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Key Findings from the 2024 CMO Intentions Study: Martech Integration and AI Adoption

In partnership with the ™, we surveyed nearly 200 Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) at both B2B and B2C companies across a variety of industries throughout North American and Europe.

Here’s what we learned.

Cross-Functional Alignment is Key to Martech Integration

Marketing teams, especially those at large organizations, have many tools at their disposal. But many aren’t using these tools and solutions to their full extent.

39% of respondents said functional alignment and execution across the org needed to improve. These same respondents are already teaming up with others inside of their organization about the existing tech stack, particularly CIOs (59%) and the wider IT organization (58%), though CTO, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Data Officer, and Chief Experience Officer were all high on the list.

Further, when asked what challenges they face in gaining organizational adoption of platforms and point solutions, at the top of the list, mentioned by 31% of respondents, was proving the ROI. 28% mentioned the challenge in the process of teaming with IT, finance, and procurement to source solutions, and 26% cited the issue of legacy systems and technical challenges when integrating new, modern platforms.

So CMOs are partnering across the org on martech procurement, integration, and unification, but not entirely successfully. And 40% of our respondents said proving ROI and demonstrating attribution has the most need for improvement within marketing operations.

Tools are great, but if they aren’t leading to efficiencies or providing demonstrable value to the organization, they aren’t much help to the CMO and their teams. CMOs today need to solve for this alignment and integration gap within their companies, and quickly.

The Role of the CMO is Morphing

In addition to the new skillset of CMOs as technology integrators and cross-functional stewards, in recent years, CMO’s have been increasingly held to performance metrics.

Gone are the days of speaking to “brand awareness” or other TOFU metrics, marketing leaders are now held to top-line revenue growth. In fact, in this survey, 54% of CMOs stated that revenue growth was a business expectation of 2024. This was the option chosen most, followed by “operational efficiency and reduced costs” and “AI technology-driven efficiencies.”

This tells us that management teams and boards are not only expected to produce tangible results, but as efficiently as possible. But with 37% of our respondents saying their marketing campaign performance in 2023 “needs improvement,” or “underperformed”, there’s work to be done. Only 17% cited excellent performance.

CMOs are Expected to Solve the AI Gap

GenAI holds the promise of efficiency, integration, and successful marketing outcomes, all of which are vital, as evidenced by everything we’ve just covered. But CMOs are expected to figure out how to integrate modern AI tools into the tech stack. In fact, 41% of respondents said one of the key business expectations from management and the board for 2024 is AI technology driven efficiencies.

AI made the top three of the years’ priorities and expectations from above. And CMOs agree with leadership of its importance. It was the clear leader, cited by 57% of respondents, when asked which technology investments are likely to create the most value and ROI in 2024.

Interestingly, nearly half of respondents also mentioned CDPs, which further speaks to the above points about the need for more clear alignment, and fewer silos, so that organization-wide data is available and actionable to all teams.

Having centralized data is also important to make the most of AI tools. 35% of respondents said they needed to improve customer insight and intelligence to drive action. AI-powered solutions can support this effort.

But so far, many CMOs are using AI for content creation and optimization (38%), productivity/efficiency (37%), personalization (36%), predictive analytics (36%), and customer segmentation (36%). Considering that AI was an expectation from leadership and the board, these numbers are pretty small.

As the year progresses, CMOs need to dive deeper into the GenAI waters to learn what’s possible, and most importantly, how to implement it within their teams.

Download the Full Results

This is just a taste of the findings from our 2024 CMO Intentions study. To learn more about the respondents, see key differences between B2B and B2C, and understand the full survey findings from CMOs in the US and EMEA, download the full report.

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