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    Do CMOs really understand how their teams use martech?

    Do CMOs really understand how their teams use martech?

    If you thought tech’s post-COVID letdown, marked by higher interest rates, widespread layoffs and consolidation, would put an end to marketers’ “shiny object syndrome,” it looks like you were wrong.

    Shiny object syndrome is most often diagnosed when money is flowing freely and colleagues and competitors are talking about new tools that are all the rage. When shiny object syndrome strikes, the world is full of possibilities, if your team can just invest in a few tools to improve engagement, identify in-market buyers or send that right message at the absolute right time.

    For a lot of marketers, especially in the B2B sector, that time is not now. 

    The marketers and marketing technologists who responded to MarTech’s 2024 Salary & Career Survey talked about proving ROI by demonstrating a positive impact on the business from martech, as well as higher levels of job dissatisfaction and turnover than in previous years. Having adequate resources was also cited as a challenge.

    Dig deeper: Job dissatisfaction up sharply: The 2024 MarTech Salary and Career Survey

    And that makes the martech-related findings from the latest edition of The CMO Survey more than a little curious. Now in its 32nd edition, the survey is directed by Professor Christine Moorman of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and is a partnership between Duke University, Deloitte and the American Marketing Association.

    The first curious finding of the latest survey is that nearly 25% of the CMOs said their teams aren’t using any marketing technology. Scott Brinker already addressed this one on LinkedIn, and he didn’t need to use many words to do so.

    If at first you don’t succeed, spend more money

    Further reading of the survey results suggest marketers in leadership positions didn’t learn much from the free-spending days. That should bother people because the free-spending days ended with a lot of people losing their jobs. And the majority of those people were not in the C-suite.

    I’m talking about results like:

    • Spending on martech as a percentage of the marketing budget is expected to grow from 19.9% to 30.9% in five years.

    That’s not, by itself, an issue. But consider that this projected increase in spend is against a backdrop where:

    • Current tools aren’t being used. Survey respondents said only 56.4% of purchased martech tools are being used.
    • Current tools aren’t delivering ROI. Half of the marketing leaders in the survey cited a gap between the return they expected from martech investments and what they actually saw.
    • Marketing teams are struggling to work with what they have. Respondents cited issues hiring staff to manage martech platforms and integrating different systems in the company with martech applications. 

    Maybe the problem is, as Brinker suggested, a simple disconnect between the people actually doing the work and the leadership at the top. 

    Let’s look at The CMO Survey findings related to generative AI, which is being used in every marketing organization — and indeed by every marketer I’ve spoken to in the last six months. Marketers are using AI on a regular basis to refine content ideas, conduct research, extract and summarize information and analyze data.

    According to The CMO Survey:

    • Companies are using AI in only 7% of marketing activities. 
    • 10% of companies are using large language models (LLMs).
    • 39% have not used such tools.

    Maybe this is a case of what the technology sector calls “shadow IT,” where the tools are being used in an unofficial capacity, by members of the marketing team, on their own. 

    Maybe, as Brinker suggested, there is a disconnect between the marketing team and the C-suite. It wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened.

    But maybe none of this really matters. 

    If you’re in marketing or marketing operations, you’re likely using martech solutions and AI-powered tools to get your job done. If you’re delivering results, working more efficiently and turning projects around faster, does the CMO really need to know how you’re doing it?

    Today it’s more clear than ever that every marketer is now a marketing technologist. 

    None of what you do on a daily basis can be done with the scale, efficiency and speed that’s required to move a business forward without technology, whether the boss knows it or not. And now we have data that suggests they don’t.


    The post Do CMOs really understand how their teams use martech? appeared first on MarTech.

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