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It’s a challenge for marketing departments to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change, let alone entire organisations. Back in 2013, Scott Brinker dubbed this as ‘Martec’s law’ whereby ‘Technology changes exponentially, but organisations change logarithmically.’
Martec’s law. Source: Scott Brinker - chiefmartech.com
The rapid pace of innovation has led to shorter product life cycles, more markets to address, and a lot of stress. Process optimisation is necessary for achieving time-to-market goals. CMOs need to do more with less and simultaneously rethink their go-to-market strategy. The risk of delaying time-to-market is too high. It can result in loss of market share and brand damage.
Agility is paramount in an age of instant change. Improving your team’s ability to react to new market conditions will improve your chances for success. Part of this effort is to remove as many roadblocks as possible and automate tasks. When creating multilingual content, if your team can order translations from within your CMS or PIM, you will save about 20 minutes per page of content. The time you save adds up, providing you with the ability to focus on other valuable and strategic tasks.
There are two kinds of enterprises in the world: those that have been hacked and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked yet. At least, that’s how the saying goes. What’s clear from this is that your data has value, and people will attack your business to try to get it.
However, malicious hackers compromising data is only half of the story. Businesses must comply with data privacy and security regulations, such as EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
Ross Mason, founder of MuleSoft, has a great analogy for the problems brands face: ‘Imagine a house with many closed doors and windows that represent access to enterprise data. Over the years, people have likely opened up most of the windows, the back door and even dug tunnels to gain access. With all of these visible and hidden points of entry, it’s tough to lock down the data, understand who uses it, where they use it and where it goes when it leaves the four walls of the enterprise.’
As you may have already recognised, extra resources would help to solve many of the challenges CMOs face. Digital transformation, rapid technological change, data security, organisational change and attaining a shorter time-to-market all put strains on your budget and team. The year-on-year challenge is to show ROI so that you can optimise how you invest. Proving the ROI of your activities isn’t only helpful for taking decisions, but it is vital for maintaining a functioning marketing team.
A method for calculating marketing ROI. Source: HBR
We need to stop looking at marketing as an expense and justify it as an investment. This shift to prove marketing ROI makes sense. Being able to objectively compare investments aids the decision-making process. When requesting a budget, being able to say ‘every euro we put in gives 1.2 in return’ is a strong argument.
As you can see, the way forward for the CMO is not a walk in the park. Staying ahead of the pack requires continual improvement and effort. As described in this post, however, with some forward thinking, clarity of vision and cutting through various forms of complexity to evolve organisations, much can be achieved in the quest to keep your brand relevant.