From planning your marketing campaign to developing, executing, and monitoring it, a CMO has to supervise numerous moving parts. With today’s rapid market changes, the challenges for CMOs are expected to get even more complex in 2024.
Emerging technologies like AI have brought exponential transformation to the marketing function. With the demise of third-party cookies, CMOs also face the difficulty of scaling first-party data acquisition.
On top of that, there are also the usual issues like reduced budget, talent management, CX management, and establishing a strong brand — and the list goes on.
As the new fiscal year is just around the corner, CMOs must be well-acquainted with the possible marketing challenges to overcome them properly.
What Challenges Should CMOs Prepare For in 2024?
Whether you are a CMO of an SME or a top brand, here are five challenges you must be prepared for in 2024.
1. Experiencing Budget Constraints
Pursuing marketing goals under limited budgets is a predominant challenge for CMOs. Reports state that 71% of CMOs didn’t have enough marketing budget to execute their digital marketing strategies properly.
“Suppressed budgets, increasing costs, and lower productivity are squeezing CMOs’ spending power.”
And with the current economic strain, the budget limit is only expected to get tighter.
How to tackle budget constraints as a CMO?
- Prioritize ROI tracking and grant resources accordingly
- Leverage cost-effective digital channels like emails and social media
- Remove the channels draining time and resources without driving results
- Invest in marketing automation and data-driven strategies to reduce trial and errors
“Strategies that bore fruit in the past might not bear the same results today. Leaders need the courage to ask tough questions, pivot when necessary, and experiment iteratively.”
For example, when L’Oréal wanted to increase its ad effectiveness while reducing CPA, it pivoted to educating the audience on how the environment affects their skin. The brand used a geolocation DCO strategy and simplified campaign execution.
Instead of running behind every marketing format, the brand focused on personalizing its ads, providing appropriate key visuals and ad copy triggered by real-time UV, Air Quality, and Pollution Indexes.
By embracing AI-powered technology, L’Oréal achieved a 48X growth in engagement while reducing their CPA by -56%.
2. Tracking Marketing ROI
With the current macroeconomic uncertainty, marketing ROI is under more severe inspection than ever. This has put CMOs under increasing pressure to justify their marketing expenditure with tangible returns.
While a laser focus on this is a justified measure on the company’s part, it poses more difficulties for the CMOs. With constantly evolving customer behavior, tracking every minute detail of marketing campaigns is a difficult task to master.
If you use multiple marketing channels, you must account for platform-specific metrics and data sources. Pinpointing unique metrics for each campaign, monitoring them constantly, and benchmarking them makes it difficult to consolidate and measure ROI holistically.
Moreover, you may have to invest in social channels that don’t show immediate ROI but can be valuable for long-term results. So, proving their viability in quantifiable terms is another challenge you may face as a CMO. Moreover, choosing the attribution model may require several trials and errors.
How to tackle ROI tracking challenges as a CMO?
- Set realistic expectations and communicate them to the stakeholders early on
- Prioritize real-time insight generation to adapt quickly to changing markets
- Invest in advanced analytics for accurate KPI monitoring and tracking
3. Acing Data Management
Another challenging factor in a CMO’s job is handling the management and analysis of vast amounts of data. In today’s dynamic market, data is constantly growing. Collecting it from sources, including customer interactions, social media, campaigns, and website analytics, and ensuring accurate analysis is a gaping difficulty for CMOs.
With third-party cookies out of the picture, the importance of first-party data is evident, further complicating the collection process. CMOs must also navigate strict data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA, ensuring that their data management practices are compliant. Violating these regulations can lead to significant fines and damage to a company’s reputation.
How to tackle data management challenges as a CMO?
- Opt for scalable data analytics and automation solutions
- Prioritize a data-driven marketing strategy via MaaS.
- Embrace CRM systems with extensive integrations
- Stay updated with the changing compliance rules.
4. Scaling Customer Experience Management
“All the search engine optimization in the world can’t outweigh the impact of a successful and happy customer.”
Marketers must ensure an experience that aligns with changing customer needs.
However, as we discussed before, customer expectations and preferences are constantly evolving. This volatility in consumer expectations has made customer experience management extremely difficult for CMOs.
From the first contact to post-purchase, you must build a customized and seamless consumer experience across all touchpoints.
“You can’t transform something you don’t understand. If you don’t know and understand what the current state of customer experience is, how can you possibly design the desired future results?”
That’s why you need an in-depth understanding of the customer journey. Only then your marketing plan will align with customer expectations and drive ROI.
How to tackle CX management challenges as a CMO?
- Adopt an omnichannel approach to cover all possible touchpoints
- Collaborate with other departments, such as sales and product design
- Invest in an effective CRM solution with real-time analytics and reporting features
- Keep a crisis management plan to recover from negative customer experiences quickly
5. Building a Strong Employer Brand
With growing competition in talent acquisition, hiring top marketing talent is not just about posting job vacancies. To attract the best of the best candidates, CMOs need to build a strong employer brand is essential. Apart from boosting morale, it also enhances productivity and business growth.
But beating the competition here is a significant challenge for CMOs. It needs holistic improvements in company culture and other employee satisfaction metrics. You must offer competitive compensation, portray an employee-centric image, and provide attractive career growth opportunities.
How to tackle employer branding challenges as a CMO?
- Create a genuine and appealing employee value proposition.
Pip Turner, a Senior Consultant at K3 Consulting, explains its importance, saying that instead of focusing on the “…war on talent”, you should prioritize “how your company would create a compelling employee value proposition.” Check out her detailed take here.
- Invest in employee development and training to help employees develop new skills.
- Start employee advocacy programs to promote your employer brand on social media.
This way, you can leverage social influence and present your company as a delightful workplace.
What is Marketing-as-a-Service (MaaS)?
Marketing-as-a-Service (MaaS) is a marketing model in which businesses or organizations access marketing services and expertise on a subscription or as-needed basis from external agencies or providers. It is a form of outsourcing that allows companies to obtain a wide range of marketing functions without the need to maintain a full in-house marketing department.
Why Should CMOs Outsource Marketing Services?
As a CMO, you must consider outsourcing marketing services because it straight-away ensures:
- Direct support from marketing experts and specialists who can collectively manage various facets of marketing for you, such as ad campaigns, content creation, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, etc.
- Greater cost efficiency than hiring and training an in-house marketing team. It enables you to reduce overhead costs, such as salaries, benefits, and office space, while avoiding the expenses associated with marketing tools and technology investments.
- Flexibility in scaling your marketing efforts up or down per your specific needs. This flexibility particularly benefits businesses with fluctuating marketing demands or seasonal campaigns.
- Increased focus on core competencies as you can allocate more time and resources to your essential strategic activities. This includes setting the overall marketing direction, building key partnerships, and enhancing customer experiences.
- Easy access to the latest marketing tools and technologies, allowing you to leverage advanced analytics, automation, and advertising platforms without substantial internal investments.
- Reduced risk associated with marketing campaigns. If a campaign doesn’t meet your expectations, the responsibility rests with the agency, mitigating potential financial and reputational risks for your organization.
- Measurable results via data-driven marketing. You get detailed metrics and reports, allowing easy evaluation and performance tracking of your marketing campaigns and well-informed decisions based on concrete data insights.
While we wrap up, here are some actionable steps you must consider:
- Understand the changing marketing dynamics and pivot quickly
- Leverage analytics for accurate resource allocation
- Monitor KPIs and ROI for constant improvements
- Create a positive employer brand through employee advocacy
- Invest in CRM solutions and ensure data compliance
- Keep track of the changing customer needs to align your CX accordingly
Remember — while challenges are endless, the right strategies and diligent marketing efforts can help CMOs turn the roadblocks into opportunities.
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We’re not your competition — we’re your right-hand support team, making your journey easier with end-to-end solutions that empower your success. Get in touch!