How to build a marketing renaissance

Invest in human skills, give people the right tech and see results rocket: new research reveals the CMO essentials to great customer experience

How to build a marketing renaissance

Creativity underpinned by technology is the key to elevating the marketing function and delivering greater value, according to eye-opening research from PwC.
PwC’s study, Creating a marketing renaissance, delivers sharp insight into what marketers must do to react to a changing consumer landscape and the cost-of-living crisis, while also establishing long-term growth.
Human qualities such as curiosity, empathy, problem-solving, and creativity should complement technology and data, allowing companies to target people more responsibly and effectively.
The catch? Organisations that under-value marketing are unlikely to invest in the right people or the right technology. Almost a third of chief marketing officers surveyed (32%) aren’t satisfied with how their organisations perceive marketing and 65% say their board still views marketing as a cost centre.
The PwC study highlights why that is a significant strategic error - and why businesses should back their CMOs.
“For CMOs looking to achieve that critical duality of stellar customer experience and a more assured place for marketing on the board, this report brings evidence for those tricky conversations with the CEO,” says Suzanne Bidlake, commercial editor at Campaign. “It’s clear: investing in people who aren’t afraid to bring their human skills like empathy and creativity to the table - along with boosting your tech power -  is now, more than ever, the path to proving marketing’s worth.”
It’s a balancing act
The ultimate goal of any CMO should be for art and science to be working in harmony to increase performance. So companies need to ensure they are investing in both people and technology.
It is, however, worth remembering that technology won’t solve anything on its own. A business can have all the tech in the world, but if it hasn’t got the talent that can produce a compelling marketing strategy and a killer customer experience, then all it’s doing is putting bad marketing ideas on fast forward. That is of no use to anyone.
“Organisations must not oversteer towards technology at the expense of the incredible value people bring,” says Tom Adams, experience consulting and marketing transformation leader, PwC UK. “Faced with the art and the science of marketing, CMOs must choose the customer and the balance that’s right for them.”
Unleash the best of your people
Getting automation right is cost-effective, drives better results, uses tech to optimise creativity and doesn’t result in loss of headcount. It’s not a dirty word.
Automation allows people to do what they are best at: being creative and curious. By automating time-consuming manual processes, organisations can free up marketing teams to concentrate on creativity, relationship-building, strategic thinking and problem-solving; all of that good stuff only humans can do.
CMOs agree: they would like to see arduous and low-value processes off their desks, with 79% believing automation frees up time for increased creativity.
However, Rhian Woods, partner, Strategy& UK, has a word of warning: “Attempts to roll out effective marketing automation and improved personalisation will fail if organisations work from an incomplete view of their customers. This needs a combination of human skills and understanding, around the role, value, and governance of data, and technology to manipulate that data for effective use.”
Getting a seat on the board
Leadership influence is essential to strategic decision-making, but only 52% of CMOs surveyed have marketing representation at board level.
CMOs shouldn’t only be influencing marketing performance, they should also be integral to wider business strategy and performance. However, there is good news: over three quarters (77%) of the CMOs surveyed said that businesses with a more data-and-automation-driven marketing approach are more likely to have a marketing leader with a seat on the board.
Encouragingly, this should mean that as the role of technology and data becomes increasingly important, we will see more marketing representation on boards. Then, CMOs can truly own insight and customer experience and find the perfect balance between the art and science of marketing.
And from that position, surely, they can bring about a true marketing renaissance.
Read more about what CMOs said and get exclusive insight from PwC on the steps that can lead you to a marketing renaissance. Then use the interactive tool to pinpoint where you sit on the matrix of human-led, tech-powered marketing maturity.


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