A CMO’s Guide to 2024: Proactive Fiscal Planning, Marketing Attribution, & Storytelling

If the first half of 2023 had a slogan for CMOs, it would undoubtedly be, “Do More With Less.” And the tagline that followed would probably be something along the lines of, “Good luck figuring that out!”

Unfortunately, it’s not just us who think so. A Gartner survey found that 75% of CMOs say they’re being pressured to do more with less and still deliver profitable growth. Clearly, tightening budgets and the mandate to grow revenue despite that is causing some challenges. 

However, with the right planning and pivots now, CMOs can plan smarter going into 2024. Let’s break down what lessons 2023 has taught us so far, what strategies will be crucial for CMOs going into 2024, and how CMOs can get their new plans off the ground with a B2B marketing partner like Inverta.

Hard Lessons Learned in 2023

Let’s address the biggest elephant in the room first when it comes to 2023’s challenges: Funding. According to 71% of CMOs, they lack the budget to fully execute their strategy for the second half of 2023. Although marketing budgets have stayed relatively even coming into this year (9.1% of total revenue in 2023 vs. 9.5% in 2022), they have still dipped slightly.

The real challenge comes with increasing expectations from the same budget. Because they need to do more with the same or even fewer resources, 86% of marketers said the only way to achieve sustainable results is by making significant adjustments to the marketing function as a whole.

What’s one of these sweeping changes? Cutting martech to focus on ROI. Seventy-five percent of marketers are feeling pressure to cut down on tech. Unfortunately, this should hardly come as a surprise when the number of marketers making good use of their tech stack is decreasing — falling to 42% in 2022 vs. 58% in 2020.

The top factors leading to this steep utilization drop off include:

  • Technology overlap
  • Difficulty finding martech talent
  • Martech complexity/sprawl

If CMOs want to be successful going into 2024, they need to transcend putting out fires and aspire to something greater. This includes focusing on yield and return, embracing scenario planning, and better being able to balance execution now with investments for the future.

3 Strategies CMOs Need to Prove Marketing ROI

While no one can know what the future holds, change is a constant that CMOs need to learn how to navigate. Strategies and priorities need to constantly evolve in order to achieve near-term wins and long-term success. 

To head into 2024 with confidence, here are three winning strategies CMOs can incorporate to stay proactive.

  1. Make Fiscal Planning Your Secret Superpower.

Gone are the days when CMOs would communicate the strategy and CFOs would crunch the numbers. To succeed in this climate, CMOs need to become financially savvy on the same level as the people determining the budget. This means creating a discipline around financial marketing metrics like:

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
  • Marketing Originated Customer Percentage (MOCP)
  • Marketing Influenced Customer Percentage (MICP)
  1. Make Marketing Attribution Crystal Clear.

CMOs who track and present clearly defined marketing attribution models know which channels and campaigns are driving sales and revenue. This helps CMOs successfully advocate for and allocate resources to the channels that are driving profitability and results. 

  1. Make Marketing Tell a Story.

Finally, CMOs who embrace a narrative approach to how marketing fits into an organization’s overall objectives will find more success than those presenting numbers alone. Garnering buy-in from top executives is key for continued support and success. 

People already think in stories. Make sure yours is compelling.

Inverta’s Experienced Team Can Help CMOs Navigate New Waters

Ultimately, successful CMOs proactively pivot their organizations when times are volatile. It’s much easier said than done. Trust us, we’ve been in your shoes.

That’s why Inverta offers strategy and planning services to CMOs where we can help you determine priorities, navigate complex political and cultural environments, or operationalize your strategy. In fact, our new Campaign in a Box offer can get a campaign up and running in as little as eight weeks, delivering results within six months.

Learn More About Inverta

  • Interested in how Inverta can help you with annual planning? Contact us here.
  • Peruse through our annual planning-specific webpage that contains assets and resources, including a marketing operational index assessment from our partner, Planful.

It’s Time to Do More With Your Intent Data

The pressure to prove your marketing efforts are driving value is on. With 41% of marketers feeling the squeeze to demonstrate value, having an ace in your marketing strategy’s back pocket is less a stroke of luck than a requirement to play the game. 

Leveraging intent data can be your ace. Not only do marketers who wield intent data say they’re more confident in proving the value of data-driven marketing programs (61% vs. 37%), they’re also more confident in delivering value with lead quality, refining their target audience, and content/campaign effectiveness. 

Despite the benefits, only 38% of marketers report using intent data. Clearly, intent data is a treasure trove of information just waiting to be plundered. As more sophisticated AI and machine learning (ML) technology becomes commonplace, intent data is only becoming more accurate and timely. 

Let’s examine what it is, why it matters, how to apply it, and how a data-savvy partner can help you increase your confidence and your results by applying intent data. 

What Intent Data Shows & Why it Matters

Intent data gives insights into customer behavior, preferences, and purchase intentions. It’s like a story drawn out from the amalgamation of a user’s online activity in order to predict what they’ll do next. And that’s not all. 

Quality intent data gives insights into a prospect’s research history, including specific competitors or products, and informs messaging strategies and marketing tactics to stay ahead of the competition. It also serves to define roles across marketing and sales functions, keeping both teams in sync when it comes to delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time.

Awesome, right? But with so many other types of data out there, why does applying intent data matter so much? 

While it’s true that marketers who use data at all report a 3x increase in revenues and 78% increase in budgets, marketers using intent data see even better results.

Intent data is highly impactful if you want to drive more pipeline with more high quality leads:

  • 97% of marketers said intent data drives more pipeline than non-intent data leads. 
  • 94% of marketers said intent data leads are high quality.
  • 35% of marketers who experienced significant revenue growth in the last year said intent data had the biggest impact on driving leads.

Using intent data is an untapped opportunity that more and more marketers are planning to invest in — 63% to be exact. To stay ahead of the competition and compete in today’s economic climate, using intent data is table stakes. 

Apply Intent Data to These 4 Areas to Unlock Growth

This begs the question, “how and where can I use intent data effectively?”

We’re so glad you asked. Intent data provides an opportunity for sales and marketing teams to go beyond account identification and prioritization. The difference is using intent data to identify and align your buyer’s needs with customized and contextual messaging when they’re ready for it. 

Here are four different use cases to consider for your intent data:

  1. Demand Generation Campaigns: Intent data can be used to create personalized and targeted campaigns along the buyer journey.
  2. Lead Generation: Intent data can improve lead generation and customer acquisition efforts by accurately identifying potential customers who are actively searching and tailoring messaging to resonate with their specific needs. 
  3. Retention and Upselling: Intent data can be used to monitor signals indicating a customer’s likelihood to churn or add more products or services. This enhances customer retention and upselling, making it easier for marketers to strengthen customer loyalty and increase revenue passively.
  4. Content: Intent data is a gold mine for fueling content marketing strategies. Creating compelling content that speaks to your customer’s pain points increases visibility, improves trust, and attracts the right type of buyer in the first place.

How Inverta Can Help You Apply Intent Data ASAP

When it comes to choosing a data partner, marketers care twice as much about finding a partner who can deliver across a breadth of topics rather than delivering results in one area alone. Inverta is a well-rounded martech agency with the capabilities to help you find intent data as well as put it to use.

Learn More About Inverta

  • If you’re ready to invest in a player, coach, and trusted advisor who can move the needle for your demand generation campaigns, contact us here.
  • Get more insight to intent data Click here to access a unique asset experience that is a compilation of thought-leadership tactics, helpful tools, and useful reference guides

Give Marketers Back Time With Smart & Efficient Campaign Planning

If your marketing activities these days feel more like a giant game of whack-a-mole than a series of intentional strategic moves, you’re not alone. In an economic climate that’s so up in the air, it’s common for marketers to shift their focus to projects that need more attention in the moment over long-term strategic planning for the future.  

After all, without quick wins to remind leaders of their importance, marketing budgets can easily find themselves on the cutting board. Gaining and maintaining stakeholder support is a concern for 16% of marketers in 2023, demonstrating just how important it is for marketing to prove its worth in the midst of uncertain times. 

However, the frenetic focus on day-to-day activities leaves little room to think about long-term strategy. Without a way to implement smart and efficient campaign planning, building for the future can seem impossible without additional headcount. 

Let’s break down the most common challenges facing marketing campaigns today, as well as Inverta’s new Campaign in a Box solution that can launch demand generation campaigns in as quickly as eight weeks.

Challenges Facing Marketers in 2023

Marketers have their work cut out for them in 2023. With increasingly limited budgets, leaders are being forced to get creative and do more with less. Indeed, 17% of marketers anticipate pivoting on strategy as their biggest challenge this year. Making changes at the drop of a hat and doing them well is especially difficult when it comes to driving traffic and putting data to good use.

Driving Traffic, Pipeline, & ROI Is Becoming More Complex

  • A 2022 CMO survey found 80% of marketers see generating predictable pipelines as their top challenge in 2023. 
  • 19% of marketers say generating traffic and leads are the biggest challenge of 2023.
  • 20% of senior marketers say proving ROI on marketing expenses is one of their top challenges.

Siloed Data & Processes Are Limiting Productivity in 2023

  • 17% of senior marketers say they need more actionable insights from their data.
  • Focusing on retention in addition to upselling and expansion is becoming more important.
  • Too many tech stacks are built in silos, and focusing on meeting business needs rather than features will be the key to success this year.

The challenges facing marketers this year are many and varied. In order to succeed now and in the future, finding a way to address these challenges in a cost-effective and timely manner is essential.

How Inverta’s Campaign in a Box Can Help

Inverta’s team of marketing consultants have been in your shoes. We know what challenges are headed your way in 2023, and that’s why we asked ourselves, what if our clients had a turnkey solution at their disposal for their next demand generation campaign? 

That would be a pretty useful tactic to have in their toolkit.

The result? Inverta’s Campaign in a Box. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a tailored and customized campaign designed to boost your pipeline without exhausting your internal resources. 

What does it include? We’re so glad you asked.

  • Program Design: Account selection, personalized messaging, customized channels, and tactics
  • Technology Augmentation: Buyer intent surge data, keyword optimization, targeted display advertising, and more
  • Program Setup and Launch: Full-service execution of the program design
  • Monitoring and Optimization: Weekly assessment of campaign performance and engagement data
  • Performance Reporting: Visibility into engagement data and content intelligence, rolled up to socialize with stakeholders

Campaign in a Box can help if:

  • You need to generate revenue, quickly
  • Your campaigns aren’t benefiting from technology
  • You don’t have the data you need to optimize your demand strategy
  • You’re under pressure to demonstrate ROI
  • You need to stretch your budget
  • Your teams are feeling overwhelmed
  • You need a new way to inject life into your pipeline 

In short, if you’re feeling the heat of increasing your pipeline without the budget to up your resources, Campaign in a Box is a great solution to work smarter when it comes to campaign planning.

Launch a Demand Gen Campaign in Just 8 Weeks With Inverta

The best part about Campaign in a Box? It’s fast. In just eight weeks, we’ll have your campaign ready to launch. By six months, you’ll start seeing tangible results reflected in your pipeline.

Learn More About Inverta

  • If you’re ready to invest in a player, coach, and trusted advisor who can move the needle for your demand generation campaigns, Inverta’s new Campaign in a Box offering can deliver. Contact us here.
  • Learn more about our new campaign in a box solution – click here to access.

Why Demonstrating Marketing ROI Is So Important for CMOs

When times are tough, costs must be cut and spending must be justified. Yet, outcomes must continue, business as usual. This conundrum puts CMOs between a rock and a hard place. How do you deliver results with a tighter budget? More importantly, how can you tie those results to your budget effectively?

The majority of CMOs are turning to a little metric called return on investment (ROI). As macroeconomic uncertainty results in tighter budgets, marketing spend is under more scrutiny than usual. Every dollar spent needs to be correlated with a healthy return, and fast — 77% of CMOs say they’re under pressure to prove increased short-term ROI on marketing campaigns.  

In this blog, we’ll break down why ROI matters right now, what a focus on ROI changes about marketing activity, and how to start delivering ROI despite the current economic climate. 

CMOs Must Track & Prove ROI Faster Than Ever

In the face of a looming recession following several years of pandemic-related upheaval, a laser focus on ROI is a pretty natural response for company leadership. After all, when so much is uncertain, doubling down on the things that are working is a no-brainer. 

This certainly seems to be the case. Nearly 37% of marketers report that tracking ROI is becoming increasingly front-and-center, especially for larger organizations. Indeed, ROI has risen to the top of company leaders’ priority list. 

Marketers report the top metrics for their CEO, CFO, and board members are:

  • ROI: 48.4%
  • Delivering business outcomes: 39.9%
  • New customer acquisition: 35.8%

Couple this with shifting customer behavior due to inflation, and it’s never been trickier for CMOs to deliver on leaderships’ expectations. As recent Gartner research has identified, the burden to deliver ROI falls heavily on the CMO’s shoulders. 

“In order to meet the enterprise mandate of driving growth amid continued disruption, CMOs must act decisively to prioritize their investments and their strategy for the year ahead [2023],” said Ewan McIntyre, Gartner Marketing’s Chief of Research.

The Impact of an ROI Focus on Marketing Objectives & Outcomes

Prioritizing ROI impacts CMOs’ decisions around marketing activity and outcomes in a variety of ways. Beyond the pressure to deliver ROI in the short term, the current environment has led marketing leaders to worry about their strategy as a whole. 31% of marketing leaders are concerned they’ll have to curb creative campaigns, with an additional 30% worrying they’ll have to operate more reactively instead of proactively. 

This new focus on tying marketing activity to clear-cut returns can be new territory for many marketing activities, presenting challenges for marketers and CMOs alike. For example, when analyzing marketing campaign effectiveness, only 28.4% of marketers report measuring ROI to do so. In fact, 45.7% of marketers say their brand is “too focused” on ROI. 

Clearly, there is a large disconnect between the metrics the CEO and CFO want to see and what marketers believe is important. In bridging that gap, CMOs have their jobs cut out for them. 

In today’s climate, an ROI focus means CMOs have to more or less accomplish all of the following:

  • Work smarter with a tighter budget in order to deliver the same outcomes as before.
  • Help the CEO and CFO understand what ROI means for marketing, and help marketers understand what ROI means according to the CEO and CFO.
  • Ensure a focus on ROI doesn’t distract from impactful marketing activities where ROI is difficult to measure, in both the short and long term.

In short, doing all this with fewer resources is a tall order for CMOs and the organizations they lead.

How To Retain Budget, Maximize Marketing Activity, & Prove ROI

One of the most important things CMOs can do to successfully lead their marketing organizations through uncertain times is learning how to strengthen value calculations that prove marketing’s importance. Although it may seem counterintuitive, this often means moving beyond ROI as an end-all metric and making the case to evaluate budgets on various other inputs instead. 

For example, the ROI of your marketing tech stack can be difficult to tie directly to pipeline numbers, yet it’s essential to marketing activities that do influence revenue. Likewise, long-term strategies may not have an immediate ROI, but they do pay off with time. Striking the right balance between what’s essential for both now and later can be difficult on your own.

Learn More About Inverta

Inverta acts as a player, coach, and trusted advisor when it comes to helping CMOs measure and deliver ROI. Our new campaign-in-a-box solution can build short-term wins while we set up your organization for future success. 

  • Interested in how Inverta can help coach you through a campaign planning strategy? Contact us here.
  • Learn more about our new campaign in a box solution – click here to access.

Check out Conquering Barriers to Activation: The Strategic Chief Marketing Technologist

 

 

Increase Engagement & Martech ROI With Inverta & PathFactory

Making the most of marketing technology is an increasingly important priority for B2B marketing leaders. The market is becoming flooded with more and more martech solutions. Finding the right one and using it strategically is becoming a challenge for marketers. This problem is expected to become more and more common in the coming years.

In 2023, 75% of businesses will increase their technology budgets. 60% of marketers will invest in new software, and 56% will update their data infrastructure. To succeed, marketing campaigns need to be highly strategic, technology-empowered, and operationalized across all marketing functions.

To help marketers unify their technology and activation strategies, Inverta and PathFactory have partnered up. This collaboration will enable marketers to develop customized, captivating, and conversion-oriented experiences across their content, martech, and strategy.

Let’s break down the challenges marketers face, how Inverta’s partnership with PathFactory addresses those problems, and the benefits of applying both Inverta and PathFactory in a B2B marketing organization.

The Challenging Intersection of Technology, Strategy, & Activation

The biggest challenge B2B marketers face today is marrying the full breadth and depth of their marketing technology to their strategy. Strategy and technology both need to inform the other. Still, without the right expertise and focus, it’s all too easy for marketing teams to fall into the trap of trying to activate a strategy without the right tools.

For example, personalization is an increasingly important aspect of content campaigns. Too many campaigns lack:

  • Strategy driven by a deep understanding of the martech stack.
  • Insights from relevant and robust analytics tools.
  • Efficiency, ease-of-use, or scalability.

In the current market, impersonal email campaigns and webinar invites aren’t driving as much value as they used to,” said Dev Ganesan, PathFactory CEO and President. “B2B revenue teams understand that their buyers want personalized and relevant content experiences, yet this is difficult to provide without the right tech stack.

That’s where Inverta and PathFactory’s partnership comes in. Together, we can help companies enrich their marketing strategies and drive revenue by closing the gap between idea and execution, technology and strategy.

The Inverta & PathFactory Approach

So, how does it work? Inverta and PathFactory work together by applying Inverta’s strategic expertise in strategy design and technology activation to PathFactory’s platform so marketers can deliver personalized and automated marketing experiences.

Inverta and PathFactory’s combined approach is unique in several ways. Together, we help B2B marketers like yourself by:

  • Content Strategy and Development: Without a solid content strategy, organizations find it difficult to effectively engage with their target audience, improve their brand image, and ultimately drive conversions. Inverta can assist by auditing what exists, identifying gaps and making recommendations that will create a content map that will effectively speak to their audience.
  • PathFactory Execution Services: Designed to help businesses get the most out of the PathFactory platform, our team will build, manage and optimize PathFactory tracks to ensure that they are delivering the desired results. Additionally, we will help develop use cases that integrate PathFactory into a company’s campaign planning process, which helps to make it a standard channel used across your team.
  • Building Your Tech Strategy: If you’ve ever struggled to prove the ROI of your tech investment, it’s likely because you lack the right strategy to leverage the technology in support of your GTM strategy. We can help guide you through auditing the tech you have, assessing new technologies, and building the use cases to integrate and bring your tech stack to life.
  • Helping With Enablement & Change Management: A fully integrated tech ecosystem, when operating at its fullest potential will require the team to change the way it does things.  So enabling the team on the new processes and investing in change management will ensure your teams fully adopt and put tech investments to use.

We work with clients to operationalize and optimize personalization across messaging, content, and the overall experience with a client’s brand,” said Kathy Macchi, Inverta’s Executive Vice President of Innovation. “Together, Inverta and PathFactory make it easier to bring a B2B marketer’s innovative vision and strategy to life.”

The Outcomes: Improve Engagement, Personalization, & Tech Insights

Ultimately, an Inverta and PathFactory partnership makes sense because of the improved outcomes and ROI that marketing teams can experience when combining the two together. After all, companies who invest in deeper customer data analytics and can apply their findings to strategy make better choices, save money, and come up with more innovative products and services that their customers want.

By applying Inverta’s expertise to PathFactory’s platforms, you can experience benefits like:

  • Increased engagement for your target audiences.
  • Accelerated revenue through personalized content experiences.
  • More audience insights, and content performance data that drives strategy.

Together, we can help your company have a smarter strategy, more connected technology, and accelerated revenue growth. Learn more about how Inverta and PathFactory can help your B2B marketing organization activate technology and improve your strategy. 

Learn More About Inverta

A CMO’s Guide to Growing Revenue With Fewer Resources

Unfortunately, many CMOs are finding themselves on the frontlines of the much-discussed (and uneasily anticipated) economic headwinds of this year. Between employee layoffs and budget cuts in the face of increasing revenue targets, a perfect storm has landed right on the CMO’s doorstep.

If you’re a CMO, the question now remains: What marketing strategies will pave the way for success now and in the future?

To make your existing resources go further, find new growth opportunities amid shifting consumer expectations, and hit revenue targets, something needs to change. In this blog, we’ll break down the challenges CMOs are facing, what top CMOs are doing differently, and how you can think about growth in 2023’s unique market.

Challenges CMOs Are Facing in 2023

While budget inevitably does play a factor in marketing outcomes, strategic planning and execution become even more important during times of uncertainty. Indeed, the problem for many CMOs lies in their organizational processes, core skills, and implementation rather than their wallets.

Underused Tech

What good is adding a new martech tool to your belt if you don’t even use your old tools to their full capacity? (Asking for a friend…well, asking for a lot of friends, actually.) Accordingly to Gartner, marketers used just 42% of their martech stack overall in 2022—a decrease from 58% in 2020.

As more and more tools are emerging, it’s important to remember that your biggest source of untapped potential might be sitting right there in your URL bar. If you’re unsure where to start to get more bang for your buck, try auditing your existing tech stack.

Underdeveloped Skills & Support 

There’s a simple reason a greater portion of marketers might be underutilizing their tech stack: they don’t know how. A majority of martech leaders (64%) agree that their teams lack both the technical skills or support required to operate and increase the usage of their martech stack. Plus, as more marketing organizations are taking on the ownership of their tools, this presents a real challenge for internal teams. 

Couple this with the talent acquisition and retention issues of late (28% of martech leaders have difficulty identifying and recruiting martech talent), and CMOs have a real problem on their hands.

Where’s the ROI?

Finally, a pervasive problem facing CMOs this year is proving the ROI of their tools and processes. Gartner estimates that, despite marketing budgets allocating 31% of resources to marketing operations (MarOps), 72% of MarOps pursuits aren’t resulting in success.

If CMOs are going to be serious about growth during an era of budget squeeze, ironing out the challenges of ROI for the martech stack AND operations is key for success. 

The Solution: A Shifting CMO Role, New Focus, & Smart Growth

If anything, 2023 has demonstrated just how far the CMO role has changed in the last few years. Whereas success used to be more nebulous and targeted to a few small marketing areas of focus, today’s success is much more narrowly defined.

Jim D’Arcangleo, Chief Marketing & Growth Officer of AWeber, says the CMO role of today encompasses much more, including:

  • Utilizing dozens of channel options with dozens of media players
  • Owning GTM plans from end to end, including client engagement and upsell campaigns
  • Purchasing the right tech to enable the strategy
  • Ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of all marketing activity with the data to prove it.

Where CMOs Should Focus Now

So, with all the changes, where is the best place to focus? Bryan Law, CMO at ZoomInfo, believes that it’s in creating a shift in focus from driving volume to driving value instead. That means aligning with sales across metrics, target accounts, campaigns, and outreach. 

How can CMOs do this?

  • Be consistent and distinctive in your marketing approach to capture mindshare.
  • Invest and leverage the right technologies that enable alignment and eliminate silos.

Short-Term Wins, Long-Term Focus

Ultimately, Lisa Ames, CMO at Norwest Venture Partners, gives a word of caution to CMOs making adjustments in 2023 to not get near-sighted. While a focus on ROI-driven performance with short-term demand gen is important, it should be balanced with a long-game effort to improve brand building and market trust. 

Between inflation and a recession, customers will be holding on to their wallets a bit more tightly, and brands who can build long-term value during this time of uncertainty will come out better for it in the end.

Final Takeaways: How Inverta Helps CMOs

At the end of the day, CMOs can jumpstart growth in 2023 if they make a few key adjustments to their strategy and teams today. That might look like jumpstarting your existing team by investing in skill development so your martech has additional use cases, doubling down on proving ROI in the areas where you know it works, or bringing on a marketing consultancy to fill in the gaps.

At Inverta, our team of seasoned marketers can help with everything from martech evaluation and implementation to resource augmentation

Learn More About Inverta