Too much data and too little budget: CMO’s list top challenges in 2022

Over two-thirds of CMOs are overwhelmed by the volume of marketing data at their disposal, according to new research from integrated marketing data platform Adverity.

As well as feeling overwhelmed, 70% of CMOs cite money rather than time as their most stretched resource.

Surveying 300 global CMOs, the report found:

  • 67% feel the volume of marketing data available has become overwhelming 

  • 99% are using 10 or more data sources and 52% are using 14 or more 

  • 23% report lack of knowledge within the business as the biggest barrier to investing in data tech  

  • 58% of marketing teams plan to achieve a single unified view of marketing data in 2022  

Titled, ‘What’s shaping the CMO’s roadmap? Adapting to marketing data overload', the report surveyed 300 CMOs across the US, UK, and DACH region from small to midsize businesses (SMBs). The research uncovers key challenges for CMOs in the current climate of accelerated change, digitalization and uncertainty, and results indicate data handling issues are hindering efficiency.

As companies of all sizes are facing new challenges with inflation, economic instability and rapidly evolving consumer behaviours, 85% of CMOs surveyed during this uncertain time agree that the capacity to make data-driven decisions is a critical competitive advantage.

Yet, many are struggling to manage their data effectively. Almost seven in ten (67%) feel the volume of marketing data available has become overwhelming, with 99% using 10 or more data sources and 52% using 14 or more. 

These findings suggest many businesses are at risk of missteps as the global economy declines, with unwieldy data preventing smart pivots, and distracting CMOs from the need to align experiences with shifting consumer needs. 

Although 29% of CMOs are planning to enhance internal capabilities by increasing their data operations budget through 2022, this push towards increased spending doesn’t translate across the board. Nearly as many (27%) say their budget has decreased and the majority (44%) are working with the same spending pot as last year, with those identifying as ‘least resilient’ to black swan events in recent years more likely to cite budget reductions.

Meanwhile, lack of knowledge within the business (27%), is the number one blocker to investing in data tech. This is closely followed by the perception that adopting new tech will be too complicated (23%), while only 8% indicate the main barrier to investing in tech is securing budget. 

“Resilience is in marketers’ DNA,” says Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO of Adverity. “As the pace of change increases, the volume of marketing data grows and uncontrollable external factors emerge. It’s getting harder to adjust quickly enough. CMOs need to power quick and informed decisions that help their teams effectively navigate each emerging shift, while maintaining and showing high ROI. Our research shows it’s not only about having the right technology, it’s about businesses balancing costs carefully to maximize their investment in upskilling and supporting their marketing teams with cost-savings from the right marketing technology.”