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.
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)
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.
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.