CMOs: Want To Keep Your Job? Spend On Technology.

“It’s marketing’s time to rise to the challenge — to understand the new buyer’s journey and radically transform marketing.”

– Rich Vancil, group VP-executive advisory group, IDC

International Data Corporation’s (IDC) 12th annual Tech Marketing Benchmark Study released recenetly revealed that marketing budgets are on the rise —up 3.5% on average, with the highest growth among cloud, mobility, social business and analytics IT companies. What do IDC’s findings tell us about the changing role of the CMO and the marketing technologies that should be considered in the coming year?

Only the tech savvy CMOs will survive

Over half (51 percent) of CMOs surveyed by IDC noted having held their jobs for less than two years. High turnover rate among CMOs isn’t anything new; earlier this year SpencerStuart found the average tenure of CMOs to be 45 months, believe it or not an improvement compared to previous years. What’s changed is the wide array of technologies available to CMOs, which can help prove the ROI of their marketing activities and marketing’s contribution to the bottom line.

The emergence of marketing technology has largely been driven by consumer’s shift to digital consumption. With more prospects engaging with brands and researching their purchase decisions online, it is essential that CMOs align their initiatives to the “digital buyer” experience. Today, CMOs (and all marketers) must be well-versed in digital and social marketing to engage with, and ultimately drive sales from, those digital buyers. Kathleen Schaub, VP, IDC CMO Advisory Service, comments: “CMOs must own the digital disruption of buyer experience for their companies. Those CMOs able to rise to the challenge will be provided more resources and given more power. The unprepared will be replaced.”

Predictive technologies can enhance CMO’s initiatives

Engaging with prospective buyers online is only a start. With such a vast landscape of marketing tech available, it’s important to know which tools make a real difference. For example, with predictive tools—predictive intelligence, predictive analytics, predictive lead scoring—CMOs can now also ensure that they engage with the right customers. Predictive technologies can help CMOs stay laser focused on high-propensity customers who are likely to buy. Hotter leads? More revenues, and therefore a CMO who’s proved his/her value.

Smaller marketing technology budgets mean more scrutiny on spend

According to IDC’s research, the largest share of marketing program spend next year—28 percent—will go towards advertising, followed by events and direct marketing. Interestingly, only 4 percent of budgets are planned for marketing technology. The takeaway? CMOs must be diligent about onboarding technology that is truly worth the expenditure. Predictive intelligence technology, which has a direct impact on revenue growth by uncovering likely-to-close deals, is one example of a tool that is likely to receive internal buy-in.

With marketing budgets steadily on the rise and more choices of marketing technology than ever before, for the first time CMOs and their teams can actually prove their worth. As we like to say at 6sense, imagine a world where sales reports to marketing. That world might not be so far away! Rich Vancil, group VP-executive advisory group, IDC agrees, commenting in a recent interview with AdAge, “It’s marketing’s time to rise to the challenge—to understand the new buyer’s journey and radically transform marketing.”

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