Marketers struggle to stay ahead of technology advancements

Technical acumen ranked as the third biggest challenge when deploying digital marketing initiatives, according to a recent survey of CMO consultants.

When asked how difficult it will be over the coming year to stay ahead of new technological advancements, remain competent across multiple programs and avoid long-term experience debt, 88% of the CMO consultants surveyed by executive service firm Chief Outsiders said it would be difficult — with 10% claiming it will be “very” difficult.

The survey polled more than 50 of the C-level marketing consultants who serve in fractional and part-time CMO roles.

Technical difficulties. Following resource constraints and organizational inertia, the group ranked “technical acumen” as the third biggest challenge in terms of deploying digital marketing strategies.

What’s to come for predictive analytics. The CMO consultants do believe that predictive analytics powered by AI will have a broad effect on marketing campaigns, especially in the following three areas:

  • Predictive modeling of customer behavior.
  • Qualification and prioritization of leads.
  • Customer targeting and segmentation.

More responsibility for growth. When ranking company strategies that will increasingly become the CMOs responsibility in 2020 by significance in change, respondents put “company growth strategy” at the top of the list, above account-based strategies, taking on more of the sales funnel responsibilities, digital technology strategies and customer engagement.

The “most vital” capability needed to deliver marketing and growth strategies, according to survey participants, was understanding the customer experience. Marketing technology came in fifth on this list, behind strategy development, marketing research, sales and marketing, and multichannel marketing.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) said they are seeing a trend in collaboration between marketing departments and other business units like research and development, sales, IT and customer service — a necessary focus for CMOs looking to break down the silos between business units and bring their growth strategies to fruition.

Digital marketing spend to increase, driven by organic search, content and email investments. A large majority (80%) of the CMOs expect businesses in increase their digital ad spend this year. As far as spending priorities, organic search ranked first, followed by content marketing and email marketing.

“They [survey participants] think the most vital capabilities supporting marketing strategy will be creating stronger customer experiences, better market research, and overall more thoughtful marketing tactics,” reports Chief Outsiders.

Why we care. The survey included a relatively small pool of CMO consultants, but it underscores a primary challenge faced by marketing leaders: CMOs are taking on more responsibilities while playing catch-up with the technology available to propel growth.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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