A few weeks ago, Rackspace Technology released the results of a survey suggesting business leaders believe that CMOs rank near the bottom of the C-suite roles when it comes to understanding technology (CROs fared worse). Recently the CMO Council released its C-Suite Scorecard, and when it asked business leaders to identify leadership gaps in their marketing organization, 42% indicated the modernization of their organization, systems and operations, while 40% indicated the lack of tech-savvy managers in key roles.
That makes for some painful reading. Scott Brinker discussed the two surveys here and also started an online conversation about the results.
The chatter. B2B specialist Karin Schaff made a distinction between modernization and technology: “You can modernize your martech stack all day and spend a lot of time and money on it. However, if you don’t understand why you’re modernizing and the role technology plays in growing your business, you’re just doing just that … spending a lot of time and money with little value. Modernization means becoming aware of why you’re doing it and how best to get to the next level of maturity – that can mean technology, people, processes, communication, etc. Most of the time, it’s a combination of all of that and more. To say that modernizing marketing is all about technology is like saying that digital transformation is all about technology. “
PR consultant Smith noted, “It seems to me that C-Suite doesn’t value marketing or marketing executive boards haven’t presented enough data-driven results and forecasts.” Denodo’s Dave Nixon had a somber attitude. Marketing’s opposition to working with IT left it in isolation, he said. “Many years of managing the marketing process with single point applications, a lack of automation, and niche technologies have made it impossible to own this domain. Now, coupled with the sudden realization that it’s not just about the channels, but also about standardizing the data to make it work, this has made the situation even worse. “
And Channable’s Onur Polat tried to turn the tables: “What do we think of the rest of the C-Suite? 🙂 ”
Why we care. Perception is not everything, but it is important. If a consensus develops that the marketing organization doesn’t really know what it’s doing with all of their shiny toys and doesn’t really understand the technology, that’s bad news. Obviously, with access to SaaS tools, IT involvement is less necessary, and many would say it’s not a bad thing given the rapid pace of change.
But if this is a real problem what is the answer. More responsibility in the hands of the operations teams? Lower expectations of how much marketers should be involved in technology themselves? Of course, the no-code movement is pushing in the opposite direction. There is still a lot to develop here.
About the author
Kim Davis is the managing editor of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started with enterprise software ten years ago. His experience includes enterprise SaaS, digital and data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology and data in marketing. He first wrote about marketing technology as the editor of Haymarkets The Hub, a specialty marketing tech website that later became a channel for the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN in 2016 as Senior Editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief, a position he held until January 2020. Prior to tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor on the New York Times website’s hyperlocal news show, The Local: East Village, and previously worked as an editor for a scholarly publication and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog and has been the occasional guest post for Eater.