77 Percent Of People Want Control Over Their Data

The race to scale first-party data is on. According to Invisibly’s latest research, that will be no small task as 77 percent of respondents want control of who can access their personal data.

Using its Realtime Research tool, Invisibly polled 1,320 people in late April and found that 71 percent of respondents are aware that companies routinely profit off selling their data, but 79 percent of people of all ages don’t approve of it.

When asked if they’d consider earning money via selling their own data, 46 percent of respondents said yes while the remainder weren’t interested.

That sentiment was consistent across all age groups. However, respondents aged under 18 and respondents aged 18-24 were the most likely to agree that they, not companies, should be earning money from their data, at 53 percent for each cohort.

TikTok-loving Gen Z may feel more comfortable sharing information online in general, but Invisibly’s data show that they, too, want to play gatekeeper to their data.

The response varied slightly across generations. Those who want to control who can access their personal information include 75 percent of respondents under 18, 73 percent of those aged 18-24, 85 percent of those aged 41-54 and 80 percent of people aged over 55.

Some consumers are still unaware that companies are selling their personal data — that’s the case for 29 percent of respondents from the survey.

Invisibly reports that male respondents expressed greater awareness about companies profiting off their data (82 percent) compared to female respondents (65 percent).

Marketers may be close to leveraging the potential of first-party data, but new research from MightyHive shows that fewer than one in 20 marketers believe that they have tapped into more than 80 percent of their first-party data potential. 

MightyHive also found that the majority of marketers have only utilized between 21 percent and 40 percent of their first-party data potential.

As for how much confidence they have in their first-party data delivering a strong return on investment (ROI), 56 percent said they’re “somewhat confident,” according to MightyHive.

Wines, Racing, And The Historic Partnership With Churchill Downs With Jackson Family Wines’ Bill O’Connor

Bill O’Connor is the Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at Jackson Family Wines. Based in Sonoma County, the heart of California’s wine country, the business is one of few family-owned and operated wineries of its kind. Founded in 1983, with a focus on artisanal and old wines with a distinct character and quality, their portfolio includes wines like Kendall-Jackson, La Crema, Freemark Abbey, Murphy Goode, Stonestreet, among many others.

On the show, Bill and I talk about the historic partnership between Jackson Family Wines and the home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, and what Bill believes makes for an effective partnership.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What it’s like at a family-owned winery
  • How to effectively handle partnerships
  • The importance of refining your customer’s experience

Key Highlights:

  • [02:00] Bill’s dream job
  • [03:30] The historic partnership with Churchill Downs
  • [04:36] Jackson Family Wines’ tie to racing
  • [11:50] Their wide variety of wine offerings
  • [14:02] How Bill thinks about partnerships
  • [16:06] Refining the customer experience 
  • [20:30] Bill’s advice for navigating new relationships
  • [23:15] A defining experience that made Bill who he is today 
  • [26:54] Bill’s advice for his younger self
  • [29:36] Bill’s recent impactful purchase
  • [31:05] The brands, companies, and causes Bill follows
  • [33:03] What Bill says is today’s biggest threat and opportunity for marketers

Resources Mentioned: 

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Connect with the Guest:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

What We’re Reading—Week Of May 24th

A look at the marketing and advertising insights we’re sharing internally for the week of May 24th, 2021.

Programmatic Under A Lens, With ANA CEO Bob Liodice


In an effort to make the programmatic supply chain more transparent, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has commissioned a new study to identify where brands are wasting their money and make suggestions on efficiency in the market.

Why it matters: In its definition of programmatic, ANA’s study will include major walled gardens, which need more accountability when it comes to brand safety according to ANA chief executive officer Bob Liodice. The study’s goal, he notes, is to both serve large ad buyers such as Dunkin Brands and Diageo, but also the countless less-resourced advertisers in its member base.

Here’s How Brand And Performance Marketing Intersect


Logically, performance marketing makes sense, as meeting goals and metrics are critical for proving ROI and fighting for larger marketing budgets. But it’s brand awareness that’ll keep consumers coming back again and again, as a recent Financial Times survey suggests. According to their findings, 83 percent of business leaders believe that brands consistently contribute to a company’s bottom line.

Why it matters: According to Ryan Stoner, principal and head of strategy at Dendro, utilizing a traditional mix of long-term branding and short-term performance includes creating a brand blueprint with these six key elements: purpose, values, character, behavior, experience and principles.

3 Strategies To Reduce Bias In Leadership Assessments

Harvard Business Review

Survey-style questionnaires are a common tool to measure leadership potential and inform decisions about bonuses and promotions, yet survey data still reflects common biases. These surveys measure perceived leader effectiveness rather than actual leadership behaviors. 

Why it matters: Three ways to reduce bias in surveys are to have people rate an ideal leader before rating their actual leader; requiring raters to give specific, qualitative examples for each rated behavior; and adding dialogue boxes and warnings before and after the evaluation.

Staff Livestreams Will Usher In The Era Of The Anti-Influencer

Retail Week

Richard Willis, Aptos regional vice president, solution consulting EMEA and APAC argues that store associate-led livestreams will lead the next wave of influencer marketing video strategies because associates possess authenticity, “one thing influencers will never have.”

Why it matters: Companies like Italian fashion retailer Motivi and Molbak’s Garden + Home center in Woodinville, Washington, Willis notes, produce regular livestreams featuring store associates who are personable and knowledgeable. These associates could be the new influencers as they become trusted shopping partners and build meaningful connections with consumers via live shoppable videos and integrated chat.

5 Ways To Drive Brand Loyalty And Customer Lifetime Value

Advertising Age

For brands to maximize their ‘Discovery Commerce’ opportunity—a term Facebook has dubbed that describes the serendipitous experience of a product finding you instead of you searching for a product—Aubrie Richey, vice president of media for TechStyle Fashion Group, suggests testing different creative, running ads from influencers’ own handles and optimizing for lifetime value.

Why it matters: In a recent Facebook-commissioned survey, 84 percent of shoppers said that they discover new brands and products online.

You’re A CMO. Now What? Seasoned Marketing Leaders Lend Advice

Historically, nearly one-third to half of new chief marketing officers appointed annually are first-timers. Since the pandemic and the emergence of social media as a storytelling platform, that number is rapidly growing. And with CMOs under pressure to meet high revenue targets with insufficient resources, the role has increasingly become complicated for novices and veterans alike.

Korn Ferry has published a guide, ‘You’re A CMO. Now What?’ to help incoming executives being appointed to the CMO role for the first time. In it, seasoned marketing leaders share their tips on succeeding in the C-suite, the advice they wish they’d gotten about being a CMO and more. The following are excerpts from Korn Ferry’s conversations.

Korn Ferry: What was the largest adjustment you had to make after becoming a CMO for the first time?

Greg Revelle, senior executive vice president, chief marketing officer at Kohl’s:

For me, it was understanding how the CEO and board of directors viewed success. You have to switch your mindset to think about marketing from their perspective. Marketing is geared toward sales growth, while boards and CEOs, and CFOs for that matter, want sales and efficiency. Being able to drive sales while giving money back to the organization is how CMOs get credibility in the C-suite.

Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer at Ally Financial:

I’d say it was realizing that it is not only OK to have an —it is expected. In fact, being one-dimensional and limiting your opinion to marketing makes you a target in the C-suite, whereas adding a critical voice to the room creates value.

Jim Berra, CMO at Royal Caribbean International:

It’s not about being a subject-matter expert anymore. It’s about being able to connect marketing to the larger organizational imperative. You are building agendas and priorities for the entire organization, so I’d say just as important as having an opinion outside of marketing is soliciting the input of other leaders about marketing.

Marisa Thalberg, EVP, chief brand and marketing officer at Lowe’s:

I agree. CMOs have to be a champion of the function in the C-suite but also recognize that they are showing up as part of the management of the whole company. You have to know when to speak with a functional hat and when to speak with an enterprise hat.

Barbara Goose, former CMO at John Hancock:

It’s important to understand that as CMO, it isn’t just about growth but what kind of growth. Not every company or division has the same growth mandate. Some may not even want growth, just greater profitability. Not being aligned on what the organization wants can lead to problems.

KF: What advice do you wish you’d gotten about being a CMO?

Revelle: I wish someone had told me that what gets you into a CMO role isn’t what will make you successful as a CMO.

Brimmer: Don’t be overprotective about the brand. CMOs can get into adversarial relationships with other business leaders by thinking theirs is the only voice that matters when it comes to the brand. The reality is that the more committed people are to the brand, the easier it makes things for the CMO. When everyone has ownership, there is more pride across the organization.

Berra: My advice to CMOs is to figure out how to turn marketing from a cost center to a revenue generator.

Thalberg: As a new CMO, you first need to be a student of the company, the organization, and, of course, continually the industry. At the same time, a big part of the role is to be a teacher to your team, but just as importantly to your peers and your board, so they can be brought along on the “whys” behind marketing, not just the “whats.”

Goose: You need to break down for other C-suite leaders what the customer journey looks like—whom you reached, why they acted on a particular message, and how that influenced their decision. I find that capturing our work in video is the best way to help other C-suite leaders digest and see through to the analytics.

KF: What are some unique challenges that first-time CMOs face today that you perhaps didn’t face?

Berra: The level of accountability, which was already increasing, totally accelerated with COVID. CEOs and boards want to see how marketing activities are driving new customers, sales and margins. CMOs today are under intense pressure to prove out what they are doing. You can’t overinvest in customer feedback; things are changing so fast you need immediate feedback loops.

Revelle: Customers are much more engaged with social issues and they demand transparency, so CMOs are constantly going to be questioned about their brand’s stance on a host of issues. Understanding these complex issues from a variety of perspectives, and responding appropriately, is critically important. You have to work with all of your stakeholders and ultimately have to make the right decision for your organization.

Goose: Marketers have to reinvent connections and engage consumers in ways they never have before. It’s a constant process of testing, learning, and optimizing, with the expectation that results will get better over time. There’s no such thing as a yearly plan or a set-it-and-forget-it mentality anymore.

Brimmer: That’s a major challenge because people are incredibly fatigued. With budget cuts and layoffs, marketing departments are spread incredibly thin.

Thalberg: Particularly in times of business crisis, the marketing budget can be a prime target for cutbacks. As a leader, it’s important to be able to bring advocacy for what the function needs with as much concrete modeling as possible regarding what the impact to the business will be with and without the proper funding. When investments aren’t optimal, it takes a combination of creativity to work with what you have, as well as transparency about trade-offs.

Read Korn Ferry’s full conversation with the panel of CMOs here.

What We’re Reading—Week Of May 17th

A look at the marketing and advertising insights we’re sharing for the week of May 17th, 2021.

The Different Ways Influencers Are Monetizing Content


According to eMarketer’s latest report, the number of monetization options available to influencers are quickly growing, some which bring the future of brand sponsorships into question. For example, a new startup called Pietra helps influencers, regardless of following size, launch their own direct-to-consumer merch and product lines.

Why it matters: In 2021, 67.9 percent of US marketers will use influencer marketing for paid or unpaid campaigns, reports eMarketer. As creators increasingly become brands in their own right, marketers must treat them as publishers and focus on finding relevant audiences and building relationships.

Inside Gucci And Roblox’s New Virtual World

Vogue Business

On May 17, Gucci launched Gucci Garden, a virtual two-week art installation, on Roblox. The immersive experience features multiple themed rooms that pay homage to Gucci campaigns. After entering a virtual lobby, users’ avatars can view, try on and buy digital Gucci items.

Why it matters: This year, Roblox creators and developers are set to earn $500 million. The metaverse and gaming platform and those like it have provided luxury brands like Gucci a new avenue to reach younger generations. In addition to Roblox, Gucci has appeared on Zepeto, Tennis Clash, The Sims, Genies, Pokémon Go and Animal Crossing.

Walgreens Helping Brands Engage Customers

Progressive Grocer

Walgreens is launching new ways for brands to leverage first-party data to drive return on investment. The first new offering includes the addition of over-the-top and connected TV inventory now accessible via wagDSP,  a proprietary programmatic buying technology that integrates Walgreens customer and transaction data with creative tools and real-time optimization. The second is the first-to-market partnership with OpenAP and OpenID integration enabling brands to reach audiences via Walgreens first-party data as part of their TV buys.

Why it matters: These solutions mark an expansion of Walgreens Advertising Group, the full-service media platform the company launched last December. Through it, brands are offered a first-party data set powered by over 100 million monthly loyalty members, access to Walgreens Programmatic Demand Side Platform and more.

Monetization And The Influencer Marketing Landscape: What You Need To Know

The Drum

Social media platforms recently introduced Creator monetization options like Instagram’s ‘Live badges,’ Facebook’s ‘Stars,’ Clubhouse’s ‘Payments’ and Twitch’s ‘Bits.’

Why it matters: Though these incentives attract top creators and high-quality content, the downside is that some of them are only available to creators with a certain audience size. For example, Facebook requires creators to have 600,000 total minutes viewed from any combination of video uploads to access monetization features.

How Has TikTok Become The Number Two Platform For Influencer Marketing?

Talking Influence

As per Linqia’s latest survey, 68 percent of marketers plan on using TikTok for influencer marketing this year, an increase from 16 percent in early 2020. In comparison, just 36 percent of respondents said they plan to use Reels, Instagram’s TikTok clone, this year for influencer marketing.

Why it matters: How TikTok managed to become the number two platform for influencer marketing lies in its Gen Z audience’s preference for unscripted content. Having well-engaged early adopters will allow TikTok to grow much in the same way YouTube has over the years. A decade ago, the platform was a place for pranks on friends and has since evolved into a hub for content on house hunting and pregnancy journeys. In short, TikTok will similarly develop alongside its audience.

Drawing Inspiration From Operations To Marketing With Appian’s Denise Broady

Denise Broady is the Chief Marketing Officer at Appian, a low-code and solution-focused organization that helps customers become more agile, creative, and connected. Denise’s experience as COO and CMO gives her a unique perspective on business and expertise in transitioning between companies and distinctly different jobs. When asked how her COO background influences her current role, she says, “I really love to bring processes and data to the art of marketing.”

On the show, Denise discusses how she became the CMO at Appian. We talk about her experience transitioning virtually and things to think about for anyone managing their career or taking on a new role.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The importance of the first 100 days of a new role
  • How success centers around accountability and ownership
  • Why finding your culture fit matters

Key Highlights:

  • [01:55] Denise’s journey to becoming CMO at Appian
  • [05:55] Denise’s experience in both COO and CMO roles
  • [09:08] How Denise views ownership of driving sales pipelines
  • [11:21] Should the COO role own the sales pipeline? 
  • [13:55] The first 100 days onboarding in a virtual environment
  • [17:45] Denise’s advice on peer-to-peer interaction
  • [20:17] Denise’s advice for managing your career growth
  • [25:15] A defining experience that made Denise who she is today 
  • [27:20] Denise’s advice for her younger self
  • [29:36] Denise’s recent impactful purchase
  • [31:10] The brands, companies, and causes Denise follows
  • [35:18] What Denise says is today’s biggest threat and opportunity for marketers

Resources Mentioned: 

Subscribe to the podcast:

Connect with the Guest:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Post Consumer Brands Names Claudine Patel Chief Marketing Officer

What we’re tracking today in leadership updates: Post Consumer Brands taps Claudine Patel as chief marketing officer, TMRW Life Sciences hires Amber Guild as chief marketing officer, Skyflow taps Paul Kopacki as chief marketing officer, YogaWorks names Cate Rubenstein senior vice president of global marketing and more.

Post Consumer Brands Appoints Claudine Patel Chief Marketing Officer

Post Consumer Brands has named Claudine Patel CMO, according to a press release.

Patel joins Post Consumer Brands from Reckitt, where she most recently served as general manager, marketing for the company’s North America healthcare portfolio, which includes brands such as Mucinex, Delsym and Veet.

TMRW Life Sciences Names Amber Guild Chief Marketing Officer

Amber Guild has been appointed TMRW Life Sciences’ CMO.

Previously, Guild was president of the New York Times’ T Brand. Prior to that, she spent two decades at firms including Ogilvy, Saatchi and Collins.

Skyflow Hires Paul Kopacki As Chief Marketing Officer

According to MarTech Series, Skyflow has tapped Paul Kopacki as CMO.

Before Skyflow, Kopacki held CMO or vice president roles at several software companies including Realm, Heroku and Salesforce.

YogaWorks Taps Cate Rubenstein As Senior Vice President, Global Marketing

Cate Rubenstein has joined YogaWorks as the company’s new SVP, global marketing.

Rubenstein most recently served as Ipsos’ EVP, global marketing and brand strategy.

Sonesta Names Elizabeth Harlow Chief Marketing And Brand Officer

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has appointed Elizabeth Harlow as chief marketing and brand officer.

Prior to Sonesta, Harlow worked at Howard Hughes Corporation as VP, brand marketing.

J&J Snack Foods Appoints Lynwood Mallard As Chief Marketing Officer

Lynwood Mallard recently joined J&J Snack Foods as CMO, reports Baking Business.

Prior to J&J Snack Foods, Mallard spent over two decades at Coca-Cola North America, most recently as VP of category strategy and innovation.

Goldman Sachs Appoints Peeyush Nahar As Head Of Consumer Business

This week in leadership updates, Goldman Sachs names Peeyush Nahar head of consumer business, BentoBox taps Darcy Kurtz as chief marketing officer, Innovid elevates Stephanie Geno to chief marketing officer, BritBox hires Nada Arnot as senior vice president of marketing and more.

Goldman Sachs Taps Peeyush Nahar As Head Of Consumer Business

Goldman Sachs has hired a top Uber engineering executive, Peeyush Nahar, to be a partner and lead Marcus, its digital-banking unit, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Nahar replaces Omer Ismail, who departed Goldman Sachs in March to join Walmart’s new fintech startup.

Prior to joining Uber in 2019, Nahar spent 14 years at Amazon, working on the machine-learning system for Alexa. He also led software, product, and sales and marketing for Amazon’s business-to-business marketplace and Amazon Lending.

BentoBox Names Darcy Kurtz Chief Marketing Officer

BentoBox has hired Darcy Kurtz as CMO, according to a press release.

Kurtz previously served as vice president of global product marketing at Mailchimp.

She is also the founder of DLK Consulting where she helps fast-growing technology companies with business and marketing strategy.

Innovid Elevates Stephanie Geno To Chief Marketing Officer

Innovid’s SVP of marketing Stephanie Geno has accepted a promotion as the company’s CMO.

Geno has been with Innovid for over three years.

BritBox North America Hires Nada Arnot As SVP Of Marketing

Nada Arnot, former general manager of Sundance Now, has been tapped by BritBox North America as the company’s SVP of marketing.

Previously, Arnot served as CMO of Yellow Brick and VP of marketing and growth at Hearst Digital Studios, respectively.

Exclusive: The Emotional Factors Motivating Gen Z And Millennial Consumers

The tragic events of last year forced many brands to face the music: replace platitudes with meaningful action against racism or say goodbye to the 80 percent of consumers globally who expect brands to consistently display a commitment to diversity and inclusivity in advertising.

To understand what emotional factors motivate young consumers, Fuse Media, a Latino-owned entertainment company, conducted a study among 1,700 Gen Z, millennials and Gen X. The key takeaway from “Establishing an Emotional Connection Through Empowerment,” which the company sent to AList, is that brands must successfully empower young consumers if they want them to spend, advocate and engage with their brand.

According to Fuse Media, 76 percent of Gen Z and millennials somewhat or strongly agree that brands should be empowering—38 percent more than their Gen X counterparts. A brand requisite for empowering young consumers is aligning your values with theirs via your brand image, message and actions. 

“In order for brands to overcome their wariness and to gain this generation’s trust, they need to be transparent and inclusive in every way.  Their image, messages and actions need to align. A brand can’t act like they care about the welfare of humankind but then use sweatshops to produce their products. This would show that there is a disconnect between what the brand says and how they really feel,” Fuse Media’s head of research Michelle Auguste told AList.

Fuse Media reports that 83 percent of Gen Z and millennials believe that a brand is empowering when it does good for the world. Another 80 percent feel that a brand is empowering only when it has values its consumers agree with.

Empty promises won’t suffice though as these consumers expect brands to invest in diverse talent and increase diversity in advertising. For example, 78 percent of Gen Z and millennial respondents told Fuse Media that they see a brand as empowering when they provide a platform for marginalized groups to tell their authentic story. Nearly the same amount (76 percent) said a brand is empowering when it features people from marginalized groups in a positive light in their ads.

For a brand to truly make inclusivity part of their DNA, Auguste says brands should give individuals from marginalized groups a platform to share their authentic stories and put people of color in management so they can help make decisions.

“Having a team that resembles their audience would only be beneficial since they would know how to build trust with their consumers by communicating to them in an authentic and genuine way. Millennials and Gen Z’s feel empowered by brands when they think that the brands truly know and understand them,” said Auguste.

When asked how being empowered by a brand makes them feel, Gen Z and millennial respondents had several responses, including confident, happy, strong and inspired. As Fuse Media observed, these cohorts see empowerment as both a societal and personal need whereas older members of Gen X perceive empowerment as a personal need — such as having accessibility, authority and strength to make a personal change. For Gen Z, the feeling of empowerment is associated with the freedom and power to change the world.

The positive emotions that respondents associated with empowerment from brands results in greater revenue and trust. For example, 88 percent said they’ll purchase a product and 79 percent said they’d pay more for the product when a brand is empowering.

Also when empowered by a brand, 87 percent said they’ll tell a friend or family member about the brand and 84 percent will feel more connected to it. The benefit translates to social media too, with 74 percent reporting that if a brand is empowering they’ll engage with their social media accounts.

Not only must brands consider what they stand for and how they’re conveying it but also where they’re communicating their message. Sixty-eight percent of millennials and Gen Z said they’re more likely to buy a brand’s products if it advertises on empowering networks. The same number of respondents said they’re more likely to purchase products from brands that feature ads that reflect them or their culture, according to Fuse Media.

“There is definitely a risk that some brands will come off as being inauthentic. When that happens, this generation will turn their back on those brands and it will be hard to ever get back their trust. To be able to communicate in an authentic way, brands must exhibit transparency, know their audience well and understand that the right language, words and tone have the power to make any consumer feel included,” Auguste told AList.

The study also revealed young consumers’ preferences on the types of brands they’re more likely to support. As per Fuse Media, given that Gen Z and millennials express their identity via physical objects, the industries they expect to be empowering are fitness (82 percent), clothing (76 percent) and cosmetics (73 percent).

In addition, 81 percent of respondents said they prefer small businesses or independent brands while another 80 percent prefer businesses owned by women, people of color or members of the LGBTQ community.  

For 72 percent of consumers, supporting these kinds of businesses makes them feel accepted. These emotions are stronger for people of color, which Fuse Media found are 7 percent more likely to feel understood and 14 percent more likely to experience relief.

Before taking a stand on a social or political issue, Auguste says brands should do their research and fully understand the complexity of the issue. This, she notes, involves avoiding three key actions—cultural appropriation, tone deafness and pandering.

According to Auguste, some ways brands can avoid cultural appropriation include celebrating or appreciating cultures by giving them credit where credit is due, recognizing their history and roots, donating money to that culture, partnering with individuals from that culture and featuring people and their specific culture in the ads.

Lastly, Auguste says that to avoid tone deafness, which she says is “corporate suicide in the eyes of this generation,” brands should ask the right questions and speak to individuals who are involved in the matter. Should they decide to take a stand on the matter, choosing the right advocates to speak on behalf of the brand will be extremely important. 

“Millennials and Gen Zs are smart and sophisticated and they will be able to see right through the insincerity behind the brand’s message and will automatically feel that the brand is trying to capitalize off of that specific issue. Brands should also know when it makes sense for them to jump into a larger cultural conversation and when to sit one out.”

Report: Marketers Face High Revenue Targets And Scarcity Of Resources

The rise of the self-reliant buyer and digital-first customer journey has upended a large part of the sales action to the top of the funnel, making chief marketing officers responsible for 44 percent of a company’s revenue today versus just 10 percent in the mid-2000s. That’s according to the CMO Council’s latest report, which found that 63 percent of marketers are under very high to extreme pressure to deliver revenue growth due to challenges, including the need to prove marketing attribution to revenue and show that data analytics and marketing tech are worth the investment.

Facing a scarcity of resources and a skeptical chief executive officer, marketers are at risk of missing their revenue mark, with 53 percent saying they’re only moderately confident or worse that they’ll meet their revenue targets. Pressure from the top is weighing heavy on them, as 57 percent think their CEO is only moderately satisfied or worse with marketing’s performance.

The acceleration of online shopping is only exacerbating marketing leaders’ doubts. In this new digital-first era, 80 percent of respondents say that the shift of the self-reliant buyer has made marketing more valuable than ever.

The CMO Council found that 90 percent of marketers are expected to grow revenue this year. Despite 65 percent of marketers saying they plan to increase marketing spend in 2021, budgets haven’t grown enough to support all of marketing’s activities, including brand-building, digital experience and personalized content.

Nearly all (95 percent) of CMOs who admitted a lack of resources say this resulted in missed revenue opportunities. Many of the internal hurdles they’re facing come back to the lack of education around marketing impact on revenue—measuring the full value of marketing, misunderstanding of the new buyer’s journey, lack of clarity about ownership of outcomes and unrealistic expectations from sales.

Consumers’ desire for meaningful, personalized experience necessitates first-party data and MarTech. But when CMOs don’t have buy-in from C-suite because they’re unable to show how much revenue MarTech will generate before implementing it, they miss out on data literacy skills and the opportunity to meet the demands of the self-reliant buyer.

Data is crucial but only when marketers can make sense of it. Yet three out of four respondents have data literacy gaps, reports the CMO Council. What’s worse, only 20 percent of CMOs are successful when it comes to leveraging data to identify and target customers and just 27 percent can leverage data successfully to gain insights into shifting behaviors. To top it off, just a quarter are successful when acting on those insights.

“I see AI being integrated into our products and data analysis to determine the next best action for marketers to engage the customer. Eventually, we’re going to get to where AI engages the customer directly, and calls to humans only happen when required,” Mark Phibbs, vice president of marketing and communications for Cisco across Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China, told the CMO Council.

Over the next 12 months, 69 percent of marketers plan to increase their MarTech spend, with the top three priorities being marketing analytics (50 percent), content marketing (41 percent) and audience/marketing data and data enhancement (37 percent).

To improve their odds, the CMO Council suggests marketers prioritize the digital experience, double-down on data analytics to help prove revenue attribution and create content that works well with omnichannel.