Many CMOs this year will find themselves with an increased budget — and with it, increased accountability for driving revenues. Columnist Joshua Reynolds shares five important things to do now to help ensure success by year-end.

January 2017 is a pivotal moment in time for the marketing discipline. According to a recent Gartner study, 2017 marks the third consecutive year of increased budgets for CMOs for the majority of those surveyed, with digital advertising, marketing technology and analytics among the areas most likely to see an increase in spending. In fact, Gartner has long predicted that by the end of this year, CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs.

This is a huge tipping point. It’s also a huge double-edged sword, as CIOs can well attest, because with increased budgets come increased expectations. And for marketers, the expectations are already high.

Increasingly, CMOs are being asked to take responsibility for driving revenues. Some are leaning into this and proactively seeking more financial accountability. Others are waiting for that accountability to be imposed upon them. Either way, 2017 is the year that marketing finds itself in the spotlight as either a money-maker or a cost center, with precious little gray area in between.

When it comes to marketing technology specifically, here are five important things to do, now, to make sure marketers have a firm grip on the handle of that double-edged sword come December.

1. Establish your benchmark

What visibility do you and do you not have into how you’re driving business results now? Where are your blind spots? Where are your quantifiable success stories? And what data do you need to document your impact?

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