The Modern-Day CMO: 7 Trends That Will Drive Digital Marketing Success
Columnist Jim Yu takes a look at the shifting digital landscape and discusses the key trends that marketers will need to embrace if they want to stay ahead.
According to Gartner’s 2015–2016 CMO Spend Survey, digital marketing has moved into the mainstream, with 98 percent of marketers saying that digital methods are merging into the larger marketing operation.
A key finding from the report was that 73 percent of marketers now own or share P&L (profit and loss) accountability, reflecting an increased responsibility for driving results.
The figures highlighted above serve as a great indication that CMOs and their marketing departments are becoming more accountable for driving maximum business impact from their digital marketing efforts.
Digital marketers are increasingly engaging with their target audiences and optimizing digital marketing campaigns. In parallel, modern-day CMOs are now leveraging a powerful combination of the most effective and efficient technology and talent to help them do this.
Smart CMOs recognize that they have to utilize their top-performing online channels to fuel digital marketing success in 2016. Those who don’t will lose important market share and digital dollars to their online competitors.
The Content And Digital Marketing Connection
Content has become the cornerstone of digital activity, with more than 57 percent of CMOs planning to increase their content marketing budgets over the next two to three years. PQ Media estimates that content marketing will be a $300+ billion industry by 2019, with key growth drivers including business-to-business content and enterprise software adoption.
At the same time, CMOs are increasingly becoming more accountable for delivering results from their overall digital marketing and transformation efforts.
This provides a huge opportunity, but it also comes with massive interwoven challenges such as:
1. Building A Performance-Based Culture
In today’s digital and content marketing economy, everyone is both a digital marketer and a publisher. With multiple channels to manage — such as email, search, social and display — the elements of a digital business are complex.
Keeping an eye on performance can become an organizational headache that is hard to manage.
Organizations that can measure and understand the effectiveness of digital marketing, content and distribution channels can use these techniques as a pivot point to build performance-based cultures.
This not only helps transform digital thinking, but it also molds and shapes the organization as a whole.
2. Navigating The Marketing And Digital Technology Landscape
Technology spend by CMOs will increase 10X in the next 10 years, to $120 billion from $12 billion, according to Foundation Capital.
Marketing technology and intelligence that are utilized and implemented correctly can have a massive impact on the CMO’s bottom line.
CMOs who work at the heart of the enterprise face a common challenge of navigating through a complex, fragmented and overcrowded technology landscape — a landscape where many vendors focus on production, automation and process and pay little attention to performance-led technology that moves the needle on ROI (return on investment).
CMOs who begin to build digital marketing stacks — based on enterprise-standard technology to fill the “digital performance gap” — and empower their organizations to run digital and content marketing based on performance metrics will succeed in comparison to their competitors in market.
3. Revenue Reporting To Executives Based On Actual Business Outcomes And Results
Many CMOs and marketers alike are faced with proving digital performance from a plethora of channels without any real way to qualify and quantify its value.
Closing the loop on digital marketing performance is now a key imperative for CMOs. In order to further justify spend to CEOs and board members, revenue reporting is essential.
In a recent interview with Marketing Land, Clay Stobaugh, EVP and CMO of Wiley, shared insights into how organizations are leading and transforming their digital structures.
In the interview, he said, “My role as CMO is to build, within Wiley, a global modern marketing organization that delivers measurable results and drives revenue.”
Only marketers who build strong digital organizations, understand what channels convert and have measured their results can report business impact to the board in a meaningful way.
7 Digital Trends That Will Impact 2016 CMO Revenue
In 2016, organizations that understand their audience, utilize their top-performing online channels to attract and engage customers and measure performance accordingly are far more likely to succeed on the competitive digital marketing battleground.
CMO and ROI success will shift to focus on key digital MBOs (management by objectives) and KPIs (key performance indicators) such as traffic, revenue and conversions.
Below I will leave you with the seven key trends that I think will impact marketing departments across enterprises in 2016.
- There will be ubiquitous recognition that the majority of the buying process is now online.
- Digital marketers will focus their time, streamline resources and shift investments to the online channels that best attract, engage and convert the right customers.
- Competitive intelligence on digital channels will be a must-have in order to stay ahead in marketing.
- Content marketing practices will shift from production to performance imperatives — marketers will become more intelligent through big data insights, automation and machine-learning technologies.
- Optimizing digital assets for the user’s buyer journey will fuel massive returns on engagement and conversion rates.
- The tech landscape will consolidate to focus on enterprise-standard technology stacks that move the digital marketing revenue needle.
- Organizations will reinvent and redesign structurally around marketing revenue centers that align on common KPIs, including profitability and ROI.
Smart CMOs are already one or two steps ahead of the curve.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.