The Path to CMO: 4 Must-Have Skills for Career Growth in Marketing
Are you looking to crack the code on accelerating your career growth in marketing — and, ultimately, becoming a chief marketing officer (CMO)?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to executive aptitude, but there is one thing we know all aspiring marketing leaders need to prioritize: the integration of emerging technologies that unlock access to crucial metrics and ROI.
According to a McKinsey study, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers. The proliferation of accessible AI is the catalyst for empowering marketers like never before. With data about the future in hand, marketing leaders can confidently step into the boardroom and explain exactly how they will increase revenue and by how much. These metrics not only shed light on existing opportunities and weaknesses but also have the potential to predict the next best steps for attracting and engaging customers.
Welcome to the marketing job of the future, where predictive analytics lets you gaze into the crystal ball of consumer behavior. So, how can you harness this crystal ball and become a world-class marketing leader?
The problem with marketing analytics today
Despite partnerships with data science and machine learning engineering teams, most marketers struggle with bridging the gap between companies’ data initiatives and the needs of marketing leaders to guide high-level strategy.
According to the Pecan State of Predictive Analytics in Marketing report, 84% of marketing executives agreed that making day-to-day data-driven decisions remains difficult. The challenges arise from growing data silos within organizations, limited data analytics proficiency, and the potential for various interpretations of data. The research findings highlight the urgency of acquiring the necessary resources and skills for successful data-driven marketing strategies.
By embracing AI and predictive analytics, you can impress your colleagues and organizational leaders with remarkable growth in your digital marketing campaigns’ effectiveness — and gain a considerable advantage on the path to CMO.
Whether you specialize in social media marketing, brand management, or broader marketing strategies, leveraging data-driven insights will propel your career forward. This approach provides a competitive advantage that enables you to optimize campaigns, personalize customer experiences, and drive revenue growth.
Here are the four essential skills you’ll need to generate KPI-focused insights, gain a data-driven advantage, and thrive in your career.
1. Master data-driven decision-making
There’s no doubt that success in digital marketing hinges on your ability to make data-driven decisions. When you can analyze results and make informed adjustments based on insights, you can enhance the impact of your marketing campaigns.
That was the result for game developer SciPlay, when they adopted Pecan’s predictive analytics to optimize their retargeting campaigns and improve their campaigns’ efficiency.
“Pecan allows us to be more profitable and invest better. We are definitely able to buy smarter than we used to, and it’s becoming a competitive edge,” says Evyatar Livny, VP of Marketing Technologies at SciPlay.
With predictive analytics, you can finally move beyond guesswork and use data to pinpoint trends, target the appropriate audience, and enhance your marketing strategies for improved outcomes. Amidst changes caused by iOS, SKAdNetwork, and the loss of third-party cookies, attribution has become more difficult than ever.
Enter marketing mix modeling (MMM). Powered by advanced machine learning, MMM enables marketers to strengthen their strategies with fast and accurate insights, unaffected by ad platform changes, with accurate online and offline attribution at scale. This proficiency in data-driven decision-making is vital for career advancement in marketing.
2. Get comfortable with emerging tech
It’s essential to stay ahead of emerging technologies to remain competitive and advance your marketing career. Recent innovations in artificial intelligence, such as the rise of generative AI and AI-powered predictive analytics, have revolutionized marketing strategies.
For instance, generative AI can help writers conduct research faster or summarize marketing reports for key stakeholders, while AI-driven predictive analytics enables deep insights into things like customer lifetime value or campaign optimization.
By demonstrating your competence with emerging tech, you position yourself as a valuable asset to the organization.
3. Hone your leadership skills to promote innovative team thinking
As you progress in your marketing career, expanding your role beyond executing campaigns to leading teams and driving innovation could be one of the most valuable, yet the most challenging, soft skills to acquire. But giving your team access to the latest innovations can lead to impressive outcomes.
For example, a marketing leader at Armor VPN brought about improvements in short- and long-term planning by adopting predictive analytics.
“Predicting lifetime value with Pecan has shaped more effective and efficient decision-making and strategy for our user acquisition efforts,” says this marketing executive.
To unlock career growth and eventually become a CMO, you must foster a culture of innovation within your marketing teams. Here’s what you need to do: Encourage experimentation, cross-functional collaboration, and provide opportunities for your team members to develop their skills and explore new ideas.
By honing your leadership skills and fostering innovative thinking, you can establish yourself as a trusted leader. You’ll show you’re capable of propelling your customer engagement strategies forward with a solid team behind you.
4. Demonstrate ROI and business impact
The ability to demonstrate the real impact of marketing on the business will undoubtedly put you in the fast lane to the CMO position. However, measuring ROI and communicating the effectiveness of your campaigns can be challenging without the right tools.
This is where predictive analytics plays a pivotal role, especially for digital marketers. By leveraging predictive analytics, you can quantify your marketing campaigns’ effectiveness, accurately attribute revenue, and showcase the value you bring to your organization.
By using customer-level predictions based on future value, marketing teams can optimize ad campaigns within 24 to 48 hours rather than waiting weeks. This approach provides invaluable insights into long-term potential, aligns with marketing goals, and drives higher ROAS (return on ad spend). You will increase your chances of securing higher-level roles like CMO by presenting tangible results and demonstrating your ability to contribute to the bottom line.
Predicting campaign ROAS can help you optimize spending fast for maximum results.
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Embracing AI and predictive analytics is essential to unlocking your full potential in the marketing world. By mastering data-driven decision-making, staying at the forefront of emerging technologies, fostering innovation within your teams, and demonstrating the ROI and business impact of your work, you can position yourself for exponential career growth.
So, take the leap, invest in your skills, team, and toolset — and leverage data, AI, and predictive analytics to propel your marketing career to new heights. Remember, continuous learning, leadership, and a data-driven mindset are the keys to long-term marketing career progression in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape.