“Making strategic decisions is central to the role of any CMO,” says Alexander Igelsböck, CEO of Adverity. “As marketing becomes ever more digitalised, the amount of data available to marketing teams presents both a huge opportunity as well as a significant challenge — how do you continue making decisions in an increasingly complex landscape?”
According to new research from Adverity, while CMOs at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) expect their role to revolve around determining strategy and delivering growth in much the same way, how this is accomplished, and how they make decisions, is likely to evolve significantly over the next 10 years.
Building a data strategy that supports creativity
Adverity’s survey of 300 CMOs at SMBs from the UK, US and DACH discovered that CMOs are at odds on whether data helps or hinders their team’s creativity. While 42% insist data hinders creativity, 41% say it helps, and a further 17% remain undecided.
Importantly, the survey discovered those that say data greatly hinders creativity are twice as likely to struggle with a lack of data tools.
Furthermore, responses suggest that 30% of marketing teams only review data once a quarter or less, and nearly half (43%) of CMOs feel the greatest barrier to getting value from their marketing data is difficulty creating a data-driven culture within the company.
The rise of the marketing ops role
With all this in mind, it follows that the need for a dedicated marketing ops role to manage martech stacks and connect up data silos has accelerated dramatically. For the uninitiated, a marketing ops role is dedicated full-time to managing your martech stack, improving data quality and analysing available data to improve efficiency and outcomes.
Seventy-three percent of CMOs are committed to introducing this role to their team: 45% already have someone in place, and a further 28% are currently hiring. Only 12% of CMOs have had one in place for more than a year.
Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO at Adverity says: “Modern marketers are faced with huge volumes of data streaming in from multiple sources, so it’s not at all surprising to see CMOs are focused on investing in people dedicated to managing the entire data stack.
“Without eyes on the big picture, insight-driven decision making becomes nearly impossible. It’s staggering that 30% are only reviewing their data sporadically – in today’s data-driven marketplace, brands are in danger of counting themselves out of the race if they don’t have a single unified view of performance, in real time. Now is the time for CMOs to champion change in company culture and embrace the opportunities that data brings.”
The data skills gap
The data also produced some interesting findings concerning hiring new team members, with 66% of CMOs saying it’s harder to hire new employees with a data background than to upskill their current team.
Retention is another theme that came out of the report, with over a third of respondents agreeing that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to retain team members.he amount of manual reporting iscited as an issue that makes it harder to find people willing to work in their marketing team.
In fact, a shocking 43% of those surveyed said that their team spends more time getting data into one place than they do actually using it to make decisions. This method of data analysis can be time-consuming, inefficient and prone to human error.
Adverity is the data and analytics platform enabling marketing and ecommerce teams to make better decisions and improve performance.