CMO’s need a new kind of team?

Marketing had always been considered a creative function. Over the last few years, there has been this rush of views that almost seem to suggest that Marketing is now only Math!This Forrester chart had almost predicted the death of creativity & the rise of Left brain rational thinking. Maybe the “death of the right brain” was a bit exaggerated! What we really need is “balanced brain marketing”. And with CMO’s making massive investments in technology, the need to bring in “balanced skills into the Marketing function” is even more critical! Technology can make the customer experience meaningful, if it is deployed “thoughtfully & creatively”.

Left Brain

Left Brain marketing

Gartner had predicted that 2017 was the year that CMO’s were supposed to spend more than CIO’s on technology. Gartner surveys seem to suggest that it has happened.

But it’s more important to assess the impact on the customer: “is Martech driving greater efficiency for marketers which may often diminish the experience for the customer”. So CMO’s have to guard against using technology for mass messaging! And with >than 5000 Martech companies to choose from, CMO’s need to navigate this landscape & think before they commit to either a startup or to IBM, Oracle or Adobe? And the IBM & Oracle’s of the world have to think harder about how they sell, how they implement & how they can bring more innovation into their products? Read more here:

I had also written about this trend here:

David Raab writes this amazing blog & he does not belive that CMO’s are spending more than CIO’s-I  have paraphrased him below:

On an anecdotal level, I’ve never seen or heard of a company where the marketing technology group was anywhere near the size of the IT department. And from a revenue perspective, there’s no way that marketing technology companies make up half the total revenue of the software industry. 

International Data Corporation (IDC) announced a report with authoritative figures on the topic. Actually, the study estimates spending on 20 technologies and 12 corporate functional areas across 16 enterprise industries in eight regions and 53 countries, comparing the amounts funded by IT departments and by business departments. They haven’t published the figures for marketing in particular but did graciously provide them to me with permission to reprint them here. Without further ado, they are:

As you see, marketing technology expenses for 2016 are estimated at $82.3 billion, which is just 6.7% of the $1,235.3 billion for all categories. Slightly more than half of the marketing spend is business-funded, which presumably means it’s spent by CMO’s. But that wasn’t what Gartner had in mind: they were definitely comparing corporate IT budgets against marketing IT budgets.

Another very important point he makes is : “Another reason I prefer the IDC figures is that surveys consistently show that marketing technology is far down the priority list of IT managers.  That wouldn’t be the case if martech spend were equal to all other tech spending combined. Indeed, one of the main reasons that marketers have been eager to take control of their technology has been the neglect, benign or otherwise, shown by corporate IT”

I think the more important trend to consider is how the Marketing structures are undergoing changes. A recent report suggested that only 3 percent of marketers get full value out of their tools, but they say better technology strategy (39 percent), analytics (36 percent) and training(33 percent) would help them better leverage their martech stacks.

How are CMO’s & CHRO’s staffing their Marketing functions?

Laura McLellan, a research VP at Gartner, was the one who boldly predicted that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs.

But more importantly she called out a significant change that she saw happening in the Marketing function:

 Marketing departments should sell the idea of a marketing technology office (MTO) to CIOs, who would have to relinquish control of certain customer-facing technologies and hand responsibility for the function over to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

Here is my reaction to this:

  1. Think about what changes in the structure of your marketing team are you & your company ready to make: Are you ready to hire a Chief marketing technology officer & will he report to the CIO or the CMO? Think collaboration rather than team expansion. The IT team can be your best friend if you get the structure right. Marketers who can truly understand the intersection of marketing and technology are rare. Most marketing organizations still struggle to find qualified people to support the evaluation, purchase, implementation, and use of these new marketing technologies
  2. More importantly, think about the companies Digital roadmap & see how the CMO can align into the Digital transformation plan-you need a large scale digital transformation to actually impact the customer experience!
  3. Research data shows a very strong correlation between how marketers rate themselves in personal tech adoption and how they rate their companies in Martech adoption (Source: Walker Sands State of Marketing Technology 2017). This has implications to how you hire & bring in appropriate senior folks into the Marketing teams.
  4. Creative technologists-you need a breed of Liberal arts folks who get “technology & who can bring the customer as the center of all thought, while you implement all the high tech.

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