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Three Trends CMOs Should Be Talking About

Keeping an eye on marketing trends is critical for CMOs to help them stay ahead of the curve. These days, we are hearing a lot of talk about three key trends that are influencing CMO’s today:

1) The impact of big-data
2) The impact of marketing technology
3) Measuring the effectiveness of marketing.

As a member of the C-Suite, CMOs need to understand these large market trends to then form their opinion and approach. As CEO of a rapid growth company, I’m always analyzing trends on both our market space and on similar stage companies. I need to digest this but ultimately form my own opinions — only then, do I articulate how this trend might impact us and how we are going to approach it.

While it is important not to get distracted by trends, you should be able to clearly articulate your view on them, to ensure you have clarity of thought to develop innovative strategies. Based on our conversations with CMOs and marketing leaders, here is what we’ve learned about the three trends mentioned above, and a unique and significant twist on them that every CMO should consider:

Big-Data: The importance of operational data
We agree that being a data-driven marketing organization is important to today’s CMO. Everyone in marketing needs to harness the mounds of available data to make better decisions. When it comes to big-data, much of the talk focuses on customer data or marketing campaign results – both of which are important. Our CMO customers extend the conversation to include operational data. Just as Sales and Finance use CRM and ERP to manage their operational data, smart marketers use Marketing Performance Management (MPM) to manage their operational data. MPM is an essential component in creating a data-driven marketing organization. In fact, it’s critical to help you answer questions from the C-Suite on your marketing plans, investment and ROI. As IDC said in our recent webinar, don’t forget the importance of operational data in your quest to be data-driven — other key departments, such as Sales and Finance, haven’t.

Marketing Technology: MPM as the centerpiece to your technology ecosystem
In the last decade, we have seen exponential growth of technologies that help marketers do their jobs, such as Marketing Automation, Social Media Management and Online Marketing Management. Harnessing this technology is critical for today’s CMO. They have been instrumental in helping marketing execute, automate and do more, and they have become the centerpiece of many marketing technology systems. Recently, however, we are seeing a new trend emerging in marketing technology, as CMOs choose their Marketing Performance Management (MPM) system first and make budgeting, planning and ROI, the centerpiece of their technology ecosystem. We see more CMOs getting a handle on operational data first and then growing their “data” strategy from there. You decide: what helps you become a data-driven CMO?

Marketing measurement: Thinking of marketing ROI as a data challenge, not a campaign execution challenge
CMOs today face intense pressure to demonstrate marketing’s impact to the business. But solving the marketing ROI challenge is often convoluted and difficult, and it is hard to know where to start. At Allocadia, we’ve learned that if you change how you think about marketing ROI, you can get closer to a solution. Marketing technologies capture important marketing metrics such as clicks, mentions and leads. Due to the ubiquity of marketing technologies that automate campaign execution, “campaign specific ROI” is often equated with “marketing ROI” in today’s world. But true marketing ROI is not exclusively campaign based. Determining marketing ROI means connecting disparate marketing metrics data usually found in different systems and connecting it to operational data, such as your marketing investments, plans, and objectives. Only then can you get the holistic and aggregated ROI view you’re looking for.

What do you think about these takes on marketing’s key trends today? Have you heard others talk about these trends this way? If so we’d love to see a link or hear about it! Comment here or contact me @kristinesteuart, or tweet us @allocadia and use hashtag remind us of that.

As CEO of Allocadia, I’ve had to learn to lead in a rapidly growing, fast-moving market. And as marketers building Allocadia, we have learned a lot about selling to CMOs: their needs and challenges, and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead in this new Marketing 2.0 world. This Leading in Change: CEO Blog Series is intended to help inspire CMOs and marketing operations to lead and build data-driven marketing organizations.