Global businesses have been feeling the crunch of a world economy that simply isn’t growing as fast as it used to.

It’s the type of environment that asks more of marketers. In an age that’s defined not just by macro-economic concerns but also the multiplicity of traditional and digital channels, product and international expansion, and complexity caused by technology, departments have been taking action to harness as many efficiencies as they can.

Notably, the top two advertisers in the world, Procter & Gamble and Unilever, announced initiatives to cut content creation costs and zero-base the marketing budget respectively. All this while CMOs are feeling greater pressure than ever to demonstrate value.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 4.45.33 PM

But demonstrating that value and maximizing efficiency depends on Marketing’s ability to increase transparency among all members of the department. Recently, The CMO Club, in partnership with Percolate, conducted research and interviewed senior-most marketers to better answer the question: how can marketers share and act on information more quickly and effectively?

It’s a question whose answer promises enormous opportunities. For instance, non-working expenses — the dollars spent on creating marketing content and media, as opposed to distributing it — take up 20% of the average marketing budget and 40% of the average marketing budget, according to original Percolate research. Only 17% of the over 300 CMOs, VPs, and Directors said those production costs will sink.

Among the drivers of that extra spending: miscommunication. Issues like a lack of process and ineffective briefing are contributing directly to the strain that marketers are feeling over their budgets.

The problem: we have more information, but not necessarily more transparency.

CaKII3eSDeM (1)

There’s a deluge of analytics that departments need to act on to do their jobs effectively and use to answer questions from boards and senior executives, but it is often trapped within wings of the organization. Senior-most marketers, sitting at the center of global organizations, have long had difficulty knowing what exactly is going on within their organizations.

With easy global growth trending downward, companies will have to learn how to unlock that information.

The diffusion of intelligence throughout the marketing function reinforces your vision for the team to marketers, and keeps them ready to capture opportunities as they present at themselves at the tactical level. And it’s what lets you make big-picture, strategic decisions with both speed and confidence.

Getting there means tying together people, technology, and processes in a way that maintains open communication and transparency.

The CMO Club and Percolate conducted additional analysis on this topic and developed The CMO Solution Guide: Organizational Transparency & Modern Marketing Readiness, based on research with CMO Club members that impact organizations along those three dimensions. Download the report to see what the smartest marketers say on the subject.