Marketing teams that are effective at scaled judgment and empathetic influence are more likely to report revenue growth, according to Gartner, In fact, marketing teams who implemented these skills were 11% more likely to report organisational revenue growth in 2021.
“Most marketers have crossed the digital business threshold, meaning digital is no longer the differentiator,” says Kristina LaRocca-Cerrone, senior director: advisory in the Gartner Marketing practice. “The key to balancing tactics and strategy now lies in breathing new life into capabilities that CMOs and their teams have had all along.”
Gartner experts have outlined how best-in-class marketers are evolving two core skills – scaled judgement and empathetic influence – into superpowers to increase the value of their existing digital investments and drive long term growth.
Sort through marketing noise with scaled judgement
Scaled judgement is marketing’s ability to use data-driven insights to help the enterprise identify and act on market signals. A superpower marketer applies scaled judgement to change the way they learn: They define new signals to focus on, and they take a highly intentional approach to determining how to respond to, and teach others, the value of those signals.
“Data is drowning some marketing organizations, but allowing others to thrive,” says Michael McCune, senior director: advisory at Gartner. “The thrivers lean into the breadth and complexity of data in a way that unlocks high value impact for the enterprise or broadly improves decision quality across the enterprise – or both.
“The thrivers look beyond the discrete and known customer touchpoints that they immediately have control over and connect inputs from outside, inside and across the organisation together. The result is targeting and changing customer behaviors in real time, rather than simply tracking them.”
To transform this skill of scaled judgment into a superpower, it’s critical CMOs help those outside of their immediate teams make better use of data and improve the judgment of decision makers who are frequently biased by their own siloed views.
Manage markets and audiences – not just sales – with empathetic influence
Empathetic influence is marketing’s ability to motivate others to take action on the solutions that drive positive change. A superpower marketer tears down the assumptions that other functional leaders have about customers or products in order to ensure all relevant processes and customer touchpoints reflect the core needs of the customer.
“Despite recognising the importance of behaviour change, only about 30% of marketers believe they’re actually good at changing internal and external audience behavior,” says Dean Vitté, director: advisory at Gartner. “Even so, the current socio-political environment is getting more complex by the day so what was considered ‘good’ yesterday may not be ‘good enough’ today.”
To transform this skill of empathetic influence into a superpower, CMOs must find a way to expose the organisation to customer needs so that customer empathy accelerates and aligns organisational decisions and investment.
For example, rather than marketing coming in at the end of product development to advise what is brand appropriate, superpower marketers are bringing deep audience understanding to early-stage product development and exposing other functions to those customer needs in order to win true commitment.
“Ultimately, it’s the CMO’s job to manage markets and audiences, not just sales opportunities,” says Vitté.