Rob brings over 18 years of industry experience in technology marketing – both direct and channel, to his position at Quadient. Previously, Rob led Marketing at Avaya Canada, go to market for medium businesses at Dell Canada and brings marketing, finance, manufacturing and logistics experience from his time at Maple Leaf Foods. An avid composer and musician, Rob continues to combine digital and social media to drive awareness and consideration in the B2B marketplace. Rob holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.
The last ten years have seen tremendous change in the role of the CMO. Marketing leaders have expanded organizational responsibility and are taking on expending ownership of large scale IT projects. According to Gartner, 2017 is predicted to be the year where marketing leaders begin to spend more than their IT counterparts on technology and systems – At the beginning of 2017, CMOs were spending 3.2% of company revenue on technology spend, while CIOs averaged 3.4%.
This change in budget structure is not surprising when we look at the role that innovation plays in large organizations. More than any other executive role, the CMO is tasked with being the primary innovation leader and driving disruptive growth at their respective organizations.
A quick glance at the “Martech 5000” marketing technology landscape gives a good indication of the growing complexity that CMOs have to contend with in deciding upon their technology stack and vendor landscape.
Marketing leaders are selecting vendors across advertising and promotion, content and experience, social and relationships, commerce & sales, data and management layers. They are managing tools to enable their internal teams, complete research, client outreach, customer advocacy and promote their content to the market place as effectively as possible.
In short, the CMO today is caught in a difficult position – between external complexity that is driving them to adopt more technologies that interface with a growing number of channels and systems, and internal pressure inside the organization to be innovation leaders and move faster.
This added responsibility for technology systems poses a big challenge for CMOs, particularly those who traditionally did not have to manage a complex IT environment. When asked about where they would like to hone their skills, CMOs are aware of the gap – they cite technology and big data as the #1 area where they would like to increase their professional expertise.
With the combined pressure to deliver on innovation, service new channels and incorporate new Martech into marketing processes, CMOs are being pushed to take on a larger number of customer facing projects across a growing complexity of channels. In a November 2016 Walker Sands Communications and Chief Marketing Technologist report titled "State of Marketing Technology 2017: Closing the Gap Between Martech Innovation and Adoption.", it was revealed that 70% of markers are planning to increase their YoY spending on Martech, with 20% looking to greatly increase their technology spending. It is no wonder that CMOs are challenged to create a sustainable marketing technology stack and align new technologies and providers with existing systems and processes. According to a marketing technologies study by Ascend2, only 40% of marketing technologies are extensively integrated.
As marketers look to bring on technology to service more channels, they are creating a very complex IT infrastructure that becomes more disconnected with traditional IT systems. In a DMA study from November 2016, the top 4 Omnichannel challenges identified by North American marketers have to do with integration of systems to support multiple channels –across the Martech stack, through integration with internal systems and support for data across channels.
It is imperative that marketing and IT leaders collaborate closely to close the gap between their mandates – leveraging the CIOs experience in systems integration, vendor consolidation and process management, to allow the CMO to introduce innovation that will remain relevant to their organizations over the long run. The good news is that 55% of CMOs surveyed by CIO Insight said they are collaborating more closely with their CIO counterparts than in the past.
Interested in learning more about the evolving role of the CMO? Check out the complimentary Quadient whitepaper “The World of Marketing Has Changed. Has the CMO?” here.