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.
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.