The rapid growth in ecommerce during the pandemic has heightened the need for real-time insights to accommodate fast-changing customer behaviour. Accordingly, CMOs’ responsibilities are shifting, and around three-quarters are now responsible for contributing to business growth (76%) and data and technology (74%), says the latest Capgemini Research Institute report, A new playbook for chief marketing officers: Why CMOs should enable real-time marketing to drive sustained growth. Despite the CMOs’ new data-focused responsibilities, only 12% marketers have requisite data access, capabilities, and talent to drive and extract high value from real-time marketing.
Real-time marketing can process, analyse, and leverage data at its point of entry to swiftly enhance digital commerce campaigns, content and marketing outputs. The report signals that data-driven marketers enjoy improved brand awareness, customer satisfaction, conversion rates and customer retention.
Although all marketers are using data in some way, most are not applying it to drive marketing decisions. For instance, only 43% of marketers say their teams use data to decide a go-to-market strategy for a new product or service, and 40% use data to modify their campaign strategies. Similarly, 42% say that by harnessing data, their team has been able to be more agile in responding to customer and market needs.
The CMO shifts focus
For traditional marketers (who do not qualify as ‘data-driven’), catching up with high-performing rivals is necessitating a fundamental shift in roles, skills and capabilities. Capgemini research identified that this change is occurring first and foremost at the top of the marketing ladder, characterised by a shift towards greater control and decision-making among CMOs.
Along with a responsibility for data and technology, around a third of CMOs are directly responsible for gathering and understanding consumer and market intelligence, trends, and for overseeing marketing technologies such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools or marketing-automation platforms.
Meanwhile, 60% say they are involved in critical decisions related to growth and long-term value, such as growth strategy and new product development.
Despite the changes in CMOs’ duties and skills, the shift is not sufficiently reflected in the marketing function more broadly. To enable data-driven marketing, CMOs will need to address a broader tech capability and skills deficit. Less than half of marketers say they have established the data and technology capabilities needed to deliver data-driven marketing, highlighting a significant opportunity to transform.
In order to close these skills gaps, marketing departments will seek to bring more work in-house, according to the report. Overall, half of marketers agree that their organisations are trying to build internal skills and capabilities over partnering with outside vendors.
Jean-Pierre Villaret, Head of frog Europe, part of Capgemini Invent, said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digitisation in a way no one could have predicted. Customer-data volumes are growing as online sales increase. This provides a host of opportunities for CMOs and marketing departments to better understand and serve their customers. And, a section of marketers are achieving the full potential of data-driven, real-time marketing and realising the benefits it brings with regards to brand awareness, customer satisfaction, retention, and conversion. The task now for the vast majority of marketers is to modernise their data capabilities and up-and-reskill their workforces in order to stay competitive against these data-driven high flyers.”
For those CMOs seeking to make the move towards being data-driven, Capgemini has identified six critical focus areas to prepare for a data-driven marketing environment:
The Capgemini Research Institute surveyed over 1,600 marketing executives with a business-to-consumer (B2C) focus and representing a range of industries, including automotive, banking, consumer goods, insurance, retail, telecom, and utilities, from around the world. Capgemini conducted in-depth interviews with 25 CMOs and other marketing executives.