Digital marketing tools are developing at such a break-neck speed that chief marketing officers who are not tech-savvy will soon be left on the shelf, according to Forrester.
A new study, “The CMO’s Role in Technology Purchasing”, claims the days when CMOs could simply focus on the creative side – what many dub “the pretty pictures” – are well and truly over; as the number of channels increases, marketers are being forced to rely heavily on technology to handle that fragmentation.
But the speed of change has caught many CMOs on the hop, leading to them wasting often tens of thousands of pounds on tools they thought they needed, without going through IT.
Forrester recommends CMOs define and execute a road map based on their buyer’s journey. This includes identifying which technologies are most marketing intensive, such as customer facing, customer enabling, marketing operations and analytics technologies. Additionally, CMOs must find vendors which support their strategy.
In order to make those vendor selections, however, CMOs must develop the technical skills to evaluate those vendors. This includes developing the process skills to drive technology choices, become interested in the outcome of decisions made to select vendors, and capitalising on the importance of integrating data from disparate sources.
Sheryl Pattek, the Forrester analyst who wrote the report, said the “simple life” is a thing of the past. “The digital revolution has forever changed the balance of power, putting customers in charge. Whether you’re ready or not, you’ve now become a technologist. As a CMO, success in today’s data-driven, customer-centered, automated world, it’s not a question of whether technology plays a role in marketing; it’s what role you’ll need to play in building the right technology infrastructure to drive your marketing success.
“It’s time for CMOs to understand how technology fits into the new marketing equation and lead efforts to implement the right technology solution for their organisations.”
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