Whitepaper: The Future CMO - Recalibrating data to influence

Key contributors: Trent Yunus (Data Science Director at 26), Alexander Reschke (CMO at Data Virtuality) & Sam Gilbert (Former CMO & Author of 'Good Data'),

Predictive, Not Predictable

Death of the CMO? – 2012
The Death Of The CMO – 2015
The Death Of The CMO – 2017
The Sad Demise of the Chief Marketing Officer - 2020

The headlines above have many things in common. Namely, they’re all wrong. Editorials have been predicting (somewhat melodramatically) the imminent death of the Chief Marketing Officer for the past decade. Yet the role still persists, even as the profession is plagued by significant employee churn. By 2020, the average tenure of CMOs had declined to around forty months.

The instability of the role does not mean that it’s impossible for CMOs to deliver on the expectations of the modern boardroom as the headlines above suggest. Nothing could be further from the truth. CMOs must, however, be realistic. It is essential to recognise and embrace the need to refocus their marketing efforts, which are often insufficient by today’s standards.

Why marketing fatalism is fatally flawed

Marketing is not the same as it was even five years ago. Despite persistent market disruptions, the majority of large enterprises are no better placed to weather economic turbulence today than they were at the onset of the digital revolution, especially in the continually troubled retail sector.

Plummeting consumer loyalty post COVID-19 is yet more evidence, if it were needed, that brands in all industries cannot trade in the same currency as before. At a basic level, it makes no sense to make assumptions based on predictable customer behaviour in a dramatically altered economy. Customer habits have changed and are likely to continue to do so, making forecasts and plans designed a few years ago less relevant over time.

However there is hope, especially as the picture is not uniform across all brands. Greater understanding of data and analytics has unleashed the potential of some companies, as they charge ahead of their competition. Others are left, meanwhile, in an increasingly precarious position. 

Predictive analytics, assessing and triggering marketing activities that react to evolving customer behaviours, is a highly impactful way that companies can competitively optimise their operations. If that sounds like the perfect end goal for a marketing function, that’s because it is. Indeed, the predictive analytics market is set to grow by a CAGR of 21.7% by 2026 to reach an approximate total value of $28.1 bn (USD). The CMO is the senior person best placed to execute such a transformation. They have, in short, never been more critical to the sustained success of their companies than right now.

"In the last 15 years, data science has gone from being a competitive advantage for marketing departments to an essential competence they simply can't do without."

- Sam Gilbert, Author, Good Data, and Former CMO, Bought By Many

Unleash your potential

In our latest whitepaper, we look to inspire ambitious CMOs that recognise the urgent need to recalibrate their marketing functions for the survival of their business. Download your copy today to understand:

  • Limiting factors restricting CMO responses to market challenges 
  • How the CMO can redesign marketing functions around data
  • How data helps CMOs predict the future
  • How CMOs can become indispensable to the C-suite.

At 26, we help brands create experiences that deeply connect with their customers, deliver powerful results and accelerate their position in the digital-first world. 

Register for a free data maturity audit to kickstart your marketing transformation today.

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