Chief Marketing Officer News (CMO), Content Marketing, Growth Hacking, Marketing Strategy
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5 Biggest Challenges CMOs will face in 2023

Eveline Smet

Founder & Growth Strategist
GDPR compliant marketing

As the marketing landscape continues to shift and evolve, chief marketing officers (CMOs) are facing various new business growth challenges for 2023. From the rise of first-party data and the need for digital transformation, through the challenge of Maximizing ROI in a volatile environment to building and retaining a top-notch team, CMOs have their work cut out for them in the year ahead! No worries, we’ve got it covered. Our team of growth experts has tackled the challenges head-on and given us powerful insights to help you overcome them.

Are you looking for the best practices to navigate CMOs challenges in 2023? Well, Hubspot’s research has revealed that these are your peers’ top predicted challenges for 2023! And thanks to our expert insights, we have an action plan ready just for you. So buckle up and let’s dive in headfirst.

CMO challenge #1: Staying on top of the latest market trends with a data-driven approach

In today’s fast-paced world, keeping up with the constant stream of new trends and data regulation changes can be tough. It’s the CMOs’ job to stay ahead of the curve and lead their companies to success. Here we explored the crucial points to achieve this goal:

First-party data and privacy regulations: First-party data is essential for CMOs’ marketing strategies in 2023. It’s collected directly from customers and gives valuable insights into their behavior, preferences, and interests. But new changes in data regulations make tracking customer behavior online even harder. What can CMOs do to overcome challenges as growth-wise marketing leaders in 2023? Create a first-party data strategy that includes: investing in new tech and solutions that can track and analyze customer behavior and preferences without relying on cookies. Build strong relationships with customers, earn their trust through transparent and fair data privacy policies, and offer valuable rewards or incentives for data sharing. Partner with businesses or organizations that have access to large amounts of first-party data.

Digital transformation: As digital transformation is becoming a must, it’s an important part of trends for CMOs to drive it for businesses. If they don’t embrace digital technologies and strategies, they risk losing market share and revenue. So, how can CMOs take advantage of digital transformation for business growth? By Implementing a CRM system, using a data analytics platform, investing in AI and ML, implementing a digital marketing strategy, developing a mobile app, and adopting cloud-based technologies are all potential solutions. Don’t let digital transformation pass your growth marketing by – embrace it and thrive! Check out the marketing & tech tools we use at The Growth Agency to stay up to date.

Trends observation and testing: Best practices to navigate CMOs’ leadership challenges include staying up-to-date on the latest trends and testing different marketing strategies to gain valuable data that drive customer engagement or sales.  So, how can they stay on top of trends? Regularly reading industry reports and insights from sources like marketing blogs, trade publications, and research firms is one way. Using online calculators and tools, like A/B testing or customer surveys, to determine the effectiveness of different business growth strategies is another. 

Check out these awesome resources to give you the edge in tackling this challenge: Tools: How AI is replacing Cookies, Trends Tracking: Infuture Institute, Top 7 digital transformation trends to drive efficient growth in 2023.

To conclude, keeping up with the latest market trends with a data-driven approach is a top challenge for CMOs in 2023. By understanding the value of first-party data strategy and trends observation and testing, CMOs can set themselves up for success in a complex and ever-changing marketing world. Don’t get left behind – stay on top of the growth with these crucial insights! Expand your knowledge with our blog article on recommended books for seriously committed CMO. 

CMO challenge #2: Pivoting and implementing sprint sessions in response to the market changes

Are you ready for more advice on how to overcome challenges as a marketing leader in 2023? Let’s talk about disruptive market dynamics and pivot strategies with sprint sessions. This can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and mindset, CMOs can stay agile and responsive to market changes:

Disruptive market dynamics: Taking a look at Gartner’s insights, disruptive market dynamics can be tough to navigate for business in 2023, but with the right strategies, it is possible to stay ahead of the competitors. Investing in R&D to create innovative products and services, adopting agile business models with short sprints, partnering with other companies to share resources and expertise, and implementing a customer-centric approach to meet the needs of customers are all potential solutions.

Pivoting and sprints due to major changes: Pivoting and adapting to market changes is essential for trends impacting CMOs in 2023. They need to be aware of social, political, and environmental tendencies in the local and global market. To pivot effectively, it is good to experiment with different strategies and approaches, like testing different marketing channels and product features and using knowledge sources like industry events and webinars to learn more. By using marketing with contextual messages to communicate with customers in a relevant, timely way, CMOs can adapt their business growth strategy to major market shifts. 

Some resources to use: Amazon: The Pivot Playbook, Template: Brand Pivoting Strategy Sprint.

Now with the knowledge of how to overcome disruptive market dynamics, with careful pivoting and smart sprint sessions, it can be done! New business growth opportunities will bring complex challenges for CMOs’ marketing strategies in 2023  – so make sure you stay alert by keeping tabs on the trends. Keep your strategies sharp with agility and confidence, and for a fresh perspective on growth, get in touch – let us show you the possibilities! 

CMO challenge #3: Driving high-quality traffic and boosting customer engagement

With attention spans at an all-time low, it’s a challenge for marketing leaders to make the cut and earn customer loyalty in 2023. The stakes are high but so is the reward: quality traffic and greater engagement!

SEO and lead generation: In 2023, it’ll be crucial for businesses to use first-party data strategy in their SEO and lead gen strategies to improve visibility and customer experience. This data can help companies understand their customers and tailor their efforts to what works best. However, if customers have had bad experiences with a company in the past, they may be hesitant to share their data. To fix this, CMOs should focus on improving customer service and experience, and use first-party data to optimize landing pages and target the most effective channels for lead generation.

Cross-channel journey & hyper-personalization: Are you ready to take customer experience to the next level? By using AI and machine learning to personalize interactions with customers, CMOs need to constantly develop digital skills to give them the individualized attention they crave. This could mean using marketing with context by sending them tailored product recommendations, custom email campaigns, or even interactive content like polls and quizzes. And when you put customers at the center of everything you do, you’ll be able to identify new opportunities and create products that clients love. Don’t miss out on this chance to give customers the ultimate experience and stay ahead of the competitors in 2023.

Community building: Building a community of loyal customers is one of the biggest trends impacting CMOs in 2023. Not only can they provide valuable insights through first-party data strategy, but they can also help spread the word about your brand. In 2023, the CMO skillset will include building a loyal customer base. One way to keep your community engaged is by offering special programs, competitions, and other activities that reward their loyalty. This not only shows your appreciation but also keeps them coming back for more.

A couple of resources to learn: 6 Steps to building your community strategy for 2023,  Progressive Profiling: LeadGen and First-Party data boost, How to build a powerful cross-channel marketing strategy.

Here you got it! You’ve just learned about how to drive high-quality traffic and boost customer engagement. 

To overcome disruptive market dynamics, these strategies will definitely thrive in the competitive world of 2023.

CMO challenge #4: Maximizing ROI on marketing spend and improving data management

In today’s volatile and rapidly changing market, it’s more important than ever to ensure that our marketing investments are relevant and effective. According to the Digital Marketing Institute’s report, one of the biggest business growth challenges for 2023 will be to deliver greater ROI on the marketing budget. But that’s not all –  they also need to make sure our data is clear and accurate, and that their task management and operational procedures are up to par. In this section, we’ll explore strategies for tackling CMO leadership challenges and setting ourselves up for success in 2023: 

ROI proof in volatile environments: Maximizing ROI on marketing spend is crucial for CMOs in volatile business environments in 2022. To succeed, they need to use data visualization techniques and checklists to simplify data presentation to the CEO and growth marketing team, highlight ROI with metrics like cost per customer acquisition, and lifetime value, and provide context and interpretation for the data. Illustrating the impact of digital marketing with case studies, examples, and anecdotes, and using storytelling and narrative techniques to engage the audience can make the data more compelling and persuasive. Supporting materials are also a good addition – customer testimonials, press coverage, and awards can also reinforce the value of our growth marketing efforts. Let’s make sure we’re getting the most out of our marketing spend!

Data clarity and accuracy: By using digital transformation for business growth to achieve data clarity and accuracy, CMOs should invest in new tech and solutions such as data management tools and technologies like data warehousing, analytics platforms, data visualization, and data governance software. Implementing a data governance framework and conducting regular data audits can also help maintain data accuracy. By taking these steps, CMOs can make sure their data is reliable and trustworthy, allowing them to make better decisions. 

Relevant task management improvement of operational procedures: As the volume and complexity of first-party data strategies and technical skills continue to grow, it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive for CMOs to manage and make use of this data effectively. To improve data management, another CMO leadership challenge will be to focus on establishing clear roles and responsibilities, developing data literacy and skills, and investing in collaboration and communication tools. By doing so, they can overcome challenges such as time constraints and limited support from marketing and IT teams, and improve task management and operational procedures. 

Here are some additional resources you can use for this challenge: 23 Best Data Visualization Tools for 2023, How to report data to C-level Executives, How can data management improve business process?.

Improving data management and maximizing ROI on marketing spend will be a crucial challenge for marketing leaders in 2023. To succeed, they need to prioritize relevance and accuracy, and continuously improve task management and operational procedures. Let’s take on these challenges and come out on top!

CMO challenge #5: Building and retaining a top-notch team

Welcome to the final challenge on our list: building and retaining a top-notch team. As CMOs, we know that our success is all about having a top-quality team. That’s why it’s so important to be proactive in hiring new talents and retaining existing ones. In this section, we’ll explore strategies to make sure our teams are always at their best.

Hiring new talent: Having a top marketing team will be crucial for any business in 2023. Growth leaders in marketing teams need to hire qualified staff with the latest digital skills and expertise. But how do we solve this challenge? By building a strong employer brand and company culture that attracts top talent, using solid SOPs and recruiting tests to outline specific skills and tasks for a marketing position. Moreover, by using game-based assessments to evaluate candidates’ skills in a fair, authentic, and engaging way. 

Retaining existing talent: One of the key CMO challenges is retaining top growth marketing teams in a competitive job market. So, how to stay ahead of the competitors in 2023? By providing opportunities for professional development and career advancement, like training programs offered by The Growth Agency or leadership development initiatives tailored to individual employees. By creating a positive, supportive work environment with a strong emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, and by providing regular feedback to improve job performance. By offering a competitive salary and flexible work arrangements, like the option to work remotely or have flexible hours. Let’s keep our top performers on board!

Here are some additional resources you can use: Employer brand playbook, Forbes: 2023 Hiring & Recruiting Trends, LinkedIn Business: Attract and Retain Top Talent.

That’s a wrap! Remember: your success depends on having a knowledgeable team. If you want to up your marketing team’s knowledge game, check out the blog article that will help you figure out what your favourite CMOs’ role is in the team management process.

Top challenges for CMOs in 2023: A Summary

To sum up, CMOs will face a range of business growth challenges to succeed in 2023. To stay on top, the CMO skillset will require a remarkable combination of agility, adaptability, and strategic thinking. The most important areas with potential difficulties include:

  • Staying on top of the latest market trends with a data-driven approach
  • Pivoting and implementing sprint sessions in response to the market changes
  • Driving high-quality traffic and boosting customer engagement
  • Maximizing ROI on marketing spend and improving data management
  • Building and retaining a top-notch team

Calling all CMOs ready to take on the year 2023 – The Growth Agency is here and equipped with a comprehensive plan tailored just for you! Join us as we prepare your business for monumental growth in the upcoming years. New challenges await – are you up to it?


Questions? Comments? Ideas! We’d love to hear from you! do not hesitate to drop us a note 😊

Eveline Smet

Founder & Growth Strategist

Eveline is our founder and the one who eats strategy for breakfast. She is in charge of budgets, KPI’s and growth plans. During her high school years, Eveline was wearing baggy pants and listening to 2PAC & Biggy. We have proof. Just ask. If you ever catch her looking off into the distance, it’s either because she wants to order sushi or she’s hungry thinking of ways to increase your profit. She’s also the biggest victim of marketing. But the biggest office sweetheart.

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