Why your next CMO will come from big data

A recent blog post from Car­los Cata of Hei­drick and Strug­gles claims that 50% of CMO searches he has recently placed need big data or mar­ket­ing ana­lyt­ics exper­tise as a key com­po­nent. Here’s a quote:

While orga­ni­za­tions have had sta­tis­ti­cal and ana­lyt­i­cal resources in the past, there is a height­ened need for strate­gic and mar­ket­ing savvy lead­ers that can trans­late mod­els, approaches and cus­tomer infor­ma­tion man­age­ment strate­gies into ‘Eng­lish’ for senior management

My take is that a “big data” CMO needs to have close part­ner­ships with the CFO and CIO (as well as sup­port from other senior exec­u­tives. Bring­ing a big data approach to mar­ket­ing requires a cul­tural shift and rethink­ing how IT, mar­ket­ing, and finance work together to drive busi­ness strat­egy and execution.

Some of the biggest chal­lenges are

  1. Get­ting, aggre­gat­ing, and pro­cess­ing the right data with a high degree of reli­a­bil­ity and predictability.
  2. Find­ing the right insights that drive busi­ness break­throughs in the ter­abytes of avail­able infor­ma­tion and exten­sive analy­ses that are possible.

These are not triv­ial tasks espe­cially if data is not avail­able or frag­men­tary. Findng a way to quickly get a few essen­tial insights that have high impact is a key task for a new CMO, and one that lays the ground­work for longer, more exten­sive big data projects.

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