3 Ways AI Helps CMOs with ROI, Growth and Loyalty

Leah Pope, CMO, Datorama
Marketing Insights
Current average rating    
Key Takeaways

​What? ROI, growth and loyalty are common KPIs for marketers. Leah Pope, CMO of Datorama, says CMOs must holistically manage these KPIs for the best outcome. 

So what? 32% of marketers have lost confidence in their team’s abilities to understand the ROI of marketing plans, Pope says. 

Now what? Use AI to improve data literacy and elevate marketing's role within the business. 

​July 14, 2017

How AI can elevate marketers within their companies


"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas A. Edison

Ask a room full of CMOs what their tactical key performance indicators (KPIs) are, and you’re bound to get some overlap. However, you’re also bound to get a lot of different responses that reveal differing attitudes about new opportunities.  

One trend that most CMOs can agree on is that we’re all being asked to elevate marketing’s role in the business, improve and prove marketing performance, and take on more ownership of our customers. CMOs are moving to a broader set of KPIs that tie us directly to the short- and long-term health of the business: ROI, growth and loyalty.

Because of this, C-suite marketers should take a central seat at the table to holistically manage investments, performances and outcomes. Marketers, long champions of the customer-centric view and the seamless experience, have been embracing data at both the engagement and automation levels for years. We know how to take on more responsibilities with many unknown quantities and get predictable delivery results via the right combination of strategy, people and technology. 

KPIs of this magnitude aren’t achieved solely by tactics or monthly reports. Sometimes our lack of data literacy fosters doubt in our own reporting. According to eMarketer, only 21% of executives said they trusted their analysis or data modeling. The Marketers' Confidence Index found that 32% of marketers have lost confidence in their team’s abilities to understand the ROI of marketing plans.

Marketers are at a crossroads and require a new approach that centralizes all data in one place while extracting value from the data via quickly actionable daily insights. This means connecting our silos and flipping our proverbial optimization switch to “always on.” The good news is smart technology has evolved to help us make the transition.

AI Enables Data Literacy for Marketers

The key to managing this complexity and turning it into our competitive advantage is artificial intelligence and machine learning. Just as the printing press democratized literacy and authorship almost 600 years ago, AI and machine learning will democratize data literacy across marketers and businesses. Meanwhile, much of today’s marketing work (80%, according to Boston Consulting Group) is dominated by manual work around reports and data entry that are the modern equivalent of scribing books by hand. Machine learning will change this.  

Here are three ways AI is helping CMOs elevate marketing’s role within the business. 

​1. Centralizing Data Across Touch Points

According to the latest Chief Martec Landscape, there are 5,381 marketing technology solutions​ available to marketers today. The role AI can play for CMOs today is to create a panoramic view of customer touchpoints in one place for a holistic view of marketing, replacing the spreadsheets, reports, one-off dashboards or multiple systems. 

What smart AI can do at this level is move you into a “post-API” world of unified marketing intelligence where the marketing organization can add any data it needs to the picture. Having all the data in one place is the first step in merging a marketing team into a cohesive unit quickly, efficiently and with the team’s skillset in mind.

2. Organizing Data to Mirror the Way CMOs Think About Business

With AI, CMOs can have self-organized data that reflects the way they think about your business. When a CMO wants to measure and monitor goals or compare and contrast performances, he or she wants data from multiple sources to line up by region, product or teams. On the marketing side, you want to be able to drill from the highest level of each ROI, growth or loyalty KPI down to each level beneath it. You need to be able to do this across programs, campaigns, channels, content, audience and customer segments. 

3. Deriving the optimization paths across customer journeys

Whether a CMO’s budget is $1 million, $100 million or $1 billion per year, he or she is being asked to make performance and results more predictable. CMOs' outputs have more visibility, and peers count on CMOs to deliver. 

However, to achieve our goals, we need to make frequent smart decisions across the entire customer journey. The sheer scale of our data in a pre-AI world has limited our ability to see opportunities and act on them, but if our results need to be predictable, we also need our pipeline of insights to become more predictable. With AI, it will be. Across the millions or billions of rows of data we’re expected to create insights from, the AI bots work to find what’s moving in our performance, but also answer why it's happening and what we can do about it. These are the paths we and our teams can use to flip that switch to “always on” optimization. This is the next chapter in AI-powered insights.  

Marketing’s elevation in the modern business presents a growing opportunity to transform our teams, answering questions using unprecedented methods in analytics and optimization. However, it also poses a nebulous challenge in understanding data in all its varieties and volumes. 

While AI isn’t standing in for the smart decisions we and our teams need to make, it is now capable of showing us the big picture and what we should be talking about and acting on daily. We have an opportunity to help lead our businesses. AI is here just in time to help us get it done. 

Recommended For You:

AMA PCM Digital Marketing Exam The Evolution and Awakening of the Modern CMO Video Marketing Moves Into the Future

AMA PCM Digital Marketing Exam

The Evolution and Awakening of the Modern CMO

Why Marketers Should Consider Artificial Intelligence When Reaching Out To Consumers


 Sign Up For Marketing Insights

Get the best marketing thought leadership delivered directly to your inbox!


Author Bio:

Leah Pope, CMO, Datorama
Leah Pope is a seasoned world traveler and marketing executive. Acting as Chief Marketing Officer, Leah leads all strategic marketing activities at Datorama. Leah has more than 15 years of executive experience successfully delivering software products and services to market, having held positions of Worldwide Marketing Leadership at Synthesio, IBM, Lombardi Software and Inquisite. An accomplished writer, speaker and blogger, Leah also sits on the Forrester Marketing Leadership board.
Add A Comment :

Become a Member
Access our innovative members-only resources and tools to further your marketing practice.