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A recent study by Russell Reynolds Associates, shows that CMO turnover is higher than ever. This seems to be especially common in retail, where a whopping 48% of the top  retailers in the U.S. have had a change in their marketing leadership in the last 12 months.

So, what is behind this trend? By interviewing a handful of CMOs and CEOs, Russell Reynolds came to the conclusion that it all boiled down to one major theme: “Digital, digital, digital, digital, digital, digital, digital, and CEOs making scapegoats out of CMOs to buy more time to deal with digital”, according to an AdAge article summarizing the findings of the report.

With a heavy emphasis on quantifiable return on investment for every marketing dollar spent, the recent boom in digital and explosion of data, executives believe that’s the channel through which this promise should be delivered. This commonly leads to unrealistic expectations, and misaligned needs.

Marketers know that they need to be making data-driven decisions, yet they are drowning in data coming in from various channels – not just digital, but also CRM, offline, 3rd-party and point-of-sale data, to name a few. And not to mention the avalanche of martech – all of which is being touted as ‘business-critical’. Add to this the terminology and methodology that is highlighted in every webinar, whitepaper, and blog post (including this one) from omnichannel, multichannel, cross-channel, cross-device tracking, predictive analytics, customer journey mapping, attribution modeling, programmatic media buying… (the list goes on and on), and it’s no wonder marketing executives are on the hook for more than they can handle in a just one year.  Especially when data-driven advertising and marketing spending is up significantly:


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Yet most organizations are still challenged to develop and execute on a proper digital strategy:

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With the expectation to deliver results across this complex new digital reality, there’s little breathing room for marketing leaders to properly assess their organization’s unique business needs, consult key stakeholders across the enterprise, take stock of their existing infrastructure and data architecture, deploy governance, develop a measurement framework (that people buy into) and build a culture that runs on data insights across a digital ecosystem that is continually optimized against the business goals.

There’s no technology or platform on the market today that will solve these problems, but with  a sound digital strategy and structured roadmap in place to guide the process, this problem is completely solvable. At Cardinal Path, we begin by taking an holistic approach to determine the data you have available. We then build out a structured framework which spans across the technical, business and strategic layers of your organization.

Data and digital are not going anywhere. Change is painful, no matter how you slice it. And marketers still have every opportunity to gain an advantage from getting it right.

If you’d like to learn more about how we are helping marketers derive insights for the world’s leading  brands, contact us today.