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Three quarters of CMOs responsible for business growth and use of data & technology

By Shannon Williams, Wed 29 Sep 2021

Three quarters of CMOs are now responsible for contributing to business growth and the use of data and technology, according to new research.

Capgemini research shows that CMOs need to transform their skills and technology capabilities to deliver data-driven real-time marketing.

The rapid growth in ecommerce during the pandemic has heightened the need for real-time insights to accommodate fast-changing customer behaviour. Accordingly, CMOs responsibilities are shifting, and around three quarters are now responsible for contributing to business growth (76%) and data and technology (74%). 

This is according to the latest Capgemini Research Institute report, A new playbook for chief marketing officers: Why CMOs should enable real-time marketing to drive sustained growth. Despite the CMOs new data-focused responsibilities, only 12% of marketers have the requisite data access, capabilities, and talent to drive and extract high value from real-time marketing.

Real-time marketing can process, analyse, and leverage data at its point of entry to swiftly enhance digital commerce campaigns, content and marketing outputs. The report signals that data-driven marketers enjoy improved brand awareness, customer satisfaction, conversion rates and customer retention.

Although all marketers are using data in some way, most are not applying it to drive marketing decisions. For instance, only 43% of marketers say their teams use data to decide a go-to-market strategy for a new product or service, and 40% use data to modify their campaign strategies. Similarly, 42% say that, by harnessing data, their team has been able to be more agile in responding to customer and market needs.

Data-driven marketers those who process, analyse, and leverage data to fine tune campaigns and content and marketing outputs enjoy numerous benefits: 

  • 88% said they can adapt and change content based on real-time data, compared to 38% of traditional marketers.
  • 93% were highly satisfied with their real-time marketing initiatives, compared to 46% of traditional marketers.
  • 54% of data-driven marketers said the benefits of real-time marketing exceeded their expectations.

The CMO shifts focus

For traditional marketers (who do not qualify as data-driven), catching up with high-performing rivals is necessitating a fundamental shift in roles, skills and capabilities. Capgemini research has identified that this change is occurring first and foremost at the top of the marketing ladder, characterised by a shift towards greater control and decision-making among CMOs.

Along with a responsibility for data and technology, around a third of CMOs are directly responsible for gathering and understanding consumer and market intelligence, trends, and for overseeing marketing technologies such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools or marketing-automation platforms.

Meanwhile, 60% say they are involved in critical decisions related to growth and long-term value, such as growth strategy and new product development.

Opportunity to transform skills and capabilities

Despite the changes in CMOs duties and skills, the shift is not sufficiently reflected in the marketing function more broadly. To enable data-driven marketing, CMOs will need to address a broader tech capability and skills deficit. Less than half of marketers say they have established the data and technology capabilities needed to deliver data-driven marketing, highlighting a significant opportunity to transform.

For instance:

  • 45% have a customer data platform that provides a unified and a single view of customers, and 47% have a framework for data collection that defines what data will be collected, what its purpose is and how it will be utilised.
  • 44% say they have an adequate supply of skills in areas such as AI and machine learning, or data analytics and data science.
  • Less than half (45%) have social digital-marketing skills, and a similar proportion (46%) say they have sufficient skills in augmented and virtual reality.

 
In order to close these skills gaps, marketing departments will seek to bring more work in-house, according to the report. Overall, half of marketers agree that their organisations are trying to build internal skills and capabilities over partnering with outside vendors.

Currently 81% of marketers partner with agencies for activities including branding, marketing strategy and digital marketing, while nearly two thirds (60%) partner with data providers, while slightly under half (46%) work with marketing-technology firms (e.g., cloud marketing, CRM). Today, 24% say they will bring that capability in-house within the next two to three years.
 
"The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitisation in a way no one could have predicted. Customer-data volumes are growing as online sales increase. This provides a host of opportunities for CMOs and marketing departments to better understand and serve their customers," says Jean-Pierre Villaret, Head of frog Europe, part of Capgemini Invent.

"And, a section of marketers are achieving the full potential of data-driven, real-time marketing and realising the benefits it brings with regards to brand awareness, customer satisfaction, retention, and conversion. The task now - for the vast majority of marketers - is to modernise their data capabilities and up-and-reskill their workforces in order to stay competitive against these data-driven high flyers."

For those CMOs seeking to make the move towards being data-driven, Capgemini has identified six critical focus areas to prepare for a data-driven marketing environment:

  • Create a clear vision for the marketing strategy
  • Implement a framework-driven data collection process
  • Ensure talent is equipped with a baseline of data and creative skills while allowing for specialists
  • Accelerate collaboration across the marketing ecosystem
  • Reimagine the customer journey with real-time engagement
  • Integrate long-term brand building and short-term marketing engagements
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