70% of CMOs Say Technology Is Key to Efficiency

BY Kathy Crosett
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We aren’t ready to put the current pandemic behind us quite yet, but marketers are planning for a brighter future by using marketing technology and outside contractors. In fact, 70% of CMOs say technology is key to efficiency. Two new research reports show how large organizations will position themselves for success by shifting spending to marketing technology. Large organizations also signaled their intent to hire contractors with expertise in important marketing services niches.

 Shifting Marketing Budgets

The New Normal 2021 Benchmark Report from StrategyBox reveals how large marketers responded to the COVID-​19 crisis, how they shifted money to increase advertising impact, and how they plan to excel going forward. The survey solicited the opinions of 100 C‑suite executives overseeing organizations with at least $50 million in annual revenue.

These company leaders faced tough decisions in March 2020. To maintain a market presence, 73% of these businesses paid for last year’s added investment in marketing technology by using money they would have spent on events and travel and entertainment. Specifically, organizations surveyed by StrategyBox increased digital ad spend by 64% and digital agency spend by 72%. They also pumped up their content marketing (37%) and influencer campaigns (36%).

Despite this increase in spending, only 37% of CMOs believe their marketing teams know how their campaigns are working, in comparison to the targets they’ve set. And they’re not sure which channels are working best for them. Going forward, 44% of marketers want to focus on brand reputation and 38% are uncertain about how to optimize their spending to get the best ROI.

The StrategyBox survey results show that only 35% of C‑suite execs have full confidence in their marketing team’s ability to deliver results. Nearly half worry about whether they’re marketing through the best channels and how they compare to competitors. You can help your clients alleviate these concerns by running a comparative Digital Audit. That tool, available from AdMall by SalesFuel, shows a marketer’s digital presence in comparison to two competitor businesses.

Technology is Key to Efficiency

The new normal for many CMOs is all about how to get more done efficiently. 70% of marketers say technology is key to efficiency. That stat comes from the CMO Council’s new Scaling the Value of the CMO report, also sponsored by Chief Outsider, an “executives-​as-​a-​service” firm. About half of CMOs want to improve conversion rates of their leads by using data and digital tools. And for all of the trouble marketers have had because of the pandemic, 65% will have more money to spend this year.

The CMO Council study shows “86% of senior marketers believe lack of leadership depth and capabilities has resulted in missed revenue, growth and customer acquisition opportunities.” In an added complication, CMOs also face challenges hiring the talent they need in functional areas. To remedy this situation, CMOs are taking on interim workers and contractors. If you’re selling digital marketing services, you may be able to win a contract if you can demonstrate expertise in the area where CMOs want to see improvement:

  • Customer journey, acquisition and conversion 44%
  • Segmentation and personalized messaging (at scale) 42%
  • Acting on customer data insight 37%
  • Demand generation 31%
  • Marketing planning to support digital growth 30%

The CMO analysis focused on leaders in global organizations. And 54% of these leaders noted they only had partial capacity to carry out multi-​level, multi-​channel campaigns at the local level.

Your understanding of the local market can make a difference when you compete for contracts. Keep in mind that 22% of these large organization expect to outsource some of their functions to contractors.