Gartner 2022 Marketing Symposium: 3 Key Takeaways

CMOs face a challenging road ahead coming out of the COVID pandemic. While storefronts are opening and office workers have begun to return to the office, the legacy of the pandemic will continue to play out on marketing strategies and budgets in the years to come. Marketing leaders can drive change by helping their organizations develop new solutions to meet changing market and customer needs.

CMOs are dealing with unprecedented levels of change as they drive large, transformational projects to integrate new technology and skillsets to their teams.

Munvo recently attended the Gartner 2022 Marketing Symposium and we wanted to share with you three key takeaways we left the event with which we feel will influence the coming year:

1. Marketing departments struggle to retain the hard skills needed to launch scalable customer engagement strategies

Marketers are feeling confident in their soft capabilities – brand value and strategy. When it comes to hard capabilities, CMOs feel their departments are falling short. The top strategic gap faced by marketing departments is in marketing data and analytics. This is followed closely by both understanding the customer, managing customer experiences, and effectively utilizing marketing technology.

The number of companies outsourcing these critical capabilities is increasing. This trend will only continue to grow as the use of digital channels and technology increases the need to maintain expensive integrations between systems. It also brings a need to train employees in an ever-growing myriad of tools and technologies. Today’s marketing stack has, on average, ballooned to 37 products, with more advanced stacked reaching beyond 70 deployed MarTech products. Considering this level of increase in marketing owned solutions, it’s no wonder that CMOs are struggling to keep their teams armed with the technical knowledge required to keep it all working together and in an optimized manner.

2. Marketing stacks are underutilized or over procured

In the last few years, Marketing departments have gained more control over their marketing technology procurement process compared to the past when it was an IT driven process. This newfound control over their stacks should not be taken lightly and marketers need to be careful not to dive headfirst into the latest MarTech trends without careful consideration. Companies have made large investments into their marketing stacks but as these stacks grow, most companies aren’t realizing the full value of those investments.
Despite having made large investments, companies typically aren’t realizing the full value of their existing marketing technologies. Only 58% of current stacks are in use – which highlights the level of underutilization and over-procurement.

When considering the acquisition of a new piece of marketing technology, it is important to take a needs focused approach. Ask yourself:

  • What additional value can we deliver to customers with this technology?
  • What will we be able to do with this technology that we can’t currently accomplish?
  • How much of this can we do with our existing technology?

All this said, it doesn’t mean that large stacks are inherently ineffective. In fact, Gartner reports that most of their Genius brands have among the largest marketing stacks. What’s important is that marketers are purposeful about acquiring new solutions. CMOs need to maintain the focus on customer engagement and marketing strategies; thinking about how new technologies will integrate with current marketing, as well as other business units’ technology stacks and processes.

3. Using customer data effectively is more important than collecting tons of it

Building a cohesive, 360-degree view is a worthy goal with many benefits, however, it is best to take an iterative approach. More data does not necessarily create more impact and can introduce more risk than it the benefit it brings. Not only does more data increase the amount of noise, but it also increases need for strong data governance procedures and the risk of brand damage with the misuse of customer data.
Building a 360-degree view of the customer is a non-linear process and, as with most things in life, is subject to the law of diminishing returns. It is best to start small with specific use cases in mind that drive customer value and experience. If you can show that you are delivering value on the data collected, customers will be more likely to agree to hand over their data. Over collection of data can lead to brand distrust among consumers.

Before looking at ways to increase data collection or bring in third party data, the first step should always be to take a holistic view of existing data, break down data silos throughout the organization, and integrate customer data from disparate channels and lines of business. From there, marketers need to collect and integrate data intentionally, always keeping focus on how the additional data added can help drive customer experience and engagement.

Be sure to keep in mind these three points before collecting more data:

  1. Align on the marketing and customer experience strategies that you would like to deliver to your customers
  2. Explore if there is existing data that would enable the delivery of those use cases
  3. Plan to collect additional missing data as needed to drive customer value.

In terms of data, a little goes a long way. “Over personalization” can have a net negative effect and come off as creepy and intrusive to your customers. Keeping the customer experience at the forefront of data collection efforts will ensure that you are able to maximize ROI, run a lean operation, and reduce risks and pitfalls associated with over collection of data. 

Where do we go from here…

All the topics discussed come together neatly under one over-arching theme – to be the most effective, marketers need to keep the customer experience at the forefront and remained focused on the original use cases. Keep the customer first and focus on delivering value with a touch of personalization to realize the best ROI.

The team at Munvo are experts in MarTech integration. Having worked with a variety of enterprise solutions since our inception in 2005, we bring time-tested frameworks and strategies to each client we work with. Whether you are looking to integrate a new product to your MarTech stack, or unlock the unused potential in your current stack, Munvo Maximizes Your MarTech Investment.

Book a meeting with us today – our experts will listen to your unique business needs and work with you as a trusted advisor to put together a plan to get you there.

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