The Future-Proof CMO: Driving Results with Innovative Marketing Technology

Learn how migrating to a modern marketing technology stack empowers marketing leaders to drive meaningful customer experiences and stay ahead of the competition.
November 30, 2023
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The average tenure of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) sits somewhere between 3-4 years. Already one of the shortest-lived roles in the C-suite, the CMO has experienced a slow but steady reduction in lifespan since around 2017. There are plenty of reasons to point at when attempting to parse the root of CMO attrition, but one that comes up consistently is the tumultuous state of marketing in general. With each passing year, marketers are faced with an audience more and more saturated by messaging. In the age of information overload, customers are demanding efficient and effective communication from brands, requiring smart leaders to place an emphasis on marketing technology to deliver relevant messages at the right time. When personalized ads and seamless experiences across all channels are the norm, it can be hard for organizations to keep up. 

Pair rapidly advancing customer expectations with the fact that CMOs are just as subject to the whims of the market as Sales, but faster to make it to the chopping block, and you have a recipe for CMO churn that can be hard to combat. Fortunately, savvy CMOs have a secret weapon that future-proofs not only their department, but the business as a whole–good data. 

Let’s take a look at the technology stack and data architectures that make it possible to future-proof marketing and pull off some truly exceptional campaigns in a highly fatigued consumer ecosystem.

Understanding the Need for Technological Transformation in Marketing

Marketing: the queen of data silos. Marketers today know enough to realize that they should be data hungry, but with technology that often sits in entirely different platforms with limited or shaky connections to the rest of the organization, they may struggle to connect their data to a full view of the customer lifecycle. Compound that with an absolute tonnage of external data coming in across different marketing channels – throw a rock these days and you’ll hit a new advertising platform – and what you have is a recipe for massive data silos coming out of the department that most needs to be effectively attuned to the full picture of their customer. The solution? It’s time to invest in better marketing technology, and not just the kind that helps you justify your contributions. 

The other beast gripping marketing’s proverbial pressure point is the increasing need to articulate the precise value their activity brings to the organization. If any place gets the technology investment, it’s here. CEOs, stockholders, and investor boards alike want to understand exactly why they’re spending millions each year. While this is an important metric, it shouldn’t be tackled in a vacuum. To truly future-proof their role and their business, CMOs need to begin with an approach to data-driven outcomes that emphasizes eliminating data silos and making customer 360 views possible on a single, secure cloud data platform, like Snowflake

In 2022, technology investments accounted for a whopping 25% of CMO’s annual budgets. As we leap into 2024, we’re seeing many marketers’ technology budgets become enmeshed with the budgets of IT. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you’re a leader who knows how to articulate the importance of marketing technology and advocate for a tech stack that works for you, unifying your data with the rest of the business and breaking down silos. 

Harnessing the Power of Marketing Technology to Combat Data Silos

There is a not-so-quiet (r)evolution happening in the world of marketing technology, driven by privacy-driven changes in the digital ecosystem. Companies are now adopting a first-party data strategy with Customer 360 profiles at its center. While the “what” of marketing technology remains the same – a single customer view – the “how” has changed. 

Take a look at what, even a few years ago, would have been considered a strong marketing technology stack. The most glaring problem? You have two databases acting as your “source of truth.” In short, your data isn’t consolidated into a single cloud data warehouse or lake that can securely support analysis, enrichment, and audience segmentation.

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To future-proof, CMOs and technology leaders need to focus on aggregating customer data centrally, organizing it into Customer 360 profiles, and serving it to new marketing applications specifically designed to take advantage of this architecture. This data-driven CMO approach allows for a more cohesive and comprehensive understanding of customers, enabling more targeted and personalized marketing efforts. Today a more modern take on a marketing technology stack will look something like this:

By embracing marketing technology and implementing a robust data architecture, CMOs can combat data silos and drive insightful decisions. This not only future-proofs their role but also positions their organization for success in an increasingly competitive landscape. With the power of marketing technology, CMOs can deliver meaningful customer experiences and gain a significant competitive advantage.

Using Marketing Technology to Drive Data-Backed Strategies

Chances are, your organization already has some sense of how they’d like to better use their data to improve marketing efforts. You may be planning to build a centralized content management system (CMS) that allows your team to create and distribute personalized content across various platforms while maintaining brand consistency and messaging. Or perhaps you’re more interested in developing a predictive analytics model using machine learning algorithms to forecast customer behavior and optimize marketing strategies accordingly. Want to get truly wild? How about implementing an AI-powered customer relationship management (CRM) system that analyzes data from multiple sources to personalize communication and engagement with customers? The applications for your data are endless once it’s unified, well-governed, and actionable.

Turning Data into Meaningful Customer Experiences: A Competitive Advantage

How do you turn data into a competitive advantage? You do something with it that everyone else isn’t already doing. Marketing leaders that focus not just on maintaining the bare minimum standard for their data stack, but instead look to incorporate fresh capabilities like generative AI, are positioned to surge ahead in a market rife with disruption. Let’s take a look at a top sports brand that transformed its marketing technology stack into an industry-defining powerhouse that delivered both superior customer experiences and a meaningful competitive advantage.

How a Top Sports Brand Changed its Marketing Technology Stack to Change Its Fate

A top sports brand, known for its excellence in the sports goods market for over three decades, decided to change its fate by transforming its marketing technology stack. Recognizing the potential for further growth and diversification, the brand’s leadership embarked on a journey to expand into other industries and appeal to a wider demographic. However, this transformation was not without its challenges.

In 2020, the brand merged with another major sports company, a move that was catalyzed by the global pandemic. The merger presented an opportunity for both brands to consolidate their positions in the market and expand their portfolio. However, it also posed significant challenges, particularly in integrating diverse brands and datasets under one unified system. To power the strategic vision and data talent required for this project, the sports brand chose to work with Hakkoda.

Tackling their challenges head-on, Hakkoda’s data teams helped the brand leverage a modern data stack, including Snowflake, Python, ECR Software, and a leading customer data aggregator. The main objective was to create robust pipelines to aggregate, process, and optimize data from various sources, ultimately breaking down marketing data silos and enabling seamless collaboration across the organization.

Despite the complexity of the project, the Hakkoda’s data experts successfully delivered within a relatively short time frame of 16-20 weeks. The results of this transformation were tangible and impactful. By harnessing the power of AI co-pilots for marketing and advanced ad segmentation techniques, the brand was able to optimize customer experiences, deliver personalized promotions, and reduce redundant messaging.

This innovative marketing technology stack not only propelled the brand forward in its existing sports goods market but also allowed for successful expansion into new industries. By embracing the power of data and leveraging cutting-edge marketing technologies, the brand changed its fate and secured a competitive advantage in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

The success story of this top sports brand serves as a powerful testament to the transformative potential of embracing innovative marketing technology solutions. It showcases the power of breaking down data silos, harnessing the capabilities of AI for marketing, and delivering truly personalized customer experiences. As other CMOs seek to future-proof their departments and drive meaningful results, they can look to this sports brand as inspiration and a roadmap for success.

Taking the Next Steps Towards a Tech-driven Marketing Approach

If you’re a CMO looking to take the next steps toward a tech-driven marketing approach, you’re in the right place. At Hakkoda, we specialize in marketing technology and have extensive expertise in helping companies transform their marketing strategies. 

No one wants to navigate the complex landscape of marketing technology alone. A trusted data services partner can help you break down data silos that may be hindering your marketing efforts. Hakkoda’s data teams are scalable and 100% Snowflake certified, ensuring that you have the right resources to modernize your marketing technology stack. Whether you’re just starting your modernization journey or looking to optimize your existing infrastructure, Hakkoda can provide the support you need. 

Don’t let data silos and inefficient marketing processes hold you back. Take the next steps towards a tech-driven marketing approach with Hakkoda by your side. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you future-proof your department and drive exceptional marketing results.

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