Man drawing ROI concept on chalk board

(Good news. It’s not Brexit or Trump!)

We wanted to understand the biggest issues facing CMOs in the financial services industry in 2019. Here are the highlights of the latest research out there. Do you agree?


1. Efficiency

A report by Forbes found that driving efficiency in their marketing activities was the biggest issue facing senior marketers at present. With economic uncertainty growing in much of the western world, value for money is top of the agenda for CMOs. Not to be confused with…


2. ROI is the KPI

Yes, efficiency and return on investment are closely related, but they’re not quite the same thing. I think ROI is more a measure of effectiveness rather than pure financial efficiency. Proving the value of marketing activities remains a top-five priority for marketing leaders.


3. Driving growth

Most CMOs believe that driving growth is the single most important priority in their role. This research from The CMO Survey showed that more than one third of leading marketers felt this was their biggest challenge. This was far and away their most important priority.

This obvious prerogative – customer acquisition – was also a top three priority in the Forbes survey above.


4. Improving customer experience in a world where trust is low

While it seems to be a myth that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one, it’s still widely acknowledged that customer acquisition remains more expensive than customer retention (it’s just the magnitude that seems to be debatable).

Given that efficiency is CMOs’ number one priority, it would seem that working to retain existing customers is a productive strategy for marketers. Indeed, improving customer experience ranks number two in the Forbes research into marketers’ priorities. This is critical as trust in financials remains low.

5. Building a brand

Returning to The CMO Survey, marketers cited the need to “build a powerful brand that breaks through the clutter” as their number two challenge behind driving growth. That desire seems all too relevant to the financial services sector, where humanising the brand presents us with a fantastic opportunity to differentiate.


6. Creating traffic and leads

In CRM marketing giant Hubspot’s latest State of Inbound survey, generating traffic to your site and sales leads is the number one challenge for marketers.


7. Make use of marketing technology

This was a top-three issue for the CMOs surveyed by Forbes. This makes sense in relation to the other items on marketers’ to do lists. Effective use of technology solutions can enable efficiency, attract new customers, improve customer experience and build a powerful brand.

Of course, the technology itself isn’t what drives success in these areas – it’s how you use that technology that will determine success.


8. Creating content in sufficient quantity and quality

And finally, content marketing remains a critical priority for marketers. According to this research from Convince & Convert, the key issues facing CMOs are finding the time to produce enough content, and ensuring its quality and credibility.


Does this resonate with you?

Of course, there are many more issues, challenges and opportunities appearing in marketers’ inboxes from day to day. But it seems these are the most common ones.

Do you agree? What’s your killer KPI? What keeps you awake at night? Or, more positively, what gets you excited to get into the office in the morning?! Please tell me what you think.



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