Marketers are increasingly in control of technology purchases, and that control over those tools comes with a responsibility of turning raw data into usable information.

An April survey from McKinsey & Company, aptly titled "The need to lead in data and analytics," determined that executives' involvement in a company's analytics efforts is more influential to an organization's overall success than its tech capabilities. Another barrier to success is a lack of communication not only between divisions but between leadership and employees.

Meanwhile, separate research from McKinsey conducted last year found that 38% of respondents said final responsibility laid at the feet of the CEO. CMOs came in third just behind CIOs at 11%. And per the report, regardless of who takes the lead, a large majority of respondents "expect their analytics activities to have a positive impact on company revenues, margins, and organizational efficiency in the coming years."

Both reports come at a time when CMOs are still feeling out a new position of power in the boardroom. People can now be tracked from anonymous prospects all the way down the sales funnel to a converted customer. And that tracking, via collected data and analytics, can place return on investment numbers on marketing efforts all the way down to individual campaigns. Armed with tech and data, CMOs have a new level of clout, and those tools are helping connect the dots between money spent on campaigns and ROI.

As data and analytics become increasingly central to marketing, making sense out of all the digital noise is crucial to leading effective campaigns. ...

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