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Blog / 5 Reasons CMOs Need to Take the Data Revolution More Seriously

5 Reasons CMOs Need to Take the Data Revolution More Seriously

How many CMOs do you think can measure ROI on their marketing spend? All of them? Surely most of them…

Business leaders talk a lot about being data-driven, but the truth is that most marketing departments are still struggling with the basics. Recent research found that 51% of CMOs and CDOs struggle to measure ROI on marketing spend, and 47% struggle to demonstrate the business impact of marketing efforts. 

Data is important the rest of the C-suite isn’t going to disagree with you on that any time soon. But until you lay out the challenges your marketing team is up against and explain how becoming more data mature will have a direct impact on the success of the business, you’re not going to get the budget to make it happen. So here are a few key points to get you started.

1. Increase visibility over marketing performance


The majority of marketing teams (58%) still spend hours a week cobbling their marketing reports together in excel. So, as you can imagine, visibility is nowhere near where it needs to be. In fact, one in four C-level respondents say they struggle to get visibility over their marketing performance data.

Without visibility over marketing performance, decision-making can become a stressful game of guesswork.

Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO, Adverity


“Without visibility over marketing performance, decision-making can become a stressful game of guesswork, and explaining decisions to stakeholders becomes very difficult,” says Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO at Adverity. Which leads us to our next point…

2. Show your stakeholders ROI

With all the data and tools available to modern marketers, the fact that the majority of C-suite marketing professionals are still struggling to show the impact of marketing should be very concerning. Imagine if your CFO said that they were signing off on budgets without a clear view of the business impact and ROI or even worse, not trusting the data they’re working with. It would go down like a lead balloon. 

Well, now that martech is catching up, it’s time for CMOs to take more accountability for their data.

CMOs should be able to measure the impact and establish a clear ROI for marketing decisions, both short and long-term. The problem is that nearly two-thirds of marketing departments still don’t have a single view of all their marketing data. 

The good news is that martech has come a long way in the last decade, and tools like Adverity make it easy to get a single view of marketing data. One consumer electricals company found that using Adverity’s data integration platform gave them the visibility they needed.

“For the first time ever, we have the ability to calculate return on investment of ad spend,” said the Head of Marketing Insights and Performance. 

3. Timely ad spend optimizations 

Slow data analysis means slow decisions. The longer it takes to get insights from your marketing data, the more outdated those insights will be by the time your marketers actually turn those insights into actions. 


But if you can quickly and easily see how different channels are performing, and what needs to be done to optimize a campaign, you can act quickly not in three weeks when your analyst has finally finished copying and pasting data into spreadsheets. 

So, what does that mean in terms of cold hard cash? A recent study found one consumer electricals company made $2.9 million in ad spend savings over three years due to timely insights on performance.


In short, slow campaign optimizations lead to wasted ad spend, and ultimately, losing out to competitors. If you’re not giving your marketers the tools to make timely optimizations to their campaigns, then you’re wasting ad spend.  

We were doing marketing in the dark.

Head of Marketing Insights and Performance, global consumer electricals company


“We were doing marketing in the dark,” said the Head of Marketing Insights and Performance, “we had spreadsheet-based reporting, which is like looking in the rear mirror at what happened last month, but we were not able to look forward and steer.” 

We’re past the digital tipping point now - if you want your business to remain competitive, data must be a key part of your marketing strategy. If you’re not getting value from data, your competitors will be, and you’ll be left in the dark, wasting ad spend on decisions made based on gut feeling. 

4. Get more value out of your staff

To get the most value out of your analysts, you need to take the mundane data wrangling tasks off their plate. “Marketing analysts are data experts they have plenty to offer your team, but they can’t do it if they’re drowning in data,” says Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO at Adverity.

Marketing tech can easily automate a good chunk of analysts’ tasks, so instead of scrambling to get all your data in one place, they can focus on adding value for you.


With Adverity, a global consumer electricals company was able to streamline many of their manual and time-consuming processes around data operations, freeing up 80% of their time and expecting an overall savings of $564,000 over three years. Employees could focus on actual data analysis rather than manual data integration. 

5. Keep your staff happy

As much as they may grin and bear it, your analysts don’t want to be spending hours doing data wrangling for routine reports. They want to be doing more of the fun, value-adding stuff, like predictive modeling

Talented marketers and analysts aren’t going to stick around to copy and paste data into spreadsheets day in day out.

Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO, Adverity


“Wasting the time of skilled analysts with these dull tasks doesn’t just mean wasted work hours it also means unhappy employees,” says Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO at Adverity. “Talented marketers and analysts aren’t going to stick around to copy and paste data into spreadsheets day in day out.” 

This is especially important in the face of the great resignation. The US saw 20 million resignations handed in over the course of last spring and summer, and one recent survey found that a shocking 60% of marketers were planning a job switch in 2021.


The ability to act quickly on insights from marketing data is a major competitive advantage, but it can’t be done effectively without some level of data automation. If you want to get the most out of your marketers, and your data, then you need to make sure your team has the right tools to reveal those insights while they’re still relevant. 

Data analytics is a fantastic tool to understand which stories work well, and where they should be told. But it’s important to remember that you hired your marketers and analysts to find creative ways to add value, and connect with your audience. Their time and skills can be put to use much more effectively if you minimize the time they spend on manual data tasks that can be easily automated.

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