What are the key tech challenges marketers are face heading into 2017? As part of my predictions for 2017 (see here for 20+ marketing predictions from the C-Suite), I interviewed Kraig Swensrud, CMO of Campaign Monitor, former CMO of Salesforce.com, and founder of two tech firms – Kieden and GetFeedback. Below are Swensrud’s 5 tech challenges and predictions for 2017.
5 Tech Challenges Marketers Face In 2017
• An enormous challenge for CMOs heading into 2017 is fully understanding the MarTech Landscape: Technology is transforming marketing faster than ever before. It’s easy to remember a time when marketing was a function that wasn’t very tech savvy. The number of vendors (largely software companies) that are vying for marketers’ budgets has exploded. In 2014, there were about 1000 companies. In 2015, there were about 2000 companies. In 2016, there are about 4000 companies (see Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic here) and it is expected to double again within the next 18 months. The challenge will be to fully understand the solutions available to CMOs and to identify the right partner(s) to solve technology-related challenges.
Coping with the complexity of vendor management will be a Key Challenge for CMOs: The average marketing organization (excluding the Fortune 500) uses 16 different software vendors to deal with their data, customers, and marketing programs. 82% of CMOs use a variety of different vendors because most don’t have the suite of technology to manage all of a CMO’s needs. However, the challenge of managing and integrating the different vendors will become a potential source of advantage (or disadvantage).
• The pace of Innovation is Outpacing the Ability for CMOs to Grasp It. There is an explosion of innovation but it is really hard for small to mid-sized companies to keep up. Their organizations and staffs are fast-growing and changing quickly. Consequently, 2017 will either be a year for CMOs to find the time to catch up or to lean on vendor partners more.
More CMOs will Go Back to School (metaphorically speaking) to become more Data-Driven CMOs: In many organizations, the HIPPO (highest paid person’s opinion) has historically driven decision-making. Now with the marketing technology we have, we can use data and analytics to make more informed decisions. But to do this, leading CMOs will work to increase their own knowledge so that they can stitch together the data foundation that can be leveraged acrossCustomer Experience (CX) will be Tracked, Better Understood through Integrated Mapping, and be the responsibility of the CMO: Technology has historically been used to solve a specific problem. It hasn’t been used for more macro projects like understanding and managing CX. However, in 2017, you will start to see tech vendors integrating into their products. For example, right now, many of Campaign Monitor’s customers are B2C firms who run their online stores from Magento (and other providers). We provide a separate solution designed to manage these same customers’ email campaigns. The customers, however, interact through both the online store and their email inbox. Shouldn’t these experiences be seamless? Now, technology vendors are developing apps so that that the different vendors can ensure that they work with other vendors’ solutions—creating a seamless CX.
A Mega Technology Trend is that the Customer Experience (CX) will be Tracked,