Digital Transformation: 12 Big Ways A CMO’s Role Is Evolving

By February 16, 2024 blog No Comments

Aside from a wealth of creative ideas and deep design and branding experience, today’s CMO must possess digital expertise—not only to build strong brands and drive engagement, but also to leverage their unique position in the C-suite. To prove their team’s effectiveness at executing the organization’s marketing strategy (and thus secure the budget needed to continue doing so), the ability to understand and leverage website data, for example, is an essential skill for a CMO to hone.

As attribution and first-party data become increasingly vital in B2B contexts, more CMOs find themselves spearheading digital transformation initiatives to harness the power of data-driven insights and architect martech ecosystems that will allow for personalized, memorable customer experiences. Below, members of Forbes Agency Council explore various ways the role of CMO is evolving to further optimize marketing ROI and drive competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive online landscape.

1. Juggling Compliance, 1P-Data-Focus And Tech Leadership

In today’s B2B landscape, CMOs juggle legal compliance, a first-party-data focus and tech leadership. Collaborating with legal teams, they tackle privacy laws and prioritize first-party data for audience targeting. With third-party cookies fading, their tech expertise is vital. These CMOs evolve into dynamic leaders, skilled in legal matters, data strategies and emerging technologies. – Alex Yastrebenetsky, InfoTrust


2. Prioritizing Well-Maintained, Optimized First-Party Data

Well-maintained first-party data is the CMO’s holy grail. It’s the blood that carries oxygen to the rest of the organization to empower peak performance. As such, tech stack decisions must prioritize an organization’s ability to enhance house list accuracy, recency, availability and predictability. Now more than ever, competitive advantage cannot be achieved without optimized data. – Bruce McMeekin, BKM Marketing Associates, Inc.

3. Being Tech-Savvy, Visionary And Adaptable

The shifting dynamics require CMOs to be both tech-savvy and visionary, adapting to new tools and data analytics. We must integrate tech advancements such as AI into marketing plans and make a lot of data-driven decisions with the help of these tools. The role of the CMO has to evolve into one that spearheads digital transformation so that it can be used most effectively for marketing. – Christine Wetzler, Pietryla PR & Marketing

4. Questioning Assumptions Built Into UX Design And Business Processes

B2B CMOs must recognize that digital transformation is not a once-and-done phenomenon. Markets today are incredibly dynamic, driven by changing customer needs, new competitors, economic trends and cultural shifts in buyer behavior. Look to constantly question assumptions built into user experience design and business processes, and discard existing martech tools in favor of newer ones that meet current needs. – Robert Finlayson, Bold Marketing and Communications

5. Negotiating The Right Martech Stack Across Departments

Martech is one of the biggest innovation drivers and therefore adds much more centricity to the CMO role. Martech architecture strategy is a central piece. It not only has to be agreed upon with the team, but also negotiated with every single C-suite peer, which is a critical aspect. The right stack will have to be approached cross-departmentally, and it will be critical for growth. – Jordi Marca, Gotoclient


6. Using Accurate, Quality 1P And 3P Data To Grow The Business

Data expertise is essential to the B2B CMO role for insight into everything from the buyer journey and customer acquisition to customer journeys, renewals, reporting and ROI. As a result, CMOs today play a leading role in driving not only digital transformation but also business growth, which is only possible when the first- and third-party data they use is grounded in accuracy and quality. – Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.

7. Bridging The Gap Between Marketing And Tech

The role of a CMO is evolving to become more data-driven and tech-savvy. CMOs are now responsible for leveraging first-party data to inform marketing strategies, select and integrate martech tools, and drive digital transformation efforts to meet evolving customer expectations and maximize ROI. They must bridge the gap between marketing and tech, enabling personalized, data-driven initiatives. – George Arabian, NVISION

8. Bringing In New Data Technology To Ensure Marketing ROI

A key part of the CMO’s role is ensuring the ROI of the marketing budget. New technology-focused initiatives, including digital transformation, have the promise of improving marketing ROI. Whether by lowering media costs via better, smarter prospect targeting or lowering labor costs by making employees more efficient, by bringing in new technology to leverage data, CMOs can contribute to improving ROI. – Trey Robinson, Story Amplify

9. Understanding Audience Segments Accessed Via 1P Data

CMOs need to get on board with deepening their understanding of audience segments that can only be accessed via first-party data. Because this is data your competitors do not—and will not—have access to, it’s a built-in advantage! Segmenting customers into those with the highest RFM—purchasing recency, frequency and monetary values—provides CMOs with an unmatched strategic advantage. – Bernard May, National Positions


10. Bringing Core Marketing Functions Back In-House

The advent of martech vendors that effectively allowed CMOs to outsource core marketing functions, such as building an audience, to third parties was bad. Audiences were annoyed by intrusive marketing that turned them off instead of engaging them. The importance of first-party data means that the CMO has to take responsibility for those core functions—which is a significant challenge! – Mike Maynard, Napier Partnership Limited

11. Understanding The Customer Journey And Conversion Data

While data analysis is vital, it should be approached like an X-ray or MRI: offering insights, but not dictating decisions. The focus should be on understanding the customer journey and overlaying data at key conversion points. This holistic approach ensures that chasing data doesn’t overshadow the bigger picture of business growth. – Qamar Zaman, KISSPR Brand Story Press Release Distribution

12. Collaborating With Cross-Functional Teams On Agile, Customer-Focused Strategies

The CMO role in B2B companies is data-driven, technology-focused and customer-centric. To lead digital transformation and architect martech effectively, CMOs need to collaborate with cross-functional teams, prioritize data management and privacy, and develop agile, customer-focused strategies. With this focus, CMOs are evolving into chief revenue officers and need chief communications officers. – Kathleen Lucente, Red Fan Communications

In the context of the Industrial Revolution, applying technology to operating mechanisms in each organization is extremely necessary, and is also an inevitable trend to minimize workload while still ensuring efficiency and enhance its competitive position in the market. Furthermore, applying management software into a business will also help build an organization with a clear system, promoting consistency, transparency and accuracy. Tasken eOffice, researched and built by Opus Solution – a business consultant in Vietnam – is an internal work management system as well as the management of automated, online, user-friendly approval processes, allowing businesses to operate more effectively on the path of digital transformation.



Leave a Reply