The emergence of the ‘analytical’ CMO - Image by Buffik from PixabayCOVID-19, Brexit and a drive for digital transformation are forcing Chief marketing Officers (CMO) in the UK to think differently about driving customer experience and success. Recent reports reveal 73% of CMOs in the UK surveyed are seeing an increased importance in the role of marketing in their organization now, compared to pre-pandemic times. At the same time, over half of CMO’s surveyed see improving marketing ROI as a top priority.

In the post-Covid era, organizations are recalibrating their marketing strategies to better use data and analytics to improve their competitive advantage. Research suggests over 56% of CMOs surveyed in the UK have shifted resources post-pandemic to improving data integration to enable end-to-end customer tracking.

The evolution of the CMO’s role post-pandemic

Increasingly, it is the CMO who has to take the lead to drive digital adoption and become the organization’s digital evangelist. Data is ‘everywhere’, and the CMO is increasingly expected to use multiple sources of data analysis and marketing intelligence for revenue growth.

The CMO’s role has evolved significantly over the past year. Deloitte’s 2021 Global Marketing Trends Report indicates that the role of marketing and CMO’s has elevated within the C-suite. Some executives cited marketing and sales as one of the most important functional areas in the coming 12 months, second only to data and technology. In a rapidly changing competitive landscape, CMOs can use this moment to drive an analytics-first culture. One that re-imagines the role of data to increase revenue and grow the business.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, advertising spend has shifted to digital, with half of all US advertising budgets being spent on online advertisers Google, Facebook and Amazon. Additional research by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC indicates digital advertising grew by 12% year-on-year. With a surge of customer data available, CMOs have to respond to changes in the market in hours and minutes, not in days or weeks.

Strengthening leadership with a multidisciplinary toolkit

To succeed in this dynamic environment, CMOs have made the shift to becoming more analytical. They now have a multidisciplinary toolbox of skills — including experiential, creative, and analytical, to gain insights to shape data-driven marketing, and business strategy. Data is a vital part of driving growth marketing.

Embracing the value of data-driven marketing

Every organization wants data-driven marketing. Marketing leaders are faced with a flood of new customer data and insights that they are expected to use to shape their strategy. To see how this plays out in real life, take a look at the wheelchair accessibility company Braunability. They previously dealt with siloed data that was not easy to share and did not generate meaningful intelligence. With the help of the right Business Intelligence (BI) solution, they were able to integrate sales, marketing, and logistics information to plan their promotions and new campaigns. This evolved Braunability’s marketing strategy to the next level.

Marketing continues to change in every industry due to tighter margins and increasing data capabilities. CMOs are looking to level up their organization with the right actionable intelligence, delivered to the right users at the right place and time.

Choosing a powerful analytics platform, that can connect to disparate data sources and infuse insights into user workflows, will be key for companies to separate themselves from their competitors and ultimately improve their marketing performance.

Enhancing the creative process by infusing data analytics

Traditionally, the CMO had a creative mandate to think about how best to engage customers. Decisions were mostly gut-driven and based on historical data. Today’s CMO must combine their creative thinking with marketing intelligence. Data analysis reveals which adverts convert best, customer triggers, unmet needs, and affinities that can unlock new opportunities.

A McKinsey and Company survey of over 200 CMOs and senior marketing executives revealed that marketers who combine data and creative thinking drive more growth than those who don’t. The top-performing marketers consistently integrated four or more insights on average into the process of improving customer experience instead of the traditional approach of using analytics as a distinct and separate process.

Unlocking deeper customer insights by infusing analytics into workflows

Customer data resides everywhere, but it may not be in the most obvious of places. Chatbots, social media, voice search — these new sources of textual data contain valuable but untapped insights. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing, specifically natural language processing, can convert this rich textual data into valuable customer insights.

When done right, it can give CMOs a significant competitive advantage. According to the Sisense-commissioned IDC Internal Analytics Survey 2020, 78% of business leaders already use AI in their BI tools. The rest plan to start using it in the near future. In addition, 38% of users are looking for a solution that offers natural language queries. Savvy CMOs use artificial intelligence to track granular details about their customers and campaigns to optimize in real-time.

Analytics from this wide array of sources are the CMO’s best friend for things like measuring return-on-investment (ROI) on marketing spend and other important KPIs.

One solution that helps support the CMO’s analytical journey is to infuse analytics into workflows. Doing this bridges the gap for marketing teams by providing self-service, shareability, and real-time updated data right where and when users need it, without leaving their usual tasks to hunt for intelligence. According to the IDC survey, 61% of business leaders say incorporating analytics into their existing workflows is a key criterion when choosing third party solutions.

How customer insights influence C-suite strategy

Challenges provide tremendous opportunities to grow. As organizations face fast-changing customer expectations post-pandemic, it is the right time for CMOs to evolve the remit of their role. They can take analytics-driven customer insights to the boardroom to prove marketing’s strategic importance and help influence business strategy and direction.

To achieve this, a strong foundation of analytics is essential. With the right analytics solution infused seamlessly into workflows, marketing leaders can develop an analytics-driven culture that leads to optimized campaigns and improved KPIs, ultimately impacting revenues. An agile analytics infrastructure is key to evolving your business.

SISENSESisense goes beyond traditional business intelligence by providing organizations with the ability to infuse analytics everywhere, embedded in both customer and employee applications and workflows. Sisense customers are breaking through the barriers of analytics adoption by going beyond the dashboard with Sisense Fusion – the highly customizable, AI-driven analytics cloud platform, that infuses intelligence at the right place and the right time, every time. More than 2,000 global companies rely on Sisense to innovate, disrupt markets and drive meaningful change in the world. Ranked as the No. 1 Business Intelligence company in terms of customer success, Sisense has also been named one of the Forbes’ Cloud 100, The World’s Best Cloud Companies, five years in a row. Visit us at and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.


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