Mind the gap: Marketers split on the power of data

finance v marketingMarketing chiefs are split down the middle when it comes to whether data hinders or helps them, with 42% of CMOs believing data is harming creativity and 41% insisting it actually helps; a confused 17% cannot make up their minds either way.

A new report from Adverity, entitled “Data, People, and Culture: The Evolving Role of the Modern CMO”, surveyed 300 CMOs across the US, UK, and DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) from small to medium-sized businesses, to better understand how the role of the CMO is changing amid the growing digitalisation of the industry.

Crucially, it reveals that those CMOs who say data greatly hinders creativity are twice as likely to struggle with a lack of tools.

Furthermore, responses suggest that nearly a third (30%) of marketing teams only review data once every three months or less, and more than two-fifths (43%) feel the greatest barrier to getting value from their marketing data is related to company culture.

Meanwhile, the need for a dedicated marketing ops role to manage martech stacks has accelerated dramatically. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of CMOs are committed to introducing this role to their team: 45% already have someone in place, and a further 28% are currently hiring. Only 12% of CMOs have had one in place for more than a year.

When it comes to talent, two-thirds (66%) of CMOs say it is harder to hire new employees with a data background than to upskill their current team, although over a third (36%) said retention is becoming increasingly difficult. It seems that even if marketers find a data hire, there is no guarantee they will stick around.

Half (49%) agree the amount of manual reporting required is putting people off wanting to work in their marketing team.

CMOs are also having trouble getting the rest of the C-suite on their side with 17% saying there is a lack of enthusiasm from leadership. This is also leading to cumbersome legacy workflows, and the silos and bottlenecks that come with them (15%).

When it comes to the nitty-gritty on data, more than two-fifths (43%) of CMOs say their team spends more time getting data in one place than they do actually using it to make decisions, which can be time-consuming, inefficient and prone to human error.

A similar number (38%) say not having the right tech to consistently deliver valuable insights from data is a hindrance, followed by having people with the right skill sets (19%).

Finally, 18% of respondents claim the biggest single reason they are struggling to get value from their data is a lack of tools to manage it.

Adverity chief marketing officer Harriet Durnford-Smith said: “Marketers are faced with huge volumes of data streaming in from multiple sources, so it’s not at all surprising to see CMOs are focused on investing in people dedicated to managing the entire data stack.

“Without eyes on the big picture, insight-driven decision making becomes nearly impossible. It’s staggering that 30% are only reviewing their data sporadically – in today’s data-driven marketplace, brands are in danger of counting themselves out of the race if they don’t have a single unified view of performance, in real-time.

“Now is the time for CMOs to champion change in company culture and embrace the opportunities that data brings.”

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