The Expanded Influence of the Marketing Leader
Digital marketing has changed at an accelerated pace and it’s not expected to slow down. The widespread adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to interpret the steady stream of incoming customer data has impacted the marketing game forever, bringing both challenge and opportunity. Today, marketing leaders from mid-sized organizations to global enterprises are expected to lead the charge (and expanded budget) for a level of unprecedented digital marketing performance that can determine a company’s ability to meet and exceed business goals—or not.
Quantifying the Change
Recent reports from leading analysts state that in more than 30 percent of organizations, marketing has absorbed at least some aspects of IT, sales, and customer experience, with these fully or partially now reporting to the CMO. As well, managing customer expectations across every industry—fueled by options in product selection, speed of delivery, and ultimate satisfaction—now lands in the marketer’s domain. Marketers are also expected to manage roughly 91 marketing applications in their stack, including online advertising, social media, marketing automation, CRM, and analytics. They are often asked to pull data from these multiple platforms, choose the most pertinent info, import this data into an Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint, and present an accurate, recommendation-worthy overview to executives about marketing’s impact on business outcomes. The stark, new reality is that marketing leaders are expected to execute overall business growth, improve operational efficiencies, adjust to ever changing digital landscapes, and create accurate and timely forecasts—all the while adopting new innovations to drive their modern marketing organization forward. That’s a lot of pressure.
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Addressing Data Blind Spots
The deluge of audience, campaign and content data also presents challenges to marketing leaders. There is little or no integration or unified reporting between these data sources. This means marketing’s ability to consolidate results quickly enough to positively adjust marketing campaigns—in reaction to predicted revenue outcomes if this insight is available—is near impossible. These silos make it challenging to manage cross-channel spend or successfully collect, analyze, and confidently act on disparate data within any kind of an effective and results-producing timeframe. Optimization quite often taking place too late, after the results are in, and as we all know we can’t change the past.
A critical first step—before anything else—is an honest assessment of marketing blind spots that might slow or stall the path to a modernized digital marketing strategy. An easy way to uncover these gaps is by answering questions like the following.
- Is our campaign data siloed?
- Is our analysis done in an ad-hoc way?
- Do we produce campaign reports manually in spreadsheet form?
- Is our time spent more on data crunching and tactical execution than strategic initiatives?
- What is our marketing ROI/ROAS?
- Are our digital investments positively impacting our pipeline and revenue?
- Can we easily identify a shortfall in returns and quickly shift our digital spend?
- Can we accurately forecast conversions and predict the outcome of spend?
- Can we accurately forecast positive sales or shortfalls in revenue and pipeline?
- Is our marketing organization modern, innovative, and forward thinking?
- Can our digital spend be shifted quickly to course correct when there’s a shortfall?
- Can we tie digital investments to business outcomes?
If you answered “I don’t know” or need to ask your data analyst team to crunch numbers for you, you are not alone. But the above blind spots, if not addressed, can result in the inability to efficiently and effectively optimize campaign performance across marketing channels, and accurately predict ROI and ROAS. Marketers charged with executing overall business growth don’t want to be left without a way to validate to senior leadership their marketing spend and impact on the business.
Despite the growing challenges for marketing leaders, there are solutions and services today that relieve the pressure and make it possible for organizations to drive brand value and improved revenues through an innovative, modern, and forward-thinking approach to their digital marketing spend decisions.
One of the keys to surviving and thriving in marketing today is digital maturity. Watch for our next blog in this series, titled, Where are you on the path to digital marketing maturity?
Download our whitepaper, Illuminate Your Digital Marketing Blindspots, to learn how to tackle today’s fast-moving digital marketing changes, increase ROI, and reduce budget waste through conDati’s data science as a service platform solutions.