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Are millennial CMOs changing business?

1st Mar 2016
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As predicted by Gartner, CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs have ever done before by 2017, as CEOs back the CMO’s ability to utilise new technologies to generate faster ROI for marketing spend.

It is inevitable that digital transformation will emerge as a priority, as we see a changing of the guard: but why then is it that only 44% of business leaders indicate that they work for companies where digital disruption is a board-level concern?

The answer could be that they’ve got the wrong marketing representation at the board table, as old-guard CMOs are usurped by the millennial.

Stephen Morgan, Co-founder at digital transformation business Squiz, discusses his ‘top tips’ for ensuring that businesses have the right board representation to make sure that digital transformation becomes a key priority.

Enhancing CMO skills

CMOs undeniably have the unique role of being able to deliver technical know-how instantly. From the ability to anticipate consumer trends quickly, to complying vital information across the business, these skills have seen the marketing department technology budget rocket.

The marketing technology industry has had an injection of investment when it comes to the new allocation of budget, priding major innovation and best-in-class technologies across more categories than ever before.

From personalisation tools to intuitive CRM databases, these technologies are created so that they require a low level of commitment and effort to maintain, rather than relying on out-dated and archaic legacy systems.

The speed to market and ROI that these technologies have afforded the CMO has resulted in not only valid data that can prove marketing’s real value to the business, but a greater role for the CMO within organisations.

No place for the old-guard CMO

In this new digitally developed world, there’s no place for the old-guard CMO anymore.

The new generation of marketers are digital natives, and getting ‘up-to-date’ with today’s tech-savvy trends is key. The millennial CMO is much more likely to be plugged in and switched on to the changes in consumer habits and technology that are accelerating the need for transformation.

Millennial CMOs will become well versed in the strategic rationale for technology and won’t see going digital as an ‘option’, but rather a ‘necessity’. They will implement technology more easily to impact the whole business which will put them in a very strong position between the theorists and the technical experts on the IT team.

Finally, they will be able to prove marketing’s real value back to the business, with the ability to show clear and unequivocal ROI. With this, the millennial CMOs will continue to embrace consumer technology trends, allowing them to justify higher budgets in return.

Businesses will consolidate their marketing platforms

Today, we see marketing departments performing more strongly than ever. They are leaner, quicker and much more efficient and effective.

In engaging and converting target audiences to consumer expectations, there has been a resulting dramatic growth in the different technology platforms that they’re using; and this shows no signs of relenting.

At the start of the year, Squiz predicted that the growing number of marketing technology platforms available would drive consolidation over the next three years - as people try to integrate the systems in an attempt to provide seamless experiences.

Businesses going forwards must adapt to this new world by ensuring that they are truly digital in all aspects. This means that brands are managing numerous campaigns across multiple channels and need to be able to understand the role that each is playing in their marketing strategy, ensuring that insights delivered by one platform are shared with the others, developing a single view of the customer.

Consumers now expect every touch-point to be seamless, relevant and effortless, whether they’re using a smartphone, tablet or laptop. This ultimately means that digital is far from an update or an add-on - it’s the future for businesses and it needs to be implemented daily. 

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