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What are the biggest challenges senior marketers face?

Today marketers are constantly trying to keep up with the latest changes in the industry and what they mean for their work. The influx of data and new technologies are making it harder to decide on what they most need to improve their efficiency.

New research from Domo and Censuswide highlights the biggest challenges that marketing leaders face around data, creativity and how to focus on what matters. According to Domo’s CEO, Josh James:

“Today’s hyperkinetic business environment calls for marketers to have a new modus operandi, helping them balance marketing’s strategic and operational needs, while creating customer value across all marketing activity and clearly communicating it to the bottom line.”

Common challenges that CMOs face

The pressure of keeping up with the latest industry changes is one of the key challenges that marketers seem to face. 83% of marketers of large enterprise organizations feel that the rise of new technologies is making it harder for them to stay on top of everything.

This is a very interesting finding at a time that martech is on the rise. What’s important is to find out the right tools and tactics that will supercharge your strategy rather than spending more time between many different technologies.

Moreover, 46% of marketers say that the abundance of data channels and sources make it harder for them to plan their long-term strategy.

According to Keith Weed, former CMO of Unilever,

“We have moved to an era where data, algorithms and analytics rule. And we all know the battle for attention has never been greater.’’

In the era when data and analytics rule, it is critical to be able to translate the key metrics as part of your KPIs and how to make the most of technologies to improve efficiency and collaboration in the team.

This leads to a big question, ‘who’s really owning the data in an organization?’

Who should own the data?

There seems to be confusion among marketers over the ownership of the data. 34% of senior marketers feel that they should connect and manage data insights across the business. Quite closely, 30% of senior marketers think that CTOs and IT professionals should manage the data. Moreover, 20% of senior marketers think that the CEO should be the one owning the data insights.

Thus, there isn’t a consensus among marketers on who should own the data. This means that the industry is not able to have a clear idea of how the use of data can improve collaboration across different departments.

It is important for different teams to come together to decide on the most appropriate delegation of tasks so that there are more streamlined processes aiming for growth and success.

The barrier to communicating marketing success with C-suite

A marketing strategy can only be successful if all stakeholders are on board. Communicating the value of marketing to senior managers and the CEO can sometimes be tricky. According to this report, 26% of senior marketers feel that C-suite’s focus on short-term metrics is the biggest barrier to long-term success.

This means that if the C-suite is not thinking ahead, it’s harder for marketers to be consistent with their long-term strategy.

Moreover, 18% of senior marketers think that the barrier to long-term success is the lack of data and systems to improve success and transparency across the organization.

This is a finding that is related to the fact that data ownership can be unclear along with the processes that need to be in place to make the most of all the insights.

Marketers are divided on the value of data

All marketing leaders understand how data insights can be valuable. However, not everyone is able to find the ROI of all their marketing efforts.

25% of large enterprise organizations think that the biggest benefit of marketing data is the improvement of transparency among C-suite and all stakeholders.

19% of senior marketers also believe that they can use data to build more informed decisions for their strategies and long-term plans.

The use of data and its benefits may vary depending on the size of the organization but transparency, strategic decisions and efficiency are key.

Similarly, the size of the organization also affects their future plans. 23% of large enterprise organizations are planning to allocate more than 40% of their marketing budget to analytics and data management over the next 12 months.

70% of large enterprise organizations will actually allocate at least a fifth of their marketing budget to analytics and data management over the next 12 months.

It’s not surprising though that smaller organizations are not in the position to significantly increase their marketing budget or even to dedicate a big part of it to data and analytics. The different expectations and priorities lead to this shift of focus without necessarily meaning that they don’t see the ROI of data.

In both cases, transparency across different departments is key since it will make the buy-in easier for future strategies.

Marketing as a central force for growth

A good way to improve marketing success is to foster a good relationship between different departments. 23% of senior marketers think that a more open and collaborative team structure can lead to great progress.

22% of marketers think that real-time data and performance should be available to everyone so that they make more informed decisions.

Moreover, 21% of marketers would like to have a central reporting and measurement solution.

Using marketing as the driving force to bring teams together can make the understanding of data easier. Once different departments agree on what matters and what they need to focus on, it can be easier for marketers to streamline their efforts on the most relevant ROI.

How to adapt to the new era of marketing

Marketing is becoming more complicated with the new systems and technologies that show up. This is not necessarily a bad thing provided that we’re able to use our skills to evolve to the changing nature of marketing tactics.

A new approach to marketing could be split into three key areas:

Customer experience – keep the consumer at the focus of your work
Demand creation – improve transparency in your organization
Organization excellence – streamlining the processes to optimize and automate the systems

According to Domo, here’s how marketing leaders can adapt to this change

  • Build an efficient system for your processes that maps out your data, network, people = perform an audit organize everything to avoid getting lost in data and time-consuming processes
  • Bring everyone on board to real-time data – there is great power in understanding real-time data and it’s important for everyone in your organization to understand it
  • Optimize data and systems – help your team come together by optimizing the data and how it affects your decision-making process
  • Highlight the importance of accountability – transparency can lead to accountability but it needs to come from both sides of stakeholders
  • Blend short and long term goals – align everyone’s expectations to make sure that your tactics can contribute to all objectives both for short and long term wins

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