CMOs Struggle to Communicate Insights to Executive Teams

August 9, 2021

BrandMaker CMO Challenges Presenting to Exec Team Aug2021Some 9 in 10 (91% of) CMOs report facing challenges when presenting data to their executive teams. Here are the areas a survey [download page] from BrandMaker and Dimensional Research found to be the most troublesome.

About two-thirds (65%) of the CMOs and VP-level marketing executives surveyed say that one of the top 3 challenges they face when preparing presentations for their executive teams on marketing activities and outcomes is simplifying the detailed operational data their team provides into meaningful insights.

This is not the only challenge related to data that CMOs are encountering when presenting to their executive team. Close to half (47% selecting among top 3) say that although they have ample data, they struggle with aggregating it into ROI proof points, while others say that, due to having so many sources of data, they find it hard to make sense of it (41% selecting among top 3). Meanwhile, one-quarter say that one of their top challenges is an inability to access real-time data and 1 in 10 (11%) say a key challenge is not completely trusting the data they are presenting.

Beyond challenges specific to data, many CMOs struggle with communicating strategy with stakeholders who are not marketing experts, with 52% placing this among their top 3 challenges. This is even though about two-thirds (64%) consider marketing strategy to be one of the functions they, themselves, are best at (top 2 choices).

CMOs are Tasking Marketing Ops with Integrating Martech Stacks

Marketing operations is another CMO-level function many respondents feel they are best at. When asked what traits set marketing ops professionals apart from the rest of their marketing staff, the top characteristics include that these individuals, who are often tasked with integrating marketing strategies, are more logical and less emotional and that they are likely to want a structured management style, while others say they are more likely to struggle with loosely defined projects.

About two-fifths (39%) of CMOs say that inadequate technology to support efficient marketing ops and new workflows is one of the top barriers (top 2 choices) their marketing faces in effectively responding to changing market environments. Perhaps in response, 9 in 10 (89%) plan to increase their investment in marketing operations solutions this year.

However, although about half (51%) of CMOs would like to see their marketing ops team better integrate their martech stack this year, only 4 in 10 cited integrating existing martech as one of the key areas of investment for marketing ops solutions. Furthermore, a report from Ascend2 found that the ability to integrate with the existing stack is low on the list of considerations when evaluating new martech.

The Challenges of Going Global

Only 1 in 10 CMOs say that struggles with global campaign coordination have no impact on their marketing programs. The rest say that these struggles have led to missed opportunities for seasonal or other time-specific programs (44%) and make it difficult to quickly shift resources to respond to market changes (43%).

Some 4 in 10 (41%) also say that localization is slow and adds significant delays to programs. However, earlier research shows that a lack of localization has a negative impact on customer engagement.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 114 CMO and VP-level marketing executives at Retail, Financial Services or FMCG companies with more than 500 employees.

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