In her article about the paper, Microsoft Australia CMO/COO Rachel Bondi states that ‘the CMO has never had more to do, with less resources to do it’.
She’s absolutely right—CMO responsibilities continue to grow. More responsibility doesn’t necessarily mean bigger teams though, so CMOs do have less resources in that sense.
But there’s another problem: a flood of technology ‘solutions’ that could drown even a strong swimmer. You could argue that the CMO has never had more to do, with too many resources to do it.
As Microsoft discusses, CMOs now deal with the issues associated with a limited staff and seemingly limitless technology options. So-called solutions should solve those problems and save time too, but some do more than others.
With so many tools specialising in so many things, what should you expect out of a useful one?
The best marketing tools can do the following:
#1 Integrate with your existing programs
You probably have a combination of SaaS, CRM, CMS and other acronyms already in place. Your tools should easily integrate with them—if they don’t replace them altogether.
As Microsoft mentions, enterprises in particular have established systems containing large amounts of often-sensitive information. Your tools should be able to fit comfortably alongside your existing systems.
#2 Make sense of your data
The overwhelming amount of data available is on par with the overwhelming amount of technology options.
Good marketing technology should deliver data, as well as help analyse and leverage the insights that data provides.
Microsoft is right: marketers are uniquely skilled to determine which data insights to follow. Your tools should make that human element as intuitive as possible.
#3 Protect your information
If you sit at a computer from 9-5, there is a good chance you’ve heard about the latest software virus spreading around the globe. This is a no-brainer: your technology providers should be able to unequivocally explain how they protect your data.
#4 Boost collaboration
Marketers have always been connectors, but this role is more important than ever.
The CMO can’t implement new technology without the IT team. The growth of the remote office means that teams need support to stay connected. Often historically at odds with each other, sales and marketing are interconnected thanks to the data belonging to each.
Marketing technology should streamline workflow and communications as well as maintain up-to-date data across departments.
#5 Help you create an amazing customer experience
Organised data combined with collaborative technology and teams creates potential for a next-level customer experience.
The best tech solutions create a positive customer interaction that converts into action—whether that’s purchase, engagement with the brand, or something else.
#6 Produce and analyse results
None of this matters without positively impacting the bottom line, but your software should also help identify what works well so you can replicate and build on that success.
For example, SalesPreso tracks the level of engagement with content in sales presentations—both during sales meetings, and when potential customers review the information on their own.
Using AI, the platform can analyse sales performance data—such as time to close, business won and scale of deals—to identify the repeatable patterns and content associated with success. It then automatically recommends how and when to use that content in the sales process, so you can replicate successful results quickly and easily.
Bonus #7: Your software should come with a stellar support team that can help solve your specific problems.
Rachel mentions the perception that CMOs are under threat of change—but I’d argue that they’re just buried under the opportunity that comes with it. We have access to a wealth of information that we didn’t have less than 10 years ago, and the sheer size of this data can be intimidating.
With the right tools and the right support team behind them, CMOs can use that data to achieve big results for the business.