cmo marketing analytics


CMOs to increase marketing analytics spending 200 percent in three years

Survey reveals CMOs emphasis on data-driven marketing

Marketing executives' digital marketing strategies will allocate more resources to marketing analytics tools and training in 2019 and beyond.

New growth in digital marketing expenditures

Many marketing leaders say they’re highly motivated to make significant levels of investments in marketing analytics. But the enthusiasm comes with some caveats—a shortage of trained professionals as well as a lack of tools to measure the impact on business performance are among the factors that could threaten to stunt their plans.

Responses from the most recent bi-annual CMO Survey conducted by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business signal a healthy appetite for analytics: Over the next three years, spending on marketing analytics as a share of overall marketing budgets is forecasted to increase by more than 200 percent. At the same time, the interest and pace in digitization is also on the rise. The growth in digital marketing expenditures continues to outpace traditional advertising. Marketers intend to spend 12.3 percent more on digital advertising in the next 12 months, compared to a 1.2 percent decrease in spending on traditional advertising over the same period.

For decades, marketers have applied budgets to tactics such as quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews to get insights on consumer behavior, improve advertising campaigns, and track brand health. Behavioral and point-of-sale data have been utilized to measure the marketing mix and pricing. More recently, many marketers have adopted digital-era tools such as social media listening and monitoring solutions, as well as demand planning tools, in order to forecast growth.

Too often, these approaches to improve marketing and sales performance can be disjointed, and increasingly, marketers say they don’t have the right tools to measure success. There are a number of ways organizations can enhance the application of marketing analytics investments to prepare for the future, however.

Foremost should be a focus on developing a unified commercial spending strategy that marries sophisticated marketing analytics with digital marketing activities. Consider how the consumer journey and the path to purchase have evolved over time as consumers browse, test, and shop through omnichannel methods. For instance, we are familiar with a consumer product goods retailer that tracks and measures the impact of digital marketing by linking individual purchases back to campaigns, regardless of whether those purchases were in-store or online. By using cross-channel attribution techniques, the retailer can better understand the impact of digital shopping on in-store purchases, as well as the impact of physical store sales on digital channels.

The speed of customer decision making

Marketing organizations also should consider how real-time, predictive analytic capabilities can elevate their marketing and sales strategies. Customers typically make instantaneous decisions these days, so companies need tools that can help them act just as quickly. For instance, we are familiar with another organization that successfully built a system for sales professionals to predict which prospects were expected to convert versus those that were likely to churn. As the team discovered, such solutions stand a better chance of success when project owners are involved throughout the development process.

Furthermore, the example demonstrates how organizations could benefit from teams of proficient marketing analytics practitioners. The most recent bi-annual CMO Survey reveals that securing the right talent remains top of mind for marketers as they think about how to drive organic growth. Respondents say they’re most interested in creativity, natural leadership abilities, and marketing platform experience. Assembling a team with such a balance of abilities that brings people with strong creative skills together with data science practitioners can help companies get more out of analytics.

The importance of operational transformation

I’d urge organizations to ask themselves serious operational questions with an eye toward transforming the business using analytics. Is analytics going to be handled in a federated fashion or in a centralized way? Will your company create analytics centers of excellence? Will you train high-potential talent to take on new roles as the technology changes? A survey by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte Digital revealed that the power of a digital transformation strategy lies in its scope and objectives.

As boundaries between sales and marketing continue to blur, marketers have many tools at their disposal to bring greater clarity to these pursuits. They can advocate for greater investments in marketing training across the organization. They can also recast job descriptions to reflect a mixture of technical savvy and soft skills that are necessary as customer needs evolve. By establishing a vision for marketing analytics and a decisive strategy to carry out that mission, marketers can help transform their organizations for the future.

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