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This post was written by Ashley Kramer, chief product and marketing officer at Sisense

The CMO’s role has seen a big evolution over the past year. Deloitte’s 2021 Global Marketing Trends Report indicates that the role of marketing and CMOs has been elevated within the C-suite, with executives citing marketing and sales as one of the most important functional areas in the coming 12 months, second only to data and tech. In a rapidly changing competitive landscape, CMOs can use this moment to drive an analytics-first culture that re-imagines the role of data to increase revenue and grow the business.

CMO as a data evangelist

Marketing was always grounded in data, but often led by gut instinct, which made it difficult to get granular details on the performance of a campaign. The pandemic disrupted businesses as customers changed their buying habits overnight. The journey from prospect to purchase became overwhelmingly digital and self-directed, and customer expectations increased. Consequently, CMOs have had to allocate more resources to digital campaigns and touchpoints.

However, the value of the large amounts of data this generates needs to be captured. Using Business Intelligence and Analytics (BI & A) tools, it is possible to slice and dice the data to get valuable insights about the customer and present it to non-technical users and stakeholders.


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But more importantly, CMOs can bring a holistic picture of the customer to the boardroom and work closely with the CIO/CDO. Per the Deloitte report, 81% CMOs revealed that they now have a significant influence on C-suite conversations related to marketing strategy, as compared to half the number the previous year. CMOs can use the opportunity to highlight marketing’s long-term impact on brand, revenue and growth and champion the customer experience with the data insights. This is particularly helpful to the C-suite since businesses are increasingly under pressure to make their business more customer-centric or risk irrelevancy.

CMO as self-service data advocate

You can get all the data you want, and more, but you will never have enough data analysts to help make sense of the data. So, data-driven marketing efforts can flounder or become piecemeal, and CMOs will find that getting their teams to adopt an analytics-driven culture is nearly impossible. Self-service BI&A is the answer to this dilemma. Here is an example.

A leading cloud-based website development platform which grew rapidly from a start-up to a market leader, discovered that it needed to monitor marketing campaign efficiency and analyze user behavior accurately to maintain market share. They sought a solution to help non-technical business users mine insights from multiple data sources and increase their efficiency manifold. With Sisense, business users had an accessible and flexible solution on hand, one that could handle the high-volume data streaming without disruption. They could easily direct API access to their Google AdWords and Google Analytics data, and easily connect MS-SQL, Oracle and MySQL databases, Excel and CSV files. They could also perform ETL functions within Sisense’s unique Elasticube for greater flexibility. Using Sisense, the organization empowered employees to adopt analytics throughout its marketing operations to stay on top of customer trends.

CMO as leader of the new wave of analytics

CMOs love their data, but insights can get missed when they are inaccessible or hard to share, which has marketers reverting to instinctive decisions. By infusing analytics into workflows and apps, CMOs can drive analytics adoption rates to create a data-first culture within their teams and in the organization. Infused analytics solutions always provide shareability and updated data, empowering business users to optimize their campaigns faster than ever without having to leave their workflows.

CMO as enterprise data weaver

CMOs can take advantage of multiple sources of data that contain hidden information about customer preferences and buying behavior. This could include information from chatbots or even sentiment analysis of social media channels. This data can be siloed away in departments, but with the right BI&A tool that enables sharing of insights, teams across the organization can benefit.

A global mobile company and micro-job firm wanted to tap into the vast amounts of data from its marketing, operations and finance departments. This included the data about their multiple marketing channels (social media, TV ads, influencer, outreach) coming in from across the world, in non-standardized formats. Getting insights for a specific set of KPIs from the data analyst teams would typically take some time and follow-up questions would take longer, which impaired their ability to optimize campaigns.

With a BI & A tool like Sisense, teams in marketing, finance and operations were empowered to become citizen data explorers, investigate the data on their own, create custom dashboards to drill down into the data and get actionable intelligence. The marketing team uses the dashboards to drill into the data, to improve marketing efforts and scan for any problems that could have previously gone unnoticed. Today, access to non-siloed data helps the organization increase overall customer retention, improve earnings, and find the best performing markets and channels.

CMO as digital transformation leader

As the C-suite welcomes insights from marketing, CMOs can take the opportunity to push the organization towards digital transformation. By encouraging the infusion of data analytics into daily workflows to create an analytics-first culture, CMOs can play a leading part in breaking down departmental silos and refocusing the organization’s goals to become more customer-centric and reinforce their role as drivers of growth.

Ashley Kramer is a senior executive with over 15 years of experience scaling hypergrowth companies including Tableau, Alteryx, Amazon, Oracle, and NASA. She has a strong track record of transforming product and marketing organizations and effectively defining and delivering the end-to-end product strategy and vision. Ashley is passionate about data, analytics, AI, and machine learning.

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