McKinsey: Data driven marketing key to helping CMOs meet CEO expectations

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McKinsey: Data driven marketing key to helping CMOs meet CEO expectations

Facing the new reality of a post-COVID world, management consultants McKinsey and Company say nearly 80 per cent of consumer packaged goods (CPG) CEOs are looking to their marketing leaders to drive revenue growth.

A contemporaneous study by Capgemini, arrived at the same conclusion and found three main challenges stand in the way of continued success in data-driven marketing; limited access to data, inadequate data capabilities, and talent challenges. 

McKinsey in its study says that with e-commerce penetration still at approximately 35 per cent above pre-pandemic levels, over a third of consumers are continuing to switch brands or retailers according to an article by the firm.

The same article revealed that data-driven marketing at scale can deliver 3 to 5 per cent growth in net sales and improve marketing efficiency by 10 to 20 per cent for consumer-packed-goods (CPG).

“Truly sustainable, marketing-led growth has to be granular, focused, and scaled across the entire marketing organisation, delivering “the right message to the right consumer, at the right moment, at the right place — all the time,” the authors say.

McKinsey & Co believes that the utilisation of an AI engine, a 360-degree view of consumers and a fit-for-purpose marketing technology stack will aid in maintaining this growth.

The authors say, “All this will require new types of marketing talent, additional data and technology capabilities, an organisation-wide embrace of a rapid, agile, test-and-learn mentality, and adjustments to the marketing organisation operating model in order to reach at-scale impact.”

In scaling a “smart reach” approach, hidden pockets of growth within larger audiences can be found, allowing for higher levels of marketing precision.

To target granular consumer sections, an advanced analytics engine is said to be more critical than ever, especially with Google’s announcement that marketers will no longer be able to use cookies on the Chrome browser by 2023.

Therefore, an effective tech stack will be necessary to progress, they argue.

The marketing tech sector has expanded enormously since 2015, with over 8000 solutions available.

“Instead of approaching technology needs piecemeal, CPG companies should do a holistic assessment of their needs based on a strategic, consumer-centric selection of the most valuable and important use cases,” the authors say.

It is acknowledged that the shift to a modern marketing model will be a difficult transition for many, a balance between creativity and data will be the most prepared and capable to succeed in the future.


In its report, Capgemini identified three critical factors holding marketers back; limited access to data, inadequate data capabilities, and talent challenges.

According to the report, fewer than half of marketers indicated they have the data and technologies capabilities needed to deliver data-driven marketing. "For instance, only 45 per cent of marketers say they have a customer data platform that provides a unified and a single view of the customer."

Most also lack customer segment ad persona data to enable effective decision making, while capability gaps in areas such as AI and data science were also common.

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