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  • Writer's pictureNelly Rinot

High-performing CMOs implement a different approach to marketing execution.

The most successful marketing organizations are customer-driven. They owe their success to a unified marketing vision, modern technology, and an efficient execution process. They execute their marketing plan quickly and flawlessly, informed by real-time data, and satisfying real customer needs. And they get it right the first time without requiring costly iterations or delayed decisions. Product, Sales, CX, People, and Finance teams finally feel included in the marketing process as they actively participate in it. While their competitors miss opportunities, they have the right platforms in place to identify and capitalize on them.

Top-performing marketing organizations have another thing in common. They’re the ones who have successfully replaced reactive processes and decision-making with a streamlined, collaborative, and automated execution process. They have graduated from hoping that all marketing programs are valuable to ensuring that the entire organization prioritizes the programs best aligned with the strategy and goals. And they’ve done so by getting marketing managers and their business partners out of their individual spreadsheets and boards and around a system of action and prioritization across all functional teams.

The best marketing leaders don’t just run marketing. They lead the entire organization with inspiring go-to-market opportunities that align stakeholders around the company’s next milestone. Doing so requires breaking down the black box of marketing execution and decision-making, providing transparency, and collaborating with the entire organization. This approach results in alignment and trust between marketing teams and their colleagues on the frontlines of the business. It reduces the risk of missed dependencies and costly communication lapses — a risk that has multiplied in the remote work era. Everyone at the company understands the marketing priorities and their role in bringing the vision to life. And by collaborating on marketing plans and ideas with business partners continuously, marketing organizations accelerate time to market and revenue and consistently double their marketing output.

It’s 2021. The CMO has a pressing problem: how to include non-marketers in marketing work while reducing the marketing team’s workload? A CMO needs to replace the old approach that spans tens of different tools with a dedicated system of record and action. Yet, none exists.


Marketing Automation is becoming increasingly autonomous, with intelligent software performing customer-facing tasks like purchasing ads or optimizing campaigns. We can visualize the evolution of autonomy in customer-facing marketing with this example: Google ads: first, humans set up the ads, defining distribution parameters, messaging, and creative. Today, Google Ads is intelligent and can autonomously change the creative and copy of the ad to maximize performance and deliver the expected results users set up.

The typical mid-market marketing team will implement between 20-30 unique point solutions (many already include some AI capabilities) to create their customer experience, support their sales and CX teams, and launch programs to market. The MarTech stack universe is expanding quickly, with over 7,000 solutions (2020) across 46 categories and over $141 billion spent globally.

Yet AI hasn’t caught up with marketing execution management, and it remains an underserved pain point, dominated by manual tasks, spreadsheets, boards, request forms, and very little intelligence.

Ten years ago, 83% of marketing leaders preferred using spreadsheets to view their marketing and budgeting universe quickly. Nothing much has changed. Companies like Asana and Monday have since introduced solutions to upgrade the experience, but their products don’t address marketing exclusively and are still manual work heavy. They created generic capabilities to appeal to multiple organizational departments and a slightly better-designed version of a spreadsheet with basic automations. Their solution for marketing needs is pre-defined templates (a better version of a user-created spreadsheet). Other companies like Allocadia and Plannuh attempt to automate and streamline a single marketing process - budgeting - appealing to CMOs with a CMO/CFO alignment message. These solutions (though offering some relief from a long and exhausting budgeting process) don’t address the entire gamut of the marketing execution process and position budgeting as a siloed process.

The disconnect is astounding. Companies invest millions of dollars into modernizing customer-facing technology, making it more intelligent and autonomous, yet, marketing work management lags far behind. While other executives in the C suite have already adopted unified platforms that deliver daily efficiencies, the CMO has no suitable solution. And marketers, and companies, are paying the price:

  • CEOs expect Marketers to perform at near real-time speed to support business growth, and marketers can’t handle the volume of work and requests. Inefficiencies in manual planning and execution, combined with sporadic access to data and low visibility into the marketing plan, result in losing as much as 20% in potential revenues (IDC).

  • Individual marketers manually recreate processes that suit their work style to align with company-wide mandated collaboration and task management tools(like Jira, Monday, or Asana). This practice offers no consistent standards across the organization. The result is a slower time to market and an increased unnecessary workload due to every task created from scratch for every program or initiative. Marketers rate above all corporate functions with a turnover rate of 17%, and a staggering 83.3% of them experience burnout every year. Despite being the glue that ties all go-to-market functions and activities together, marketing lacks the tools t to collaborate and work with its colleagues and is still considered an organizational silo.

  • Friction is accelerating within the marketing team and between marketing and their business partners (CX, Sales, Finance, and People teams), who trigger many of the programs that make up the marketing plan. In fact, with Gartner predicting that by 2023, 25% of companies will integrate marketing, sales, and CX into a single function, we can expect this friction to escalate as business partners demand more visibility and transparency in the marketing execution process.

At atrea, We believe it’s time to re-invent the playbook, re-imagine how companies deploy marketing and end chaos marketing once and for all. We’re building a company-wide, AI-powered, and autonomous marketing workspace with a self-driving marketing plan at its core that orchestrates programs and initiatives 10x faster and where non-marketers can easily partake in marketing execution. atrea is less like traditional software and more like a marketing vehicle on auto-pilot designed around collaboration, speed, and performance. Machine learning power automated workflows unified by data and intelligence, trigger the marketing planning mechanics, prioritize initiatives, initiate programs, allocate budgets, and activate expert resources.

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