September 22, 2021
Call it marketing’s three-headed monster. CMOs need to hit their marks in digital transformation, customer experience and revenue growth. Each of these “big three” targets represents a formidable challenge. Combined, they’ll test the nerves of even the most accomplished CMO.
Here’s a tip: Instead of only focusing outwardly on the customer relationship to achieve your goals, maybe spend some time looking inwardly at your relationship with the CIO and IT.
In a groundbreaking study, the CMO Council and KPMG found that CMOs in “very effective” working relationships with CIOs 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. More than ever, the CMO-CIO relationship is critical to success.
MarTech stands at the crossroads of marketing and IT and plays a pivotal role in hitting the “big three” targets. Digital transformation and data-driven customer experience need strong alignment and execution of MarTech and data analytics to be successful. This can lead to winning and retaining customers, especially in digital channels of engagement.
Further, the “big three” targets keep showing up in CMO Council reports as top priorities. More than 60% 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 number one component for measuring marketing effectiveness, with nine out of 10 marketers expected to grow revenue this year.
Much depends on CMOs delivering the goods. In a Forrester Research survey, 71% of B2C marketing executives said that demonstrating the value of marketing to the CEO, CFO and the board will be very challenging during the upcoming year. What happens if they can’t hit the “big three” targets? Their jobs hang in the balance. The average CMO tenure fell to 40 months last year — the lowest since 2009 — according to executive search firm Spencer Stuart.
None of this is going to be easy, especially with marketing budgets getting slashed to 6.4% of company revenue this year, from 11% in 2020, according to Gartner. The CMO Council reported that 95% of CMOs say a lack of resources has already resulted in missed revenue opportunities.
But CMOs can improve their odds by fomenting a better relationship with the CIO. It’s not just stopping by the CIO’s office and giving high-fives, either. Much work has to be done. The CMO Council-KPMG report Making MarTech Pay Off examines multiple aspects of this relationship, how they’re structured and governed, what types of MarTech capabilities and outcomes they effectuate, how Martech capabilities impact the CMO role, and how marketers can take this critical relationship to the next level.
Going even further, the CMO Council and KPMG will be hosting a webinar exploring strategies that high-performing CMOs use to build optimal CIO working relationships. The webinar on October 7th will cover how to identify the implications of relationship challenges, how to gauge the strength of the relationship, and what steps organizations can take to improve the relationship in a substantive way.
It’s more important than ever for CMOs to move toward “very effective” relationships with IT to get the most out of MarTech. In so doing, CMOs can improve their odds of hitting the “big three” targets, that is, improving the digital channel of engagement, creating competitive advantage in the form of a rich customer experience, and growing measurable revenue through marketing activities.
Tom Kaneshige is the Chief Content Officer at the CMO Council. He creates all forms of digital thought leadership content that helps growth and revenue officers, line of business leaders, and chief marketers succeed in their rapidly evolving roles. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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