Dan Roden, Senior Director – Product Advocacy, Domo, discussed the importance of chief marketing officers and their role in today's organizations in his presentation to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2016 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum: Fall Event in San Francisco on Nov. 10. In his presentation, Roden described why many CMOs fall short in the eyes of CEOs and how CMOs can deliver long-lasting value within their respective organizations.
According to Roden, technology alone fails to provide CMOs with a quick, easy way to manage data. Instead, CMOs must understand how to utilize processes and people to ensure they can maximize the value of data that is available day after day.
For today's CMOs, it is paramount to collect and assess data regularly. By doing so, CMOs can understand a business' strengths and weaknesses, how a company builds long-lasting relationships with customers and more.
Plus, data empowers CMOs with the information that they need to make more informed business decisions. With sufficient data at their disposal, CMOs may be better equipped to justify their investments to C-suite executives within their respective organizations as well.
"The number one thing you can do to put yourself in a hole is to not know numbers," Roden said. "[CMOs] have a massive responsibility to know what they're doing."
Roden pointed out that showing a return on investment (ROI) to C-suite executives represents the number one challenge for CMOs, and for good reason. Without the ability to highlight the ROI of a marketing campaign, CMOs will struggle to get the support they need to drive meaningful business enhancements.
"The number one thing you can do to put yourself in a hole is to not know numbers. [CMOs] have a massive responsibility to know what they're doing."
Having the ability to understand data and highlight its value to all members of a company may help CMOs drive ongoing business improvements. However, in many instances, a lack of data collection capabilities may challenge CMOs at businesses of all sizes.
"I need more real-time data so I can answer questions and so I can pivot," Roden noted. "I need more sales information. I need more details, because I just don't have enough data."
On the other hand, the sheer volume of data and data sources could overwhelm CMOs. Although technologies are available to help CMOs collect and evaluate data consistently, these tools could deliver limited ROI, particularly for business professionals who lack the people and processes needed to optimize their value.
"Our [data] answers aren't in our inbox," Roden stated. "Your answers to your problems are not in [a single source], but a portion [of the answers] is available."
CMOs often will commit substantial time and resources to deploy state-of-the-art data collection and management technologies. These tools may make it simple for CMOs to retrieve data from a broad array of online sources, but business professionals who fail to gain actionable insights from this information could struggle to help a company extend its reach.
CMOs must utilize data collection and management technologies in conjunction with members of various departments. By doing so, CMOs can make data analysis a collaborative effort, one that enables a company to make the most of the data that is available at any time.
"A lot of times, we run into trouble because there's not a lot of effort or focus on the process," Roden said. "Ultimately, what it comes down to. … is can you feel confident that you know what you are doing."
Furthermore, CMOs must be able to use data to find out how a marketing campaign helps a company drive revenue growth.
"[Data management] has nothing to do with technology. It's all about process and people."
To accomplish this feat, CMOs will need to develop effective data collection and management processes. CMOs also will need to devote the necessary time and resources to mine data and calculate ROI correctly.
"If you're calculating your ROI back to your lead source … you're miscalculating," Roden noted. "You need to get the truth. You need to go to the source of truth for your company and go to the financial system. This is where ROI is calculated."
How CMOs approach data collection and management may dictate how a company drives business enhancements.
If CMOs rely solely on technology, these business professionals may find it difficult to understand data and maximize its value. Comparatively, CMOs who understand how to make data collection and management a collaborative effort to work with members of multiple departments, recognize the true value of data and use it to make more informed business decisions both now and in the future.
Data collection and management may seem challenging at first, but CMOs who emphasize a collaborative approach can use data to understand ROI. Thus, these CMOs will be able to evaluate all aspects of the customer journey and use data to help a business gain a competitive advantage over its rivals.
"[Data management] has nothing to do with technology. It's all about process and people," Roden stated.