A third of CMOs (33%) are more focused on the impact of an increasing number of channels and platforms than on increasingly complicated consumer behavior (17%), according to new research from an integrated marketing data platform Adverity.
The findings also suggest that the associated growth in data volume may be a significant cause of this priority imbalance.
Entitled ‘Recession, Resilience and Marketing Data: What’s Shaping the CMO Roadmap?’, the report surveyed 300 CMOs across the US, UK and DACH region, from small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The research reveals key challenges for CMOs in the current climate of accelerated change, digitization and uncertainty, with the results showing that data handling issues are hindering efficiency.
While 85% of CMOs agree that the capacity to make data-driven decisions is a critical competitive advantage, many struggle to ensure effective data management. Nearly seven in ten (67%) believe the volume of marketing data available has become overwhelming, with 99% using 10 or more data sources and 52% using 14 or more. These findings suggest that many businesses are at risk of missteps as the global economy declines, with data clutter preventing smart pivots and distracting CMOs from the need to align experiences with changing consumer needs.
Although 29% of CMOs plan to improve internal capabilities by increasing data operations budgets by 2022, this drive to increase spending is not being reflected across the board. Almost as many (27%) say their budget has shrunk and most (44%) are operating with the same spending as last year, with those who identify as ‘least resilient’ to black swan events in the past few years more likely to cite a budget reduction.
Meanwhile, a lack of business knowledge (27%) is the most common blocker of data technology investment. This is closely followed by the perception that adopting new technology will be too complicated (23%), while only 8% indicate that the main obstacle to investing in technology is securing a budget.
Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO at Adverity, said: “CMOs have become too bogged down by data challenges and have lost sight of their core purpose: meeting consumer needs. How they got here is not difficult to understand. As channels and platforms have expanded, so has the amount of input data on audience interactions and marketing performance. Failure to implement effective systems to manage this data, however, means they are now wary of smart tools and struggling to bring messy information into order, when they should be using it to inform efforts that create consistently strong customer relationships.
“Solving this problem is far from impossible, but CMOs must move quickly as global market conditions worsen. Combined with the ongoing cost of living crisis, the coming recession presents a bleak financial outlook for consumers, making it increasingly important for retailers to offer greater value as well as demonstrate accountability and responsiveness. Only with a unified offering of accurate insights can they determine the best path to having relevant, meaningful and empathetic conversations that foster long-term relationships and trust.”
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