A CMOs Guide to Navigating Data Analytics

aventri logoThe CMO function has always been critical for every business, but the role has expanded and evolved recently to encompass responsibility for driving predictable and measurable growth – as evidenced by the fact that the function is now often titled Chief Growth Officer or Chief Revenue Officer. As Sales, Marketing and Technology roles become intertwined, CEOs and Boards now expect senior marketers to prove a correlation between strategies and the bottom line.

Many Marketing Leaders, however, are unsure of where to start when it comes to using data insights to demonstrate this correlation. In fact, a report by Accenture found 69 percent of Australian and global CMOs admit they are struggling to apply insights to their Marketing strategy.

So, how can CMOs gain the most from Data Analytics?

1. Only Implement Analytical Tools That Fulfil Your Goals

Research from Forrester found that while 74% of firms say they want to be “data-driven”, only 29% say they are good at connecting analytics to action. This problem can be inevitable when there are so many martech tools available – how do you decipher which ones will bring about the necessary insights and outcomes needed for success?

It may sound obvious but doing your research will help. Marketers must take a step back and consider their ultimate goals, which can vary significantly. Forrester revealed Big Data and Analytics are being used by 44% of B2C marketers to improve consumer responsiveness, while 36% use it for better forecasting and planning.

Ultimately, it’s important to resist going with the most popular or familiar analytics solution. Go with the ones that align directly with your needs and company vision.

2. Make Sure Your Tools Are Integrated

Marketers often adopt a variety of Data Analytics platforms but fail to integrate them. This can be an issue for global corporations with departments that span across countries or companies with siloed departments. Often, the tools used vary among departments and consequently create siloed results that don’t provide an accurate overview of Marketing activities, whether online or offline. This disconnect can lead to poor decisions or wasted budget.

The events industry is a great example of this, as many event planners haven’t integrated their physical and digital data platforms. This means they can’t identify correlations between trending sessions, key activations or hot topics at events with activity on their digital assets, such as their website and social channels.

By better connecting and integrating online and offline data, marketing leaders can better identify key investment areas that build brand equity and better analyze the performance of marketing activities across different customer touchpoints in real-time.

3. Make It Relevant and Actionable

So you’ve identified your data needs, done your homework, completed your martech stack, and now you’re up and running. The data is coming in thick and fast. All is good, right? Wrong.

One of the biggest mistakes I see companies make is overlooking the importance of communicating the data into understandable and actionable insights for other departments. You can have all the data in the world but if other departments and teams don’t know how to leverage it, the data is redundant.

Think about who is going to translate the data and bridge the gap between insights and teams. If you’re not in a position to hire a Data Scientist, look for ways to upskill your team in what you’re trying to achieve, Similarly, look for platforms that offer visual reports, as these are a great way for teams to see through the numbers.

Safeguarding a Successful Future

Over the coming years, it’s inevitable the expectation for marketers to prove value using data insights will heighten. By creating a considered, integrated and targeted approach to Data Analytics, marketers will be able to discover invaluable insights and trends. Ensuring these insights are understood by those that need to know, will have a profound impact on the bottom line and the overall success of the CMO.

Read more: 5 Shrewd Ways of Using Big Data Analytics To Enhance Customer Service

The MarTech Fitness Drill 2019: How Much Do You Sweat With Your Marketing Technology

Are CMOs ready for the MarTech Fitness Drill? 

While reviewing the entries for MarTech RADAR companies, we read hundreds of whitepapers, case studies and attended 50+ Marketing Technology webinars and podcasts. The extensive research-based project on MarTech RADAR led us to the first-in-industry MarTech Fitness Drill.

What’s the MarTech Fitness Drill after all?

At MarTech Series, we define the MarTech Fitness Drill as, “the systematic process of identifying, comparing, analyzing, reviewing, leveraging and recommending one or more Marketing Technologies with an aim to automate, optimize and amplify their marketing reach across all the major marketing and advertising channels, including OTT, brick and mortar and IoT/connected devices.”

We referred to principles of Marketing Performance Management and Revenue Marketing, and so many other concepts that have arrived only recently (including the Cuttlefish Marketer).

The MarTech Fitness Drill could be customized for marketing teams that classify themselves as:

  • High-Performers
  • Moderate or Average
  • Under-performers


Andrew O’Driscoll, Group Vice President & GM, Salesforce Services at Rimini Street, said, “As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly prevalent in consumers’ day to day lives, the AI experience is driving bigger expectations as to what can be accomplished in the enterprise as well. Just as the use of personal smartphones pushed organizations to adopt this technology across their business, demand for more humanizing enterprise software interactions is driving the AI revolution in the enterprise.”

So, we think AI should be part of your MarTech Fitness Drill in 2019. Analyzing its potential to further automate your process could mean reaching higher steps in the revenue and customer success ladder.

Why you need to do the MarTech Fitness Drill?

As Darcy Antonellis General Manager of Amdocs Media, a division of Amdocs and Chief Executive Officer of Vubiquity Inc., puts it – “Who Are You” Year, and I Don’t Mean The Who

Darcy said, “2019 will continue the push towards knowing the most about you, the individual, and recognizing the ever-present privacy considerations. Well beyond the recommendation engine, with the help of data lakes filled with information about you, creating a nuanced, relevant experience between you the consumer/user and the platform/product is the North Star. In 2019, your routine, temperament or mood, your needs and interests will all come together in an informed, real-time way.”

Why you need MarTech Fitness Drill could be understood from this simple graphical representation owned by Allocadia.

Martech Fitness Drill

In our MarTech assessment of CMOs and Marketing leaders from the B2B space, nine out of ten MarTech leaders use their own technology to amplify their Marketing and Sales.

Six of them could be using additional Marketing Automation tool with their own stack to manage various other aspects of Marketing, including for Social Media Listening, Video Marketing, ABM and Content Management Systems.

Average Forecasting

Since the arrival of Automation followed by Customer Data Management platforms for marketing campaigns, B2B marketing has evolved at a rampaging pace. The amount of innovation and disruption within MarTech space has done three things to every marketing team in the last five years.

Firstly, they have made at least one attempt to take a closer shot at the opportunities and challenges using one automation tool in their MarTech stack, which invariably includes either a CRM or an Email Marketing automation, if not more.

Secondly, they have understood the value of automation in Marketing and Sales, leveraging the power of technology to optimize their marketing efforts at a faster rate of execution. So, they explored the MarTech stack and how it bulks up their Marketing Automation.

Thirdly, marketing teams using at least one Marketing Automation tool could not derive the best results they were promised by the MarTech provider. Hence, they either switched to another product, or dropped the idea altogether of ever using another MarTech.

How MarTech Fitness Drill Works for You?

Since Content is the core of every Marketing campaign, we can assign content to be your ‘steroid’, the gunpowder, and the gold dust- -all packed into one bundle. You miss it, you go down.

If you have the right content (of course, we need the data to push it further), you can win the right set of audience.

Here’s how the Martech Fitness Drill for the modern Marketing teams would play out…

  • Defining the New-Age definitions and benchmarks in Content Management and Marketing
  • Discovering new roadmap to promote and amplify content
  • Differentiation in Marketing, Sales and Customer Service technologies
  • Are you prepared for AI, Sales Technology and HR Technology to add to your MarTech vision?
  • Who’s who of the CMO world in Marketing and Sales technology, via events and conference
  • Ensuring you know about collaborating with MarTech RADAR companies?

In the part one of the MarTech Fitness Drill for 2019, we are covering how CMOs are planning to continue with their existing Marketing technologies, and how they see new Marketing technologies adding to their stacks.

This is a mere layout for you to judge your uniqueness and learn the best-fit technologies for your companies.  We are expecting to improvise further into the fitness drill as we explore further with you.

Recommended: Hello Valentine! The Marketer is Watching You

Navigating Fragmentation: The Steps CMOs Are Taking to Drive Success

Visual IQ LogoThe landscape in which CMOs operate today differs significantly from 10 or even five years ago. Marketing leaders now face a fragmented marketplace, a growing number of channels, and empowered consumers who expect seamless, relevant experiences across every touchpoint. The digital age has ushered in a new era of accountability, forcing CMOs to prove the value of their team and their contributions to the business.

The demand for increased accountability has raised the need for effective marketing performance measurement to critical levels. Yet according to a new Nielsen report, only 25% of marketers have a high level of confidence in their ability to measure the ROI of their media or trade spend. So, what steps are marketers taking to overcome the challenges of an increasingly complex marketing and advertising environment? Let’s explore:

Marketers Are Moving Faster

Everything and everyone moves quickly today, and marketers need to keep up with that pace. The ability to respond to changing consumer behaviors and market conditions and quickly capitalize on optimization opportunities are all keys to better performance, better consumer experiences and better business results. To move faster, CMOs know they need to remove the constraints of their old processes and invest in the data, technologies, resources, and vendors that support faster, more agile measurement and optimization.

Takeaway: Marketers must identify the technology and processes that promote a well-oiled marketing workflow machine.

Read More: 7 Sure Shot Content Marketing Trends

CMOs Are Investing in Attribution

In terms of measurement, Nielsen found 79% of marketers expect to increase their investment in marketing analytics and attribution in the next 12 months. Multi-touch attribution provides visibility into the omnichannel consumer journey and helps marketers understand and react more quickly to changes in campaign performance. By investing in attribution, CMOs can arm their team with granular insights about what’s working (and what’s not) for each audience, so they can quickly shift gears and drive continuous improvements in marketing performance.

Takeaway: Sophisticated marketers use multi-touch attribution to optimize their marketing tactics at granular levels in order to better target their audiences and drive better business results.

Read More: 4 Tips for Keeping Up With New Digital Marketing Trends

Marketers Are Using Search and Social Media More

The study found that 79% of marketers rank search as “very” or “extremely” important, and 73% felt the same way about social media. However, understanding the true impact of these channels and how they perform in combination with other media investments has become more difficult thanks to third-party tracking limitations and new privacy regulations that impose stricter requirements on the safe handling of data. Maximizing the effectiveness and ROI of marketing spend requires the ability to track consumer exposure to marketing and advertising and apply multi-touch attribution to the complete consumer journey.

Takeaway: Look for attribution vendors with robust data-collection processes and an extensive network of partners that can help fuel the attribution process.

Marketers Are Spending More on Digital

When forecasting the next 12 months, 82% of marketers expect to increase their digital media spend as a percentage of their total advertising budget. By comparison, only 30% plan to invest more in traditional media channels in the near term. While digitalization has created a number of opportunities for marketers, it’s also created a number of challenges. To truly understand the value of each consumer interaction, it’s not enough to count impressions, eyeballs or measure the effectiveness of digital marketing using siloed, last-touch measurement approaches. Marketers need to know the effectiveness of each marketing touchpoint in every consumer journey, regardless of where those touchpoints occur, so they can make smarter investment decisions.

Takeaway: Keeping up with the pace of change is mission critical if marketers are to realize the benefits of digital marketing.

Read More: 50 Email Marketing Best Practices

Marketers Are Cutting Ad Waste

The most common concern shared by marketers was improving media efficiency by minimizing ad waste. Reach and frequency measurement is an important capability to make this happen. While the contextual differences across media are important levers for identifying what’s comparatively effective, understanding bottom-line costs means first looking at the number of impressions served. Since reach and frequency can only grow so far before experiencing a point of diminishing returns, it’s imperative to have firm controls and frequency caps in place to minimize the risk of waste.

Takeaway: Reach and frequency analysis can help identify sources of wasted ad spend and save valuable marketing dollars.

The impact of media fragmentation is enough to make any CMO’s head spin. While marketers are doing their best to adapt to the increasing complexity of the marketing landscape, many are not quite there yet. Embracing the practices above are just a few of the ways sophisticated marketers are responding to the new omni-channel reality. Like with Darwinian evolution, it’s a matter of adaptation. Companies and teams that focus on the right ways to evolve within their rapidly changing ecosystem will find themselves thriving.

Read More: The Best 3 Ways Your Business Can Utilize Hyperlocal Marketing

Six Ways CMOs Can Keep Pace with Technology Innovation

visualiqMarketers have been leveraging technology for years. But the growing number of adtech and martech solutions available to CMOs has created new demands on budgets, staffing, training, and time. Weighing which new innovations to add to existing marketing technology stacks means identifying those that will drive the best results for the business.

To navigate the ever-evolving and expanding technology ecosystem, CMOs should harness these six principles:

Understand The Differences between Adtech And Martech

While adtech and martech are essential tools for any business, each serves a distinct purpose. Martech is primarily used to target known or existing customers, while adtech looks to reach anonymous audiences. The two converge when valuable interaction and audience data from core systems, like customer relationship management and marketing automation software, feed into programs such as email, search engine marketing, and display advertising. The challenge for CMOs is unifying all of this disparate data in order to generate actionable insights that can be used to inform and improve marketing programs.

Drive Success With Data Agility

Getting actionable insights requires sophisticated data aggregation techniques or working with a partner to collect and de-duplicate disparate performance, cost, and audience data into a single repository. Consolidating this data enables marketers to gain a holistic view of the consumer journey. More importantly, it can help marketers discover how their marketing and advertising is influencing desired actions and business outcomes, so they can optimize accordingly.

Also Read: How B2B Marketers Can Prove Their Effectiveness to the C-Suite

Test And Verify For Best Fit

Every marketing organization faces its own unique set of challenges, requiring CMOs to build a flexible tech stack that meets their specific needs. It’s not about simply ‘tweaking’ the core but adding new technologies that enhance collaboration and facilitate interactions with customers and prospects at every stage of their journey. To determine the best fit, CMOs should pilot new software prior to full-scale implementation. Looking for short free or paid pilot programs will provide the time needed to assess a platform’s usefulness and compatibility with the existing stack before committing.

Factor in ROI

ROI should be a core consideration when evaluating any technology investment. CMOs need to determine whether the new software will act as an accelerator toward team goals, or if it will be just another platform to manage and maintain. Furthermore, while technology can help organizations better achieve the scale they need, CMOs need to factor in team size and structure to ensure they have the right people and resources required to support an implementation.

Also Read: TechBytes with Wayne St. Amand, Chief Marketing Officer, Visual IQ

Take Advantage Of AI And ML 

When evaluating new technology, CMOs should ensure that vendors have artificial intelligence and machine learning in their product roadmaps. AI and ML can identify and draw insights from big data on a scale that humans can’t match. Leveraging AI and ML’s ability to think and act quicker, marketers can harvest the real-time data they need to respond to changing consumer behaviors and quickly capitalize on optimization opportunities.

Pursue a People-Based Approach

Ultimately, the goal of adtech and martech is to help marketers reach the right person, with the right message, at the right place and time. Also known as people-based marketing, this approach requires the ability to identify individuals across multiple channels and devices. But in today’s mobile-centric world, marketers can no longer rely on cookies to tell the entire story of a consumer or their journey to conversion. Adopting a people-based approach means looking for technology that can accurately identify who individual consumers are, what they are like, and how they behave – no matter what device they use to interact with a brand. Only then can marketers unify a customer’s experience and tailor it to their needs and expectations, while optimizing spend and campaign effectiveness.

Each year, new tech implementation gets substantially more demanding. Harnessing the possibilities of martech and adtech innovation requires guts, insight, and a fair amount of tech-savvy. By embracing these six practices, CMOs can get the most out of the expanding technology ecosystem.

Also Read: The Wrong Way to Buy MarTech

How CMOs Can Turn Analytics into their Secret Weapon

True consumer connection has always been a key aspect of marketing, but because the industry is changing quickly, consumers are looking for more than just an emotional connection to a brand. While the emotional connection is foundational, it’s also elusive. Analytics provide the data and statistics needed to more accurately measure audience reach.

Nearly every industry is seeing an explosion in the use of big data and analytics to drive business decisions, but the benefits of this phenomenon are no more marked than in the marketing industry. When it comes to marketing, the outcomes of big data are real and immediate, and they easily impact the bottom line. Marketers can better reach niche audiences and craft more personalized campaigns.

Big data poses a huge obstacle for marketers, as well. CMOs are increasingly pressured to make use of advanced technologies that have traditionally fallen out of their wheelhouse, but only one-fifth of CMOs feel prepared to take the leap. CMOs struggle to tap into big data’s enormous opportunities, and don’t always feel supported by the IT department.

Read More: Hyperpersonalize Your Campaigns in Five Steps

But don’t despair. There are crucial steps to managing the influx of big data that any marketing professional can take.

  1. Identify Problems for Analytics to Solve: Without focus, even the strongest data is pointless and unusable. Before marketers can jump into collecting as much data as possible, they must first define a problem for data to solve. If big data isn’t a fit for the business’ bottom line, then it becomes mere hype, which leads to disappointment, wasted resources, and bitter challenges in later adopting big data when it’s finally deemed to be useful. Marketing professionals who map out a direction and set goals for analytics data are always one step ahead than those who dive straight in. Think of the roadmap like a safety net that ensures that the business will achieve a high return on marketing spend. When every initiative is tied to clear, measurable goals, high ROI is anyone’s game. Data can save CMOs the hassle of relying on subjective emotions and in turn empower them to innovate their own decision-making processes. But none of this can be achieved without the understanding of problems whose answers lie in big data.
  1. Always Analyze the Significance of Any Data: Once CMOs gather data—whether it is consumer behavior patterns or other statistics—they must then weigh its significance. It’s no easy feat to mine through data and pick the strongest statistics, but it’s necessary because not every data calculation deserves a place at the table. CMOs should remember that quality is better than quantity when it comes to big data metrics. Especially in the age of hyper-informed consumers with shifting demands, carefully selected data helps CMOs keep pace without getting bogged down. How can marketing managers most effectively analyze the data? With clear communication and a regular transfer of information. It’s critical to deliver the right insights to the right marketers on the team, whether they’re PPC marketers or social media managers. Every stakeholder needs access to analytical information, and education in how the data can drive results. It’s pretty easy to reach data overload with big teams, and it’s important to carefully walk the line between sharing too much and too little data within the department—which comes back to the CMO continually improving their ability to pick and choose the most significant metrics. Otherwise, the whole marketing department will fall victim to big data overload and won’t be able to gather highly useful insights.
  1. Create a Team of Analytics Experts: Yes, technology paves the way for generating data, but it’s nothing without a solid team of both analytics and marketing talent. The numbers don’t interpret themselves. It takes a team of people who are passionate about analytics and knowledgeable about your market to evolve the business into one truly driven by data. Instead, companies are wise to partner with a firm or to create internal analytics positions who can assist not only marketing but other departments as well.

As big data analytics continues to evolve and become more accessible, CMOs who realize its importance are able to reach new heights of customer engagement.

Read More: 4 Reasons Your Business Needs Predictive Selling