The 5 hard truths marketers must face

The role of the marketer has changed significantly in the last few years. They now find themselves on the front line driving better customer and digital experiences, which is a mission-critical job for businesses looking to evolve their experience in the quest to become digital-first.

A better digital experience is now the ultimate goal for CMOs and digital marketers. But if we are going to successfully drive digital experience across our organization, we have to face the hard truth about where we are today.

Here are my five hard truths that CMOs and digital marketers need to face:


1) The C-Suite is just not that into you

It’s an inconvenient truth for many CMOs and digital marketing professionals, but the fact is, as confirmed by the Harvard Business Review, 80% of the C-Suite are unimpressed with your work.

In business terms, you can often be speaking completely different languages. What is the value of impressions or clicks to a business? Surely sales are the only thing that matter? C-Suites often don’t understand the resources or efforts necessary to deliver effective digital experiences, so they are naturally going to focus on metrics with simple, provable outcomes, at the expense of marketing.


2) Personalization is not one-size-fits-all

Everyone in marketing is aware that personalization is ‘the next big thing’ for customer experiences. Our research shows that 67% of us believe we’re already experts in the subject. But there’s more going on than some of us might realize.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for any business. The idea behind personalization is it is unique. What works for one person/sector/business will not be suitable for another. Working out what works for you is a major challenge.


3) Your content crisis won’t solve itself

Content is king in marketing. But with so many different channels, sectors and individuals to target, you can’t create content fast enough, especially with a finite number of people and budget. I find that a lot of senior marketers believe they’re not keeping up with the demands, something our research reaffirmed, with 44% believing they can’t produce personalized content fast enough.

Finding a solution isn’t going to be easy. But it’s essential for getting the best from your marketing future.


4) AI alone won’t save you

The rise of artificial intelligence will have a big impact on all aspects of society and marketing is no exception. Which is why 86% of us believe that AI and machine learning is essential to the future of marketing. But it’s not going to replace you or automatically make your customer experience better.

AI is just a tool, like your computer or notepad. There might be a time in the future where you couldn’t possibly imagine working without it, but it needs you a lot more than you need it. If you’re struggling to come up with new ideas, or convert plans into reality, AI won’t help you. 


5) Customer data is your kryptonite

Marketing collects vast amounts of data from customers, but often doesn’t fully utilize it. In fact, 72% of us want to do more with the data we have. We all have so much raw customer information just sitting there, but we either don’t trust it, or don’t realize the potential it has.

If your company is unable to effectively capture, combine and use data, while also keeping it safe from external threats, you’re potentially missing out on the key information you’ll need to make AI and personalization a success. Everything you need is already hidden within that data. It’s up to you to find it.


Modern marketing isn’t easy, but by approaching it with an open mind, while not getting hung up on what you feel you should be doing, it can be made a little bit easier.

To help you solve the challenges you face, our latest research ebook tackles the hard truths facing modern marketing.

Download it here to see how to face the future effectively.


Paige brings more than 20 years of experience in senior marketing roles crossing many areas of enterprise software, customer experience, and cloud computing. As Sitecore’s CMO, she combines product marketing expertise with an extensive background in communications and a passion for developing thought leadership programs that build awareness, differentiation, and demand.