to produce results can be answered in a matter of days with journey analytics, heat maps, and A/B testing. This results in an agile, hyper-efficient marketing function that’s primed to optimize ROI and drive growth.
Just as data and analytics benefits marketers, so does it benefit buyers and the overall customer experience. Back in the day, marketing teams had very little information to work with. CMOs had no choice but to make broad assumptions and rely on spray & pray tactics to attract buyers.
For one, targeting a wide audience with generic messaging can be expensive for smaller teams with limited budgets. Secondly, it can be ineffective (and annoying to customers) given that broad messaging that tries to appeal to everyone, generally appeals to no one.
Today, CMOs can use cutting-edge visitor identification technology, account scoring, and intent data to specifically target sales-ready buyers with relevant marketing initiatives. This improves the buying experience for customers by swapping spammy email blasts and cold calls with personalized initiatives for the right accounts at the right time. Ultimately, this personalized marketing bolsters brand perception, improves conversions with fewer resources, and drives customer lifetime value — which is far more cost-effective than acquiring new customers.
Since the days of David Ogilvy, driving sales has been the north star for marketing. This, most definitely, hasn’t changed. That being said, the accuracy and granularity with which we can measure marketing's impact on revenue has improved dramatically in recent years.
Gone are the days of tedious, unintuitive marketing reporting. Several plug and play solutions can automatically consolidate marketing and revenue data across campaigns, content, website, CRM, and more under one roof. As we’ll see in later sections, this unified data can then be used for further analysis, visualization, and dashboarding.
It’s also easier than ever to quantify the influence of every customer touchpoint on pipeline and revenue with sophisticated tools like multi-touch attribution. All this, to help CMOs’ prove and improve marketing’s impact on sales.
Now that we’ve established the importance of data and analytics, let’s explore a few data-based tools and techniques that CMOs can leverage to drive ROI and shape marketing strategy:
Customers, especially B2B ones, expect a personalized experience at every turn of the buyer journey. For instance, if you’re a CMO, you likely receive dozens of cold emails every week — but only respond to, if any, the well-researched, personalized mails that are actually relevant to you. It’s no different with any other buyer.
Customer segmentation allows marketers to slice and dice their audience based on firmographics (revenue range, head count, etc), technographics (techstack), and intent data (engagement, page views, etc). This in turns allows marketers to personalize their efforts and target high-intent buyers with tailor-made efforts. Less spam, better conversions: win, win!
B2B SaaS marketing teams invest heavily in driving relevant traffic to the company website. Unfortunately, even the most optimistic benchmarks find that only about 5% of website traffic actually convert through form submissions or sign ups. So is the remaining 95% of anonymous traffic simply taken to be potential pipeline down the drain? Well, until recently, yes 😳.
Now, with IP-lookup technology, marketing teams can tap into databases with millions of companies to identify accounts that are already visiting the website but are yet to convert.
How can CMOs and marketing teams use this?
“What would work better on this landing page: Headline A or Headline B?”
Questions like this are exactly what A/B testing tools help answer with practical data. Rather than relying on individual judgment or biased surveys, A/B testing showcases multiple versions of a web page, creative, etc to a particular audience. Based on real-life performance, A/B testing can reveal what works better very quickly.
Heat maps are also valuable in identifying what visitors or users are engaging with within your website. This provides insight into points of resonance and friction for the target audience.
B2B customer journeys have always been lengthy, nonlinear, and complex. To solve for this, several solutions (including Factors.ai) can help unify and visualize various touchpoints along the journey in an intuitive manner. This helps CMOs achieve a bird’s eye view of the entire buying process from first visit, to sales engagement, all the way to deal closure.
As businesses embrace digital transformation, CMOs and marketing teams are increasingly adopting multi/omni-channel marketing to deliver a consistent, persuasive experience to online buyers. Marketing channels range from search ads, email marketing, social media, organic blogs, marketplaces, and more.
Without making sense of the numbers, it can be difficult to know which of these channels actually influenced conversions. Multi-touch attribution is a sophisticated analytics technique that collects and credits every touch point along a customer journey based on its relative influence on conversions.
All the tools and analytics techniques discussed above rely crucially on data. The more voluminous and accurate your database, the more valuable the insights will be. The following section discusses a few practices for CMOs to make the most of their data.
Here are a few key practices for CMOs to reap the benefits of data and analytics tools.
As previously mentioned, none of the tools or techniques discussed in preceding sections would be possible without data. It’s essential for CMOs to create a strong, unequivocal culture around data-driven marketing — whether it be maintaining hygienic CRMs or qualifying a hypothesis with data-backed experiments.
It’s also just as important to eliminate siloed data by unifying numbers and KPIs under one roof. This ensures that the entire department, if not organization, is on the same page.
Every marketing department is built different. CMOs must invest in appropriate tools and marketing technologies to support their team based on size, scale, and objectives. For example, heatmaps or attribution tools may not be essential to a smaller team that are just starting out. On the other hand, visitor identification, customer segmentation, and dashboarding tools can provide significant ROI for early-stage teams with limited budgets.
In addition to functionality, here are a few more aspects to consider when investing in a martech tool:
It’s definitely not feasible (or recommended) for CMOs to stay on top of every little marketing effort that the team’s working on. Instead, CMOs may rely on a bird eye’s view to guide strategy and improve performance at a higher level. CMO dashboards offer an intuitive view of all things marketing at a quick glance.
Suggested reading: The complete guide to building a SaaS CMO dashboard
Based on the nature of your business, your CMO dashboard may reflect marketing spends, marketing sourced-pipeline by channel, MQLs generated by campaign, and other high-level marketing KPIs. You definitely don’t need to be bogged down by CTRs and likes, unless otherwise there’s a true anomaly in performance.
Lastly, in an increasingly privacy-first digital ecosystem, it’s important to ensure privacy compliance with all the tools and technologies that associate with customer data. SOC2 Type II and GDPR are industry-standard security frameworks that you should look for in every data-based product you’re considering investing in. (Psst…Factors is SOC2 Type II, GDPR, PECR, and CCPA compliant)
Before concluding this article, here’s a quick highlight of the profound value that data can have on influencing and improving CMO responsibilities in this digital age.
And there you have it. We’ve seen how data has well and truly disrupted the role and responsibilities of a CMOs. Luckily, it's only for the better. CMO responsibilities have transcended creative strategy to encompass a wide range of bottom-line objectives — all of which can be turbocharged with the right data analytics tools and technologies.
Curious to see how Factors help CMOs drive marketing results and business growth? We’d be happy to have a quick chat!
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