The incredible pace of technological development hasn’t just impacted the IT end of business: it has wrought massive changes throughout. More than anywhere else, perhaps, these digital trends have hit marketing.
Even a decade ago, there were a small handful of communication streams between a company and potential clients, and these were easily quantified. Now, CMOs have to contend with disparate social media streams they may not have direct control over, as well as the falling value of more traditional marketing streams.
CMOs are, therefore, in a uniquely difficult position in the modern world, contending with increased digitisation, dealing with massive amounts of data to justify marketing’s role, and wrestling with the increasing number of channels and marketing actors.
Digital is the new normal
Many, if not most, people who have made it to the position of CMO grew up in a world where digital was the realm of the IT team; however, the world has rapidly changed and marketing teams need to get on board with it quickly.
Firstly, this means getting to grips with digital marketing, and customers’ growing content expectation. While digital marketing might seem like ‘more of the same,’ once the information is out there, you have very little control over the message: replies, shares, and retweets can all prove to be more viral than the original message, leading to unintended messaging.
Tech-savvy customers also demand consistent and informative messaging across communication streams, increased personal interaction on social platforms, and far more technical detail, which requires a whole new approach to marketing.
Proving the Value of Marketing
Partially because of the digital revolution, CMOs have a much more difficult time proving the value of marketing: not because of a lack of information, but because there is simply too much data across too many channels.
Again, this means that CMOs, as well as their teams, need to rapidly expand their skillsets to deal with an increasingly tech-centric industry. Data analysis and visualisation, far from being specialised skills, need to be brought to the forefront in order for a CMO to effectively tie their efforts to increased profits, especially when trying to tie profits to certain messaging or channels.
Working across skillsets
In addition, because of this increased digitalisation of marketing, a CMO needs to be able to bridge the gaps between technical and non-technical individuals, ensuring that all segments are working to a consistent message.
The data analytic and digital marketing requirements will mean an increasingly technical marketing team, which an effective CMO will need to be able to communicate with on a technical level, as well as communicating with other ‘traditional’ marketing professionals in a less technical manner.
As ever, the CMO needs to ensure that the entire company is focused on a unified marketing message; however, with vast amounts of data increasingly available, this will be a more difficult task than before.
More than anything else, then, CMOs need to improve their technical skillsets to succeed in the digital age: but they don’t have to do it alone. Contacting Clifford Associates for senior digital professionals can help increase the resources available to any CMO.
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