December 16, 2014
The Modern CMO: Part Art, Part Science and Part Religion
By TMCnet Special GuestFarnaz Erfan, Director of Product Strategy, Birst
Marketers have always been great storytellers. They are wired to ask: “Why will people care about this story?”
It is the art of marketing that has made “Got Milk?” and “Just Do It” among some of the most recognizable campaigns of our time. Why? Because we related to them in the way we live our everyday lives. But as much as art and creativity remains an important factor for CMOs – and great brands will always remain fresh in our minds – the line between marketing art and marketing science are quickly blurring. Being the Don Draper of marketing is no longer the most revered marketing talent. Top leaders in marketing are good at both the art and the science of marketing. They deploy powerful technologies, like analytics, to build long-term strategies, deliver value to their business and ultimately guide them toward marketing success.
We all took note when the Harvard Business Review declared that being a “data scientist” is the sexiest job of the century. But what’s the correlation between data scientists and marketers?
We know that data scientists are the data ambassadors through whom we understand information. They are subject matter experts who direct and provide mentoring to others in the organization who want to interact with data, right? Not true!
It turns out that data science and analytics has made its way into marketing. In a recent study carried by OMI, Fortune 500 companies and global agencies identified analytics as the largest talent gap in digital marketing.
In some organizations, the need for analytics has gotten so critical that they are hiring a Chief Marketing Technologist. Last year, Gartner (News - Alert) reported that 72 percent of high-tech marketing teams indicated there was a “chief marketing technologist” type role in their organization. These individuals, among other things, use behavior-based data to identify best sales opportunities and improve brand awareness.
So there is the art and science of marketing, but where does that leave us with religion?
Creating an important role for analytics is one thing, but practicing an analytic agenda is another. Only the most analytically-religious marketers extract real value from big data and analytics.
In the latest edition of the CMO Survey, more than 400 CMOs said they expect to increase their spending on marketing analytics by 72 percent over the next three years, but even though marketers are allocating more money to analytics, only a few are using analytical insights to measure marketing ROI.
Modern CMOs pair up with CIOs or hire analytic talent within their teams to shift the organizations’ behavior. They study their competencies, customers and competition religiously. They use analytics to align the rest of the C-suite to look at growth factors and to reposition the company toward higher meanings, goals and aspirations.
So while many people often emphasize one trait over the other, today’s modern CMO strategically blends art, analytics and marketing religion to execute campaigns and strategies built to deliver results.
Edited by Maurice Nagle