CMOs are drowning in data and distracted from consumer behaviour

Ones and zeros representing data.
CMOs are drowning in data and distracted from consumer behaviour
Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

A third of CMOs (33%) are more focused on the impact of rising number of channels and platforms than increasingly complicated consumer behaviour (17%), according to new research from integrated marketing data platform Adverity.

Findings also suggest that related growth in data volumes may be a significant cause behind this imbalance of priorities.

Titled ‘Recession, Resilience, & Marketing Data: What’s shaping the CMO’s roadmap?’, the report surveyed 300 CMOs across the US, UK, and DACH region from small to midsize businesses (SMBs). The research uncovers key challenges for CMOs in the current climate of accelerated change, digitalisation and uncertainty, and results indicate data handling issues are hindering efficiency.

While 85% of CMOs agree the capacity to make data-driven decisions is a critical competitive advantage, many are struggling to ensure effective data management. Almost seven in ten (67%) feel the volume of marketing data available has become overwhelming, with 99% using 10 or more data sources and 52% using 14 or more. These findings suggest many businesses are at risk of missteps as the global economy declines, with unwieldy data preventing smart pivots, and distracting CMOs from the need to align experiences with shifting consumer needs.

Although 29% of CMOs are planning to enhance internal capabilities by increasing their data operations budget through 2022, this push towards increased spending doesn’t translate across the board. Nearly as many (27%) say their budget has decreased and the majority (44%) are working with the same spending pot as last year, with those identifying as ‘least resilient’ to black swan events in recent years more likely to cite budget reductions.

Meanwhile, lack of knowledge within the business (27%), is the most common blocker to investing in data tech. This is closely followed by the perception that adopting new tech will be too complicated (23%), while only 8% indicate the main barrier to investing in tech is securing budget.

Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO at Adverity, said: “CMOs have become overly bogged down by data challenges and lost sight of their core purpose: meeting the needs of the consumer. How they got here isn’t hard to understand. As channels and platforms have expanded, so has the quantity of incoming data about audience interactions and marketing performance. Failing to implement efficient systems for managing this data, however, means they are now wary of smart tools and battling to bring disordered information into order, when they should be using it to inform efforts that create consistently strong consumer connections.

“Fixing this problem is far from impossible, but CMOs need to move quickly as global market conditions worsen. Combined with an existing cost of living crisis, looming recession is spelling a gloomy financial outlook for consumers, making it increasingly critical for marketers to offer greater value, as well as demonstrating responsibility and sensitivity. Only with a unified supply of accurate insights can they pinpoint the best path to driving relevant, meaningful, and empathetic conversations, which fuel long-term bonds and trust.”

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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