What does one experienced expert in marketing operations think are the primary challenges facing CMOs today? At the recent MarTech Conference in Boston, the Pedowitz Group’s chief strategy officer, Debbie Qaqish, discussed the three challenges she sees as most important.
- Digital Transformation. Although this has been a topic for several years, it still remains on Qaqish’s radar because we live in a “tech-infused world.” Citing data from a 2015 CMO.com report that she believes remains relevant, Qaqish said:
- Unfamiliarity with marketing technology was seen as a barrier by over half of senior executives.
- 48% of marketers cited a lack of confidence in their digital ability.
- Only 27% of marketers considered digital transformation to be a “matter of survival.”
Even after three years, the report and data remain on point. Qaqish says they point to the continuing need for marketers to learn to leverage technology, which can help with bringing down silos within an organization with its integrated systems.
- Business Accountability. According to a study from Duke University, an obligation to deliver ROI, revenue and growth is felt by 80% of CMOs, but only one-third of them report financial results. Qaqish believes that financial accountability is integral to the future of CMOs. By taking on accountability for financial metrics, the CMO becomes relevant in the board room.
- Customer Experience. By 2020, Qaqish sees customer experience overtaking price and product as the primary brand distinction. She says that “customer experience is the new competitive battleground, because while products and prices can be replicated, an experience cannot.” With all the technology available to consumers today, they are in control.
Qaqish believes that marketing operations teams must concentrate on these three challenges as they work to surmount their main obstacles.