The CMO council annual marketing outlook of more than 650 marketers could have been a tale of woe and bad news but in fact for marketers it shows how marketers are looking inward at their marketing to sharpen up their act to enable them to look outward at what their customers are up to. It’s not about staff cuts it’s about “redoubling their efforts” to align and integrate with sales and channel groups; it’s not about budget cuts (although there is a strong focus on cutting costs) it’s about being able to set clear goals and track deliverables through analytics; it’s not about outsourcing everything its about growing their online marketing capability, questioning the value and quality of visitors and doing something about it.
But the pressure is on. Business is giving marketing a chance to show they can grow the business, own the customer relationship and be accountable for its spending. Being successful in these challenges is all about the technology underpinning of marketing – if it’s aligning with sales that means aligning the CRM system with the marketing systems so one can look at the whole picture of a customer’s activity. If it’s setting goals or being more focused, that means using analytics on clean data to look what is going on or has been going on. If its growing the online capability that means not only understanding Googlenomics but looking at what to do once the customer is at the shop front door i.e. customer engagement on the website (42% said they will change their agency for web design and development and 45% said they will deploy new email marketing automation solutions). So a great time to be in marketing technology because we know we can help.
But it’s not going to be an easy ride. Not surprisingly, the biggest sources of frustration or aggregation to getting the job done were insufficient budget (43%), organisational culture (37%), senior management mindset (33%) and politics and power plays (30%).
I also believe that, at this time, we can look out and learn from each other as a community of marketers, which was certainly the spirit at the European CMO council board meeting last week. Much the shared insight was about how organisations were working closer with sales by talking their language and aligning with their sales model; it was about what else to do other than just rely on Google and how you “keep the customer journey interesting”.