Marketing leaders highlight a number of critical priorities in their budgets. The following capabilities rose to the top: Market research and competitive insights (named as top-three priority by 32% of respondents); marketing analytics (32%); digital commerce (31%); and marketing operations (30%).
Insights and analytics have appeared on the CMO priority list for years, with good reason — 76% of marketing leaders say they use data and analytics to drive key decisions. Yet marketing organizations also struggle to evolve their data capabilities. Continued investment in technology and data talent is not optional for those with ambitions for their data.
One of the data challenges many marketers must overcome is a bias for volume metrics over value metrics. Volume metrics track performance or efficiency. Value metrics, in contrast, assess the quality of an interaction or its impact on the customer relationship and on profitability. Only together do they give marketers necessary insight into customer engagement and loyalty. Analytics investments should take that into account and move toward a more balanced mix of performance data.
The rise of marketing operations in this year’s survey is also noteworthy. A range of strategic capabilities are increasingly collected under the control of a discrete operations function. No longer is ops limited to finance and budgeting. Increasingly, it’s overseeing digital project management and talent development. This ascent up the marketer’s priority list signals a strategic focus on improving the business management at marketing’s core.
How CMOs spend their budgets sends a clear signal about where they’re placing future bets. Marketing’s continued financial commitment to digital channels and to data and analytics makes clear its intention to maintain its reign at the center of business transformation toward technology-enabled, digitally capable models.
Learn more about how and where CMOs are investing in the complimentary Annual CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020 research by Ewan McIntyre and Anna Maria Virzi.