Trend report: CMOs and CIOs will end 2013 as either friend or ‘frenemy’

CMOs and CIOs will begin 2013 as peers and end the year as either friends or ‘frenemies’, as the CIO becomes more actively involved in marketing automation decisions, a trend report says.

Business analyst IDC’s ‘Chief Marketing Officer Predictions’ expects CMOs to become ‘masters of data’ this year and be required to produce a strategy for how market-driven data will contribute to corporate objectives.

Failure to do so could result in a sticky end, the report warns: “CMOs will find that their positions are in jeopardy if they fail to produce a robust data-analytics function – or even a game plan to get there,” the prediction reads.

IDC believes outlay on automation could approach 10% of marketing’s discretionary budget in 2013, with two-thirds of the total outlay coming from marketing and one-third coming from IT. Among best-practice organisations, the analysts predicts the balance to hit 50:50 by 2014, as marketing assumes more of IT’s budget.

In response to these trends, 50% of new hires in marketing teams are expected to come from technical backgrounds this year, as organisations realise they do not have the skills in place to cope with the data challenge.

“The challenge for the CMO is dealing with self-educated buyers,” Rich Vancil, IDC group vice president, adds, hinting at the consumer trends driving the uptake of data-driven initiatives. “These are the smart, resourceful, and socially-connected consumers who do their own research before ever entering the formal channels of a vendor’s marketing and selling apparatus.

“In the wake of all of their self-education is a stream of data that the CMO will have to understand.”

Other trends forecast by the report include the adoption of ‘mobile first’ strategies, the movement of social media into functions outside of marketing and the upgrade of CRM systems as the demand for greater insight into the revenue impact of marketing and sales increases.

Eight out of ten companies will see social media initiative growth take place outside of marketing, and by the end of 2013, 5% of CMOs will have adopted a ‘mobile first’ strategy.

CRM is also expected to become more nimble. As high-tech pipeline conversion metrics improve, IDC expects a 20% improvement in target-to-deal ratios and a 10% reduction in time to create a customer, due to better automation and analytics-driven process improvement.

Automation will also allow content to become more nimble. “Content isn’t king – it’s a wild beast. In 2013, CMOs will be pragmatic, shifting focus less on big platform projects and more on linking access to audience needs,” the report concludes.