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Predictions for CMOs come true today

By Lasse Christensen, CEO & Partner

Not very long ago, IDC published 10 predictions about how the Marketing function and the role of the CMO would be radically reshaped by year 2020. (See here)

Now, only half a year has passed, but the predictions of IDC already seems like the rules of the game today for many CMOs. Let us take a look at some which are already reality.

The complex role of the CMO

One prediction says that the CMO role becomes more complex and “open for definition”.

I often see, how the CMOs have a difficult time balancing the increasing demand for ROI reporting and profitability from top management, the ever changing demands from the clients and prospects, the increasing need for analytical competences in the marketing department, and their role as the innovators that must bring the company into the digital age.

You should see this great infographic that really frames the challenges of the modern CMO

Data across silos

Data will be an opportunity but also a challenge for the CMO. Multi-channel coverage is on the top of the wish list for many CMOs, but it is a challenge to integrate customer data. IDC predicts that “80 % of customer data will be wasted due to immature enterprise data value chains”.

We already see this trend in almost all marketing organizations. We don’t have to wait for 2020 to see this prediction come true. It will only become a bigger challenge as the years go by.

IDC predicts that “by the end of 2014, 60 % of CMOs will have formal recruiting process for people with data skills,” but “only 20 % of marketers will receive formal training on analytics and customer data management”.

In a 2014 interview, three top-CMOs from Maersk Line, Carlsberg and Secunia shared their requirements for modern marketing employees. Their job descriptions were all about data and customer insights. This is a big issue for the CMO today. You can read the interviews here.

I would also recommend reading this post about the new role of “Chief Marketing Technologist”, which you should consider adding to your team.

More Marketing technology required

As a consequence to the increasing need for data, the digital marketing investment will also increase, and IDC predicts it to exceed 50 % of total program budget by 2016. IDC also says that companies with fragmented marketing IT solutions and a low adoption rate for technology will be inhibited in their ability to win customers.

Marketing IT technology is rapidly becoming a necessity for Marketing to stay in the front of the race.

Today a modern marketing professional needs to have two roles: the creative epicentre and the expert in marketing technology. IDC says that the innovative CMO and CIO will have to invent a new way of collaborating about IT support. For more input about this, please read this post about how the balance between Sales and Marketing is shifting, and how we believe that the collaboration between Marketing and IT will be the new powerhouse of topline growth.

2020 now?

To me, it already feels like year 2020. These are the realities CMOs live in today. The ones that know how to adapt will still be around in Marketing, when we finally reach 2020.