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Why CMOs needs to invest in more than just marketing technology

July 23, 2020

On average, CMOs come and go every 43 months. Thus, every 3.5 years, marketing organizations again experience great shocks in a new search for a technological utopia and begin the journey of transforming marketing technology.

But here’s the thing, marketing itself isn’t getting much better and brands aren’t doing something transformational. More often than not, marketing teams simply take a step back and brands lose good working relationships and end up with good partners. During this time, teams experience professional uncertainty, and transitions are being made and the transition occurs. They have to re-learn what they already knew in order to just get to the same place where they were a few months ago.

CMO marketing technology
CMO marketing technology

And on the rare occasions when brands do take a step forward, does the added value outweigh the costs incurred by the business? This is questionable and hardly even measured effectively.

All this does not mean that CMOs should stop introducing and looking for new technologies that provide new opportunities and solve problems. In some cases, the platform needs to be changed because the marketing needs have changed fundamentally.

But in order to change marketing performance, can you find a partner to help leverage existing technology?

Problems with CMOs

According to Spencer Stuart, 4% of 500 Fortune enterprises have abolished their chief marketing position over the past ten years. This position is maintained in 70% of companies, while in 2009 their share was 74%.

The 2017 HBR article “The Trouble with CMOs” by Kimberly Whitler and Neil Morgan also made a splash. In it, the authors discuss not so much the issue of a new approach to marketing as the issue of trust. Trust between CEO and CMO. The crisis of such trust is reflected in the duration of the CMO’s work in one company. If we compare the terms of work of a marketing director in one place, then on average it is 2-3 years, unlike other top positions – HRD, CIO, CFO, CTO, which can remain in the position for 5, 7 or 10 years.

Problems with CMOs
Problems with CMOs

For example, a 2012 study by the Fournaise Marketing Group showed that 80% of companies did not trust the CEO’s work, while more than 90% relied on the decisions of the sales director.

The conclusion suggests itself. Despite the fact that marketing remains the most important element in the entire ecosystem of the company, the problems with CMO are obvious and are discussed not only in the plane of intra corporate trust, but also at the level of modification, in fact, one of the top positions in the company.

Marketing has changed and continues to change at a rapid pace. Those SMOs who have not yet noticed the sword of Damocles over their heads may be unpleasantly surprised. Too many marketers focus on PR, communications, creativity, sometimes forgetting about the customer, their people, commercial success, monetization, ROI, product role, innovation and databases.

To remedy these situations, CMOs must start investing in their people, partners, focus more on processes, and put the customer at the center of the business.

Invest in your existing agency partners and your team. Advocate for new ideas that can develop, improve, and optimize what you are already doing. Explore the untapped opportunities you’re already paying for and discover the experiences of your partners.

Find internal locks, review them, or change them if you can – to help your organization add value to your customers. And think twice before changing your technology again. If new technologies were always the answer, perhaps the average CMO would have stayed longer.

In addition, CMOs should not forget about the coronavirus pandemic, which can also have a noticeable impact on the timing of new product launches or the start of marketing campaigns. Marketing teams now need to maintain the flexibility to change their plans or switch their messages to other events. To avoid making belated budget decisions, you should prioritize your spending now and be prepared for rapid change.

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