COVID-19 has exacerbated existing pain points for CMOs, while also introducing new and unexpected challenges. C-level marketers are accustomed to managing workstreams, activating campaigns, and providing in-depth reporting and analyses on marketing efforts. These vital functions of a CMO have remained unchanged. However, the global pandemic has also forced high-level marketers to shift their focus, become more agile, and reconsider the technology and integrations their teams use day to day. 

One thing that has remained steadfast is investment in technology. CMOs rely on their MarTech solutions to streamline workflows, get real-time status updates, and access to analytics when working remotely. Teams are also recognizing that collaboration tools are essential to productivity while working from home. As a result, CMOs are experiencing a shift from numerous, time-consuming human interactions to relying on technology for campaign planning, progress reports, and insightful analytics. 

But how can you make sure that your technology is doing the most for you and your team? In the first of our two-part series addressing common pain points for CMOs in the current climate, we focus on integrating the right technology tools and using that tech to gain essential insight and justify spend during an economic downturn. In part 2, we’ll focus on the human challenges you’ll encounter when supporting your team as we move from the “New Normal” to a more established “Next Normal.”

Every CMO is facing consistent challenges from budget cuts to assessing and overhauling their tech functionalities. With economic uncertainty wreaking havoc on business plans and teams grappling with the total transformation of the way they work, we look at the hurdles CMOs are facing and three ways your technology can support a smoother working environment. 

Integrating tools to increase output 

Something that’s becoming increasingly clear to CMOs globally is the importance of streamlining systems so teams can work better together, while apart. To refine and improve processes, technology needs to be both holistic and integrated. 

68% of businesses automate their marketing in some way, so marketing tech solutions aren’t unchartered territory for teams. The requirement now is to make sure that those tech solutions are optimized to support teams within a shifting work environment. 

Systems need to become more unified to better encourage productivity, collaboration, and increase output. Consolidating tools into one space and implementing a new system of working across teams, and even the wider organization, can transform how marketing teams function. It’s key to working in the “Next Normal.” 

Other benefits of centralizing tools include fewer security risks, which is a major focus for business leaders as we transition to a remote world. By using an integrated cloud-based solution to support all your team’s tools, you’re also reducing the risk of a data breach. 

Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that a unified work solution is the way to go, but what does that look like in practice? The average enterprise uses 91 marketing cloud services, but 94% of all cloud apps aren’t enterprise ready. Therefore, you need to invest in an established work management platform that can integrate your most essential work tools into one. We’re talking about bringing together your MarTech, AdTech, Messaging, Creative, and CRM tools into one platform. 

Having a single location for your most effective tools will break down silos and increase visibility, productivity, and collaboration across teams. Imagine a tool that empowers you and your team to: 

  • Get full visibility on project statuses and intuit any potential blockers. 
  • Create dashboards to view team resources and progress.
  • Provide instant feedback on assets and drafts. 
  • Deliver creative assets without leaving creative software.
  • Have a centralized space to store up-to-date assets. 
  • Enable employees to work cross-functionally and within one platform.
  • Get real-time reports and analytics on any project or campaign.

Streamlining work processes should be a priority within organizations as we move forward. Chaotic workflows and frustrated teams will be further complicated by our evolving working environment. 

Getting actionable insights 

In 2019, 92% of businesses were investing more in AI, analytics, and big data. Amidst a global pandemic and economic downturn, using data to inform analytics is only going to become more important. This is because businesses are making more data-driven decisions that are lower risk and proven to achieve increased ROI

However, CMOs have identified two blockers to effectively using analytics: proving the value of analytics to marketing efforts and demonstrating the overall impact that investing in data will have on an organization.  

Another pain point for marketing decision-makers is streamlining data access. This would free up the time of data analysts, enabling them to do less preparation of data and more analyzing. With analytics and insights cited as the most important factor in making marketing decisions, CMOs need more accessible, intuitive, and real-time reporting to improve team performance and underscore the business value of marketing activities.  

By having reports and insights within a single work management system, you can improve processes and make better decisions for your teams and projects precisely when they’re needed. When your entire team can work from the same platform, they can create standardized reporting templates to better track each campaign and project in real time. With pre-created reporting at your fingertips, you’ll be in a much better position to align your progress with marketing KPIs and wider business objectives. 

Within one platform, your team would be able to:

  • Create customized reports from within your centralized work tool
  • Increase visibility on all projects and make faster decisions to avoid blockers. 
  • Access more actionable data and create versatile marketing reports as needed. 
  • Offer insight and ready-to-use data to support your team. 
  • Create reusable templates to speed up data access. 

Not only will a centralized, powerful analytics tool increase data quality and the ability to apply it to your marketing strategy, but you’ll also be able to prove the value of data to the success of your marketing initiatives.  

Proving ROI and profit in a pandemic 

Businesses and markets are becoming tentative as a result of the economic downturn and this is an obvious pain point for CMOs, who rely on significant budgets and large campaigns to hit marketing targets. 44% are facing budget cuts as a result of the pandemic while, at the same time, teams are facing increased pressure with marketing becoming an even more essential business function

As well as proving the value of analytics, CMOs are tasked with demonstrating the significance of marketing activities to overall business success, mainly by showing substantial ROI. To secure funds and reach marketing objectives, it’s once again vital that your tools allow you to do just that. As CMO, you need visibility of entire campaigns as well as access to real-time reporting. Full accessibility and visibility of current processes and spend will also enable you to better prepare should there be a budget cut in the future. 

Your CRM tool is another key aspect of connecting your marketing efforts with customer acquisition and ROI. Aside from using customer insights to inform marketing decisions (which we’ll discuss in part 2), integrating sales and marketing tools enables CMOs to further demonstrate the value marketing brings to customer acquisition. It also highlights the value of marketing spend on wider business objectives. 

For example, integrating a CRM such as Salesforce into your one-stop work management platform enables your team to: 

  • Support sales by centralizing cross-functional tasks. 
  • Manage campaigns and projects from a consolidated dashboard. 
  • Prepare and export executive-level presentations and reports.
  • Gather data to demonstrate direct marketing impact on sales.
  • Prove ROI by linking marketing efforts to sales and customers. 

Robust reporting and the ability to demonstrate ROI at any time is vital, especially during a pandemic. Ensuring that business leaders see the value of marketing investment is key to maintaining budgets and overall organizational profitability. 

Unfortunately, CMO pain points will endure, but consolidating your technology to improve processes and leveraging analytics will reduce day-to-day headaches and common blockers. There’s no limit to the collaborative potential and productivity of a well-oiled marketing machine using the right tools to maximize effectiveness. So why not embrace a work management platform designed especially for marketers? As well as satisfying your team’s everyday needs, it has the potential to integrate the tools your team already uses to streamline and centralize workflows. 

Wrike for Marketers is changing the way teams are working, particularly in the current climate. It’s truly the next logical step as we all enter the “Next Normal.” See how Wrike for Marketers can support your team by checking out a demo or reading more about this one-of-a-kind work management solution.