Over the last week, you might have missed three extremely interesting studies related to AI and marketing. Although our day-to-day work lives are busy, it’s worth pausing to take a closer look at these stats. It’s important to examine what they mean for how we marketers need to pivot. Overall, these stats are not good. Over the last 20 years, brands and marketing professionals have built major infrastructure and hired expensive talent. They’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars in frameworks that allow for more precise marketing and ad targeting. All of these actions share the goal of driving more efficient use of budgets and, ultimately, boosting return on investment. But at the end of the day, it looks like there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. The work needs to occur not only to prove value to the C-suite, but also to create confidence within the marketing organization as a whole.
What are the key stats, you ask?
- Stat #1: 71% of marketing executives stated that demonstrating the value of marketing to the CEO, CFO, and the board will be very — or extremely — challenging during the upcoming year.
- Stat #2: Only 38% of marketers are very confident in their customer data and analytics systems.
- Stat #3: Just 28% of American CMOs have substantial confidence in their analytics.
What does this tell us? Well, for starters, it says that marketers aren’t confident in their collection, cleansing, and use of data. Overall, the CMOs aren’t sure if they will know how to demonstrate value over the next year.
Why is this a concern?
As many marketers know, data makes the marketing world go round. It essentially provides job security. Analytics powers our recommendations, provides rationales for our ad spend, and allows us to track user interest and keep our sales team armed with prospects. These frameworks have helped us prove value since the dawn of the digital revolution. But now, all are in question. If nearly 70% of CMOs and nearly 60% of marketers lack confidence in their data and analytics framework, it hints that the baseline argument underlying how we communicate value is unraveling.
We marketers need to take more control of the data process.
What should we do?
I don’t want to pretend to know all the answers, but one thing I believe is that we marketers need to take more control of the data process, at least as it relates to marketing. There are three areas where marketers can start taking back control of their data and start demonstrating more value to their CEO and CFO today.
1. Start integrating AI today!
Roughly 4% of U.S.-based CMOs say AI is either “leading the way” or “used pervasively” in their companies. We all know how customers’ expectations have expanded and how immense the data we can access truly is. How can 96% of CMOs not push for AI’s adoption at a greater scale? How can marketers analyze their data properly and uncover the right insights about future customer behavior that fuel value creation, revenue opportunities, and improved customer experiences? With the three strongest use cases for AI within marketing being data management, customer intent and predicting purchases, this technology has never been in more demand. That said, if you aren’t using AI in your marketing framework, you need to start today. Start small with customer churn analysis or customer lifetime value. If you’re able to quickly show how AI can help boost retention rates, that quick wins give you room to test more and grow the use of AI within your marketing organization.
If you aren’t using AI in your marketing framework, you need to start today.
2. Own your data projects.
Over the last 10 years, data projects have been outsourced to in-house data science teams, taking months if not quarters to prepare and analyze data. And, in most cases, these projects (87%, to be exact) never make it to production. From first-hand experience, I know how this process plays out. Either the project takes way too long and the results are far too late to be useful, or the analysis isn’t that interesting, so the time and effort are wasted. That said, marketers — more specifically, the KPI owners — need to take more control of their data projects, They must clearly articulate what they’re looking to solve and how they will use the outputs to improve performance and drive efficiencies. In fact, marketers can take full control of their data projects with the introduction of marketing performance management platforms. In addition, they can seamlessly integrate their findings into planning and activation components via automated workflows.
It’s imperative that marketers shift from a reactive mindset to a proactive planning approach with the use of AI and machine learning.
3. Shift from reactive to proactive planning.
The need to be proactive has never been greater. The changes we have experienced since the COVID-19 pandemic has forced all organizations to be more agile, whether it means adjusting to shutdowns, supply chain issues, inflation, and now even a recession. While this agility is critical, if marketers hope to demonstrate value to the C-suite, it’s imperative that they shift from a reactive mindset to a proactive planning approach. That’s possible with the use of AI and machine learning. Predictive analytics software, like Pecan AI, gives marketers the ability to not just predict revenue-driving KPIs. It also gives marketers time. Throughout my career, I have learned that ‘time kills all deals.’ Not adjusting to the market fast enough or not following up with prospects or unhappy customers in a timely manner will make your brand extinct. Predictive analytics allows you to identify the drivers of core KPIs, all the way to the user level. With that knowledge, you can properly adjust marketing communication plans to help you win and retain more customers. We’re here to help you and your marketing team take the next steps toward AI adoption. Get in touch for a quick, easy use-case consultation.