How To Feed A CMO’s Left Brain – Part 1

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We recently introduced personas to our website. More specifically, the personas who perform the Marketing roles that are most influenced by Analytics.

And on the totem pole of the Marketing organization, none is higher than the CMO.

Why should a CMO care about analytics? Isn’t the Marketing team considered as the ‘creative’ side of the house? If so, why should its leader care about cold numbers?

The problem is, this view of Marketing as only consisting of right-brained people who are not subject to the boring world of budgets, investments, and ROI is no longer true. Given the rise of Marketing (especially Digital Marketing), the role of the CMO has come under severe scrutiny.

The 3 main questions that the CMO gets from the boardroom are:

  1. What is the contribution of Marketing to the top/bottom line of the organization?
  2. When will Marketing stop being a ‘cost center’?
  3. How is Marketing influencing our customers’ journeys?

A CMO can answer these questions only through the use of analytics. There’s tons of data out there but unless the CMO knows what the needles look like, there’s no point in searching through the haystacks of data.

There’s a point of view that the CMO should partner with the CIO in order to successfully unearth the necessary answers to the above questions. Here’s an interesting study by McKinsey that explores the various facets of this partnership in more detail.

Unfortunately, only a relatively few forward thinking CIOs have made the jump from taking care of ‘back-office’ systems to dealing with ‘front-office’ Line of Business projects. This leads to frustrating and time-consuming efforts by the CMO to get his/her questions answered by IT.

So, what are the other options available to the CMO? In Part 2 of this post, we will explore some of them in more detail.