At the dawn of a new digital age, the role of the marketing professional is evolving into a hybrid function requiring an ability to understand marketing, IT, technology and new ways to engage with audiences through the use of digital channels.
Most marketing departments are expanding to encompass multiple marketing channels leading to the generation of large volumes of valuable data providing the opportunity to put the customer at the centre of a company’s marketing engagement.
The role of the CMO will need to be radically transformed in order to achieve and excel in an environment driven by customer demands for multiple choices, data information overload and increasing marketing technology spend.
Data generated by companies is projected to rise by 40 percent per annum, according to research by the McKinsey Global institute. Furthermore, Gartner predicts that marketing spend on technology will surpass IT by 2017.
With so much data available on the behaviour of customers and prospects being produced and at an ever-increasing rate, volume is not necessarily the only challenge. An overall understanding of and the ability to turn raw data into actionable insight that can deliver intelligent marketing will be the key.
Or simply put IT is marketing’s new best friend and a successful alliance between the two will certainly help to ensure success for the future.
Here are the top 10 reasons why the Chief Marketing Officer role will change:
- The CMO definition has become subject to discussion as the role is becoming more complex and critical.
- New ways of marketing rely greatly on technology and therefore the support of IT, a CMO will need to have a good grasp of both disciplines.
- Cross departmental collaboration requirements will mean a change in the way roles are viewed and the way in which management is structured.
- Understanding the mix of Customer Journey vs Content Marketing vs Thought Leadership will be critical. It’s about the right type of engagement through the right marketing channel (or mix of channels) at the right time.
- True integration of marketing across multiple marketing channels requires a holistic view.
- How well do you know your customers? Or rather how easily can gain insight from your marketing data? An understanding of this will be a critical aspect of the CMO’s role.
- Reliance on data and a solid grasp of data analysis will form part of the recruitment process for future positions.
- New skills requirement mean new ways to achieve continuous professional development must be taken into account and considered.
- New tools and processes required in order to execute and achieve results for marketing will need to be understood.
- Increased digital marketing spend to stay ahead of the competition will need to be managed and monitored carefully.
But as always, the only constant is change so who knows what other challenges marketing will face moving forward. With a flexible approach, appetite for ongoing learning and never taking anything for granted, the status quo will never be the same and the role of the CMO will continue to morph into the hybrid role it is destined to become.