The missing link between marketing and revenue is actually just a missing link between data and creative

High-growth organizations view data and creative as two sides of the same coin. As for the rest? Marketing still feels more like *flipping* a coin.

CMOs that embrace data in their marketing strategy are more likely to drive revenue than those that don’t.

First according to common sense and now according to a recent survey that interviewed executives that do fuse data and creativity within the marketing function, and those that do not (lots of them stayed anonymous …)

Here’s some of the upside marketers embracing data are feeling:

  • 2x as likely to be able to track ROI for creative content for all campaigns and in all channels (though it’s 33% to 15%)
  • Use A/B testing 63% more than their peers
  • Are 50% more likely to use a variety of agencies for different types of work than their peers
  • Are more than 2.5x as likely to be partnering with IT directly on a shared vision
  • 52% of companies with the lowest rates of growth admit that their CMO and CTO rarely interact


Our notes from the study:


  • Truly integrating data into the marketing function means more than passing a dashboard around via PDF in email. It means taking inventory of available metrics sources and synthesizing them into insights that take the form of meeting agenda and creative briefs and strategic plans and measurement approaches. It means succeeding and failing together as a unit. Mapping to the same vision and metrics across department.
Truly integrating data into the marketing function means more than passing a dashboard around via PDF in email.


  • This means teams actually talking and working with each other. Data used to be the stuff of the nerds in the back room who would present their findings to creative as they rolled their eyes. Now, smart creatives – and the organizations that employ them – are rolling up their sleeves and rolling out campaigns based on that data. Data, in essence, is the new creative brief.


  • Incentivize on outcomes, not on deliverables. In too many cases creative (perhaps ironically) bears the burden of performance (i.e. “that campaign wasn’t any good, the CTR was poor.”) Truth be told, creative is just one element in successful marketing. Media optimization, customer journey analytics mapping, and technology/dev itself should gently be held accountable for performance and performance should be considered holistically.


To dive deeper into this topic, check out McKinsey’s Unlocking the next wave of growth by unifying creativity and analytics R



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