Businesses that combine knowledge of data with creative thinking are likely to do better than their competitors, growing their revenues at 10 percent a year, twice the average rate of S&P 500 companies.
Research released Monday by consultancy McKinsey showed that companies whose chief marketing officers (CMOs) are "integrators," working with their colleagues in IT to reach company goals, are more successful that those who don't work together.
McKinsey surveyed 200 chief marketing officers for its report and tracked the financial performance of their companies.
Marketing is most often seen as a cost on a company's balance sheet, but working with IT or data teams can help track the effectiveness of advertising and other types of promotion. Data analytics can improve marketing as it "can uncover customer intentions, triggers, and interests that reveal subtle pain points and unmet needs," write the report's authors in a copy seen by CNBC.
This information can mean improving a customer's experience when they interact with a company, and 70 percent of the high-performing "integrators" McKinsey identified use advanced analytics to identify such insights.
The more successful organizations are also putting together staff from different disciplines, which might include IT, operations, legal and finance to bring new ideas to market. Working collaboratively means fewer approvals and faster decision-making and testing of new ideas.
"As a result, the process of creating new campaigns or marketing initiatives often shrinks from months to weeks or even days," the authors state.
Getting advertising or product ideas to market efficiently is of growing interest for CMOs who want to get more for their marketing dollars. In April, Procter and Gamble, one of the world's largest advertisers, announced it would put several of its agencies together to work as one team in a pilot that it hopes would eliminate bureaucracy and lead to better advertising.
Higher performing companies are also most likely to use highly personalized online advertising, a process called "dynamic creative optimization," that requires both analytical and creative skills.
"At the other end of the spectrum, 52 percent of companies with the lowest rates of growth admit that their CMO and CTO (chief technology officer) rarely interact," the authors write.
McKinsey worked with U.S. organization the Association of National Advertisers on its report, and released the findings at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France.