Digital TransformationStrategy & LeadershipFour secrets of the data-driven CMO

Four secrets of the data-driven CMO

What does a data-driven CMO do to stand out from the rest? Top behaviors based on insights from Domo about how to become more data-driven and successful.

Picture a data-driven CMO. Did you envision someone bent over a desk crowded with several computer monitors obsessively checking smartphone screens and spreadsheets? If so, then what you have pictured is actually a CMO who isn’t making the best use of all their data — which in the era of big data, is most CMOs. 

In 2016, Robert Tas, CMO of Pegasystems, warned, “The sheer volume of customer data available to marketers today is both a blessing and a curse.” 

And in the three years since, the volume of data most marketers are dealing with has only grown, leaving many CMOs frazzled and scrambling to make sense of that wealth of data. 

However, the truly data-driven CMOs have lots of little secrets that give them give an edge on even the most numbers-bent executives out there. 

Data-driven CMOs get the stories they need from the information that is available to them and execute data-informed campaigns that turn heads and win new audiences. 

Content produced in collaboration with Domo.

Four secrets of data-driven CMOs

Here are a few of the secrets of data-driven CMOs that will help you extract greater value and more revenue out of the data you currently have.

Don’t be overwhelmed by data

According to a recent study by Forrester, somewhere between 60-73% of all the data enterprise companies collect goes unused. 

Another study by Kantar found that 58% of senior marketers said their organizations were not able to successfully act on all the data they had collected in ways that felt meaningful to their marketing strategy. 

So how do data-driven CMOs overcome these challenges? They avoid overwhelming themselves with data. 

Many CMOs assume they should pour over every number in every report. But that level of engagement doesn’t make a CMO “data-driven” — it just drives data exhaustion. 

The CMO who fails to manage by exception will inevitably flounder in a self-imposed deluge of data. Instead of looking at every metric, try engaging only in situations where actual results differ significantly from planned results. Cost per conversion too high? Dive deeper into the numbers. Is it right on target? If so, let the campaign run its course. 

You should be able to receive real-time alerts when there are anomalies, and rely on your team to manage the details when there aren’t.

Use data to create smarter content

It is a common refrain among marketers and advertisers that content creation is an art form and adding data into the mix simply muddies the palette. 

However, data-driven CMOs know that key insights can fine-tune even the best content. Adopting a data-driven strategy doesn’t mean sacrificing creativity. Rather, data helps focus and harness that creativity in productive, meaningful ways. 

Great content comes from a deep understanding of audience, and that understanding comes from regular testing. Getting those deep-dive insights involves the fusion of right-brained creativity coupled with methodical, systematic testing of everything an audience consumes. 

Learn what works in terms of subject matter, tone, style, headlines, taglines, calls-to-action, long copy, short copy, even the use of a single word. Data-driven creativity is all about giving audiences content that is meaningful and valuable, then measuring their responses carefully. 

Test, then test again

Sure, you might be A/B testing the big things, like layouts on landing pages. But are you paying attention to the details? The data-driven CMO uses the information available to choose the right strategies and then lets the testing begin. 

There’s no room for egos in a truly data-driven strategy—if it tests well, keep it and refine it. Everything else goes back to the drawing board. 

A key part of determining what is working is taking A/B testing to a whole new level. Perhaps you’ve tested different layouts on your landing pages, but have you tested how different content pieces perform in lead nurturing campaigns? You can bet your bottom dollar that the data-driven CMO does.

Make sure your decisions are data-driven 

A recent study by Ascend2 found that basing more decisions on data analysis was the number one marketing objective of surveyed professions. In fact, 51% said they would be focusing their attention on incorporating data into their decisions in the future. That’s because, according to Bill Bruno, CEO of leading marketing and media consultancy, Ebiquity, “Data is the new oil.”

“And when used effectively and efficiently, it has the power to create better, targeted, and more positive customer experiences,” Bruno says. 

When CMOs act on the best data available, that data boosts credibility, produces stellar results, and ultimately makes for better, more relevant content.

For more tips, check out Domo’s white paper, “7 Secrets of the Data-Driven CMO.”

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