Here at Forrester, we love all things music. Each office floor has a different musical theme, and all the rooms are named after popular musicians of the time. It’s not uncommon to have a team meeting in Guns N’ Roses or an afternoon phone call in Jackson Browne. So it seems natural to think of a marketing technology through the lens of musical metaphor.
Consider Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nicks is one of the most accomplished modern-day musicians. She’s an incredibly talented songwriter and piano player with a bewitching voice — a combination that has manifested in dozens of hit records and awards, cementing her position in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Tapping into the zeitgeist of the late 1970s, Stevie found her own unique niche as the witchy woman in the beaded shawl conjuring the adoration of fans through her poetic melodies. Stevie is like a CMO: She defined her unique selling proposition (USP) and owned it, but alone, Stevie could only go so far. She can’t play the guitar; she doesn’t know how to read the music. To elevate a song, you need the depth of multiple instruments, complex chords, and rich harmony. And her shows can only be so big — she’s just one person, after all.
That’s where Lindsey Buckingham, our CIO, comes in and delivers lush guitar melodies and searing vocals to compliment and scale Stevie’s mystical lyrics. What a pair. When they joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974, the band was a fading UK blues band, having scored just one UK No. 1 hit single. Buckingham/Nicks revitalized and transformed Fleetwood Mac; within one year, the group released its eponymous groundbreaking album. Fleetwood Mac has gone on to sell over 100 million albums to this day with the help of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, whose spellbinding partnership will stand the test of time.
We know that today’s B2B buyer holds the power: They know what they want, and they want it their way. Like Fleetwood Mac in 1974, B2B marketing needs to reinvent itself — to deliver the buying experience that today’s business consumer demands. Lead-to-revenue marketing (L2RM) helps marketers deliver to those demands through a set of processes, goals, and metrics that carry the customer from lead generation to sales close and beyond with cross-sell and retention. But it’s time to up the game. By and large, CMOs need tech that delivers deeper personalization capabilities, robust insights through data, and a 360-degree view of the customer.
Global B2B marketers spend 22% of their marketing budget on technology — nearly as much as their spend on marketing programs and media. And 66% are planning to increase their technology spend in the upcoming year, which is more than that for any other budget category. So it’s disappointing that 48% of global B2B marketers reported that they are concerned that a lack of required technology will hamper their ability to achieve their marketing priorities.
B2B CMOs have the vision; they know what they need to do, but they don’t have the range of skills and experiences necessary to tune their martech stack. It’s time for the CIO to join the band. Just like any great musical collaborators, the CMO and CIO have their own areas of expertise, their own viewpoints, challenges, and goals. In order to be successful, they need to begin by finding a common ground, understanding the other’s challenges and identifying ways in which they can harmonize for the greater good of the organization.
As the CMO’s role changes into that of a shepherd of customer engagement, she needs to rely on the CIO as an ally and mentor through this transformation, which will simultaneously transform the remit and position of the CIO’s organization within the business. When CMOs and CIOs work together to build a marketing tech infrastructure, they are taking a major step to effectively win, serve, and retain today’s empowered customers.
I don’t know that the members of Fleetwood Mac would make the best B2B marketers, but what we can learn from them is that great marketing teams need to realize when they’re coming up short and when it might be time to find their niche and lead with a visionary pair of individuals who can transform the team to unprecedented trajectories — reorganizing from a solo artist into an ensemble.
Check out our recent report, “The CIO’s Guide To Lead-To-Revenue Management,” to see how you can put a little more rock ‘n’ roll in your marketing technology plan.