Almost half of the CMO believe that data hinders creativity

Almost half of the CMO believe that data hinders creativity

42% of CMOs believe data is hampering the creativity of marketing teams, according to a new report by Adverity, a data platform and analytics for marketing, sales and e-commerce teams.

The report entitled ‘Data, People and Culture: The Evolving Role of the Modern CMO’ surveyed 300 CMOs across the US, UK and DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), from SMEs, to better understand how the role of the CMO is changing in the midst of the growing digitalization of the industry.

However, CMOs disagree on whether exponentially growing sophistication and volume of data help or hinder creativity, with 41% insisting that data really helps and 17% remaining undecided. Importantly, those who say it greatly hinders creativity are twice as likely to struggle with a lack of tools. Furthermore, responses suggest that 30% of marketing teams review data only once a quarter or less, and nearly half (43%) of CMOs believe that the biggest barrier to gaining value from their marketing data is related to company culture.

At the same time, the need for a dedicated marketing operational role to manage martech stacks has accelerated dramatically. 73% of CMOs are committed to introducing this role to their team: 45% already have someone in place, and another 28% are currently hiring. Only 12% of CMOs have one in operation for more than a year.

Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO, Adverity, said: “Modern marketers are faced with vast amounts of data coming from multiple sources, so it’s no surprise to see that CMOs are focused on investing in people dedicated to managing the entire data stack. Without looking at the bigger picture, insight-driven decision-making becomes almost impossible. It is astonishing that 30% only sporadically check their data – in today’s data-driven market, brands are in danger of being counted out of the race if they don’t have a unique view of performance, in real time. Now is the time for CMOs to advocate for changes in the company’s culture and embrace the opportunities that data brings. ”

Other key survey findings include:


  • 66% of CMOs say it’s harder to hire new employees with a data background than to improve their current team.
  • 36% said that retention is becoming increasingly difficult, and even if traders find fantastic data engagement, there is no guarantee that they will stay.
  • Half (49%) agree that the amount of manual reporting required discourages people from wanting to work in their marketing team.


  • CMOs have trouble attracting the rest of the C-apartments to their side, and 17% say they lack enthusiasm from management.
  • Clumsy inherited workflows have an impact on culture, and the silos and bottlenecks that come with them (15%).


  • 18% of respondents claim that the biggest single reason why they struggle to get value from their data is the lack of tools to manage them.
  • 38% say the lack of the right technology to consistently deliver valuable insights from the data is a hindrance and then have people with the right sets of skills (19%).
  • 43% say their team spends more time gathering data in one place than they actually use it to make decisions, which can be time consuming, inefficient and prone to human error.

Are you interested in the world’s leading brands personally discussing such topics? Learn more about World Digital Marketing Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America and Singapore.

Tags: Adverity, CMO, data

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