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Susanne Ullrich on 17.01.2024


CMOs and other marketing decision-makers will face a major challenge in 2024: recognizing data potential in the company and using it sensibly for strategic decisions. This challenge is not unknown, but it has taken on a new dynamic due to the increasing importance of artificial intelligence and real-time analyses. At the same time, CMOs are under great pressure, as 78% of all CEOs rely on marketing decision-makers to drive growth, according to McKinsey.

The last few years have shown how quickly markets can change. Holistic data analysis enables marketing managers to react quickly to changes. This enables an improvement in (automated) customer targeting, targeted campaigns and price optimization in real time – all with one goal: to design marketing measures in such a way that they support sales and contribute significantly to business success.

What sounds very simple in theory is not always easy to implement in practice. Although Europe is a leader in the use of real-time marketing data, Germany has some catching up to do when it comes to merging data sources and extracting relevant data signals. This was recently confirmed by a study conducted by the market research institute GfK. The “CMO Outlook Report” is based on 633 interviews with marketing managers worldwide (CMO, Head of Brand, Director/VP for Marketing, Brand, Marketing Operations or Customer Experience). In this blog post, we highlight the results of the report in terms of data analysis and show how we at Hopmann Marketing Analytics can help with the challenges.



As part of the CMO Outlook Report, over 200 senior marketing managers in Europe were asked about their daily work with data. Half of all marketing decision-makers plan to optimize data integration in their own company in 2024. Overall, three key areas for improvement were identified over the next 12 months

  1. Data integration
  2. Optimization of the media
  3. Extraction of valuable data-driven insights across different channels

The differences are very interesting when the focus areas are broken down into different European countries: while marketers in France and the UK concentrate on optimizing campaigns, brand research and obtaining recommendations for action, among other things, the focus of German marketing managers (58% of all respondents) is clearly on extracting relevant data signals across different channels. Almost as many marketers (56%) prioritize the area of data integration. In third place (50%) is the optimization of prices.

Another interesting finding of the report is that Europe is already the leader in terms of marketing managers’ access to real-time data (33%), particularly in the automotive and retail sectors. However, at 28%, Germany is only just above the European average.


Although almost a third of all German marketing decision-makers already have access to real-time data, there is a flip side to the coin: two thirds have no access to real-time data and are therefore unable to utilize the promising potential for their marketing activities.

The fact is that the data situation in many companies is not (yet) optimal. Many factors play a role here, such as the lack of specialists for data experts, cumbersome and long-term decisions for the introduction of new tools and processes or historically grown data silos that cannot be easily broken down. These are at least some of the reasons that we, as a marketing data analytics consultancy, often hear in discussions with (potential) clients.

According to the results of the CMO Report, these four challenges top the list for companies:

  1. No suitable technologies and tools to bring together different data sources
  2. Resistance to changes in processes within the company
  3. Data is missing or not sufficiently available (especially for German marketing decision-makers)
  4. Limited budget to link multiple data sources


One thing is clear: there is still a great need for expansion this year before the enormous potential of data analysis and data-driven marketing can be fully exploited.

But the good news is that there are solutions for all challenges, as long as companies are open to data analytics and welcome the findings with open arms. It is up to CMOs to explain the benefits of data-driven marketing and the corresponding technologies within the company. If data is placed in the focus of the organization and prepared in an understandable and action-oriented way for all target groups, an important part of the persuasion work has already been done.

Ideas for solutions to make better use of data:

  1. Invest in data expertise within your marketing team: hire new staff who are familiar with data analysis and the latest trends. And/or train existing staff in the correct use of data through targeted marketing data analytics training.
  2. Form cross-departmental teams for your data-driven marketing: collaboration with CTOs, CIOs and other decision-makers (e.g. sales, purchasing) is essential. Plan workshops to identify needs and implement processes together.
  3. Invest in the right tools and technologies: The market is full of tools to help you collect, analyze and visualize your data. Take your time and do your research to select the technologies that best suit your needs in the long term.
  4. Start a lighthouse project in your company: This can demonstrate the unimagined impact of (real-time) analytics on a small scale and also serve as a test balloon for a company-wide project. (Note: We do not see data in the company as a “project”, but as an important building block. Depending on the data status in the company, it makes sense to start as a project and then establish data as a fixed component).
  5. Get support. No marketing decision-maker has to take on the challenges of data projects alone. There are expert consultancies that can help you with the basic questions and decisions – and whose expertise is based on experience with other CMOs and large companies with similar needs.


Investments are needed to give the topic the necessary relevance and to drive it forward quickly. We are not only talking about financial investments, but also investments in time. Only when data analytics is prioritized in the company and teams work together to break down data silos and jointly identify data treasures will the insights emerge that will advance a company in the medium and long term and strengthen it against the competition.

How can we help you as a CMO or marketing manager to leverage data potential in your company quickly and sustainably?

  • We are at your side. We have almost 20 years of experience in advising marketing managers and analysts on the topic of data analytics – we know where the shoe pinches and help you to take the path to becoming a data-driven company with as few obstacles as possible.
  • We are marketing experts ourselves: As a family-run boutique consultancy, we not only know our way around data and the latest technologies, but also have senior-level marketing experts on our team. We know that to be successful, you always need a balance between results and skillful marketing strategies.
  • We make you fit for your data. With our HMA Academy, we train both marketing decision-makers and users in the correct handling of data.
  • With us, you get the complete data package from a single source: from data strategy, data aggregation (data engineering), data analysis (digital analytics) and data visualization (data visualization) to the prediction of consumer behaviour using predictive analytics (data science), we cover everything in-house.
  • We are as flexible as you need us to be: From a one-off data literacy workshop and consulting to the implementation of complex data analyses or the preparation of reports – our services can be completely tailored to your needs and budgets.

Bonus: We are data experts with heart and mind and look forward to working in partnership with you as equals.

Book a free 30-minute initial consultation for marketing decision-makers to initially analyze your company’s needs and derive initial recommendations for action.