One of the best parts of my job is that I get to meet with a lot of high-level marketers, CMOs, and sales leaders throughout the year and learn about what’s important to them. Since annual planning began back in the summer and fall, these leaders have been talking about what is on their wish lists for 2018.
Without further ado, here are the top three things CMOs want to see happen this year:
- AI + Predictive
This is a huge topic. Our partners over at Salesforce Einstein are doing a great job of talking about this kind of marketing transformation. During discussions with CMOs, questions pop up like, “Can’t I just throw data into Einstein and it can do that?” We at DemandGen are big fans of what predictive has already brought to the MarTech world in areas like audience discovery and predictive scoring. AI-powered chatbots are another interesting evolution of chat point solutions (our CEO David Lewis talks to Chief MarTech and HubSpot VP Scott Brinker about this very topic on DemandGen Radio).
- Insights on Demand
When we ask marketing leaders what the dashboard of their dreams is, we tend to get a lot of different answers. Marketing’s impact on revenue, though, is a constant. I get the sense, however, that these leaders don’t actually want marketing dashboards. They just want to know that marketing dashboards exist, and people are utilizing them. What they really want are Insights on Demand. They want the smart people on their team to share visuals, but explain in a few bullet points why they matter. I asked my peer Gaea Connary about CMO dashboards once, and she summarized it this way: “The ‘CMO dashboard’ is a mythical unicorn. No CMO wants to look at a dashboard; they just want the analysis and the plan.” Still, you’ll need some solid reporting and analytics to get those insights in the first place.
- Building the Right Team
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this. “What roles do I need to hire?” has become a common request from clients. After all, what’s MarTech without the right people to manage it? We are uniquely positioned to offer this insight primarily because we serve as an extension of so many marketing teams. Our clients use us to either serve a role that doesn’t exist or to enhance their existing resources. In addition to providing this kind of support, we can help marketing teams identify skill gaps (hint: marketers with data, digital, and MarTech experience), refine job titles and descriptions to secure the best talent, and even recommend an overarching organizational structure to support your planned initiatives.
So, there you have it. The top three items on CMOs’ wish lists for 2018, but by no means the only ones. How do these compare to what you have planned? Here at DemandGen, we specialize in the marketing technology that makes marketing teams successful. Need assistance? We offer a full range of MarTech deployment and integration services so you and your team can focus on strategy and execution.
Will Waugh is a consultant for DemandGen focused on helping clients with demand generation, lead management and leveraging marketing technology. He genuinely believes that data can change the world. Follow him on on Twitter. Other articles by Will Waugh: MarTech in 2018: Five Way-Too-Early Predictions