Nobody loves them. Everybody hates them. Pity the poor CMO. Ever since Gartner made its prediction – subsequently confirmed say the analysts – that CMOs would spend more on IT than CIOs – there was an expectation that marketing leaders would take the unfolding corporate digital story by the throat and make it their own. Commitment. Resolution. Courage.


Now a study from global technology and strategy business Squiz suggests that marketers still feel like interlopers on Mahogany Row.

While more than three quarters of senior marketers feel confident in explaining the value of technology investments, they believe there is a disconnect with the rest of the leadership team.

Marketers say they see almost half (47 per cent) of the c-suite outside of their department use some marketing technology in their roles, however they still do not believe that other functions understand martech’s potential impact on revenues in the way that they do.

It’s a finding that gels with Which-50’s own experience. For over three years now we have been running or hosting senior marketing round tables where the participants routinely complain about a lack of understanding from their peers. However, and also in keeping with the study, too few take the next step and seek to drive the change they desire personally.

The authors of the Squiz study reveal that a majority of global marketers (52 per cent) feel that other C-level execs do not understand marketing.  And only 35 per cent think that their CEO strongly realises the potential revenue uplift and saving of martech investment. It’s a similar story with the CIO; marketers think that just a third (33 per cent) understand the value of martech at a financial level.

Time for a little bonding

Squiz’s research suggests that marketers still need to develop closer relationships with the CEO. Currently they are most closely aligned with the CTO (52 per cent) or CIO (47 per cent), but only 27 per cent  say that their marketing team is working closely with the CEO. As a result, stakeholder buy in is still a challenge for 32 per cent of marketers and over a quarter (28 per cent) still don’t feel they are able to confidently set goals that the whole business can support.

The overwhelming majority of of global marketers (97 per cent) say that marketing technology has made the marketing department more strategic in its approach and a sizable chunk (43 per cent) say they’ve been able to develop more data-driven KPIs since investing in it.

John-Paul Syriatowicz, Group CEO of Squiz, comments: “Our research confirms the strengthening role of digital within the boardroom, with more departments on-boarding the latest in martech. There is now significant opportunity for marketers to ensure the value of this technology is being conveyed to key stakeholders. They also need to start leading by example, recognising their responsibility for using the technology to its full potential, and optimising its business impact.”

Among the other findings;

  • Last year there was increased investment in platforms such as CMS (83 per cent) and CRM (62 per cent)
  • This year 97 per cent of business have invested in some form of marketing technology in the past 12 months. Breaking this down, 60 per cent were adding to their existing stack, whilst 31 per cent didn’t have any in place last year.
  • The fastest adoption this year was in Australia; 51 per cent invested in martech because they didn’t have any in place last year. Smaller proportion in the UK (26 per cent) and us (15 per cent) suggest that these marketers established martech in their organisations in previous years.
  • Marketers are investing in these products for numerous reasons. 62 per cent want to better understand customers, 37 per cent are doing it to remain competitive, 55 per cent want to be able to take a data-driven approach to marketing and 57 per cent need to automate processes and reduce time on admin.

Syriatowicz said, “This increase in technology adoption is a real win for marketers, as their presence and influence among the C-suite grows. They now need to start speaking in the C-Suite’s language, and prioritise how to best communicate the benefits of martech for problem-solving, enabling more strategic business decisions, and driving growth across the entire organisation.”



Previous post

US tech leaders confident of growth in 2017

Next post

Performance marketing grows more sophisticated, costs shift to measurement