CMO Interviews Shed Light on Progress Seen in Integrated Marketing
Last month, IBM released an updated report, Stepping up to the challenge: CMO insights from the Global C-Suite Study, which provides insights into progress being made in enterprise marketing, the distinct profiles of today’s CMOs, and the exact actions needed for one to become a true digital pacesetter.
Now in its 17th installment, the report builds upon data from more than 23,000 interviews dating back to 2003. The March 2014 report, however, focuses on recent interviews with 524 CMOs centered around how they are helping enterprise organizations become more “customer-activated.”
Below are several highlights from the report, including key figures related to progress made and the opportunities still yet to be seen.
What progress are CMOs making?
- Increased influence on enterprise strategy. More so than ever, CMOs are involved in boardroom discussions and turned to for strategic input. According to the study, the CMO is now second (following the CFO) in terms of having highest influence on the CEO.
- Tighter integration between marketing and IT. CMOs report that closer relationships with IT are driving growth of the bottom line. In enterprises where the CMO and CIO work closely together, “76% are more likely to outperform in terms of revenues and profitability.”
Where do they (still) fall short?
While improvements are being made, a CMO’s input is only as important as the change he or she is able to enact. CMO ability to evolve marketing’s overall infrastructure and utilize technology is critical for creating a positive customer experience, realizing marketing goals and driving bottom-line results.
- Big plans, but little action. In 2011, aspirations to increase marketing technology utilization were high, but seem to have fallen short of actions taken. At the time, 81% of CMOs planned to utilize a CRM (increased to 89% in 2013), 80% wanted to invest in mobile applications (94% in 2013), 73% in content management (81% in 2013) and 66% in predictive customer analytics (now an overwhelming 94%).
- Unprepared to tackle digital needs. 82% of CMOs do not feel prepared to deal with the data explosion, which is an increase from 71% in 2011. What’s more, roughly 67% still feel that they are unable to tackle social media. Only 20% of CMOs report a significant investment in customer engagement via social networks, and even fewer are capturing multi-channel customer data and enabling real-time changes through a digital supply chain (13% and 11% respectively).
What will define CMO success?
According to CMOs surveyed, success is contingent on three components:
- Access to and interpretation of advanced customer analytics.
- Creating a positive, integrated customer experience.
- Effectively adopting and using marketing technologies.
“The most progressive enterprises pay close attention to all the cues that customers provide. They track obvious sources of information such as point-of-sale data, loyalty programs and the like. Then they integrate this data with intelligence from other sources, including real-time conversations on social networks, and use the insights they’ve obtained to inform a wide range of activities. In other words, they embed analytics in their day-to-day routine.”
Who is driving change?
The concept of personas is all too familiar to marketers. According to IBM researchers, CMOs can be categorized by three unique profiles:
- Digital Pacesetters: those prepared for the digital revolution. These CMOs understand and feel prepared to own the “data explosion,” and are allocating resources to create an integrated customer experience from physical to digital touch points. They have activated social, mobile and multi-screen communication channels.
- Social Strategists: those who realize the demand needs, and are working to activate change. The strategist are somewhere between the epiphany of changing customer expectations and a need to report tangible ROI, and the activation of what’s needed to launch an integrated marketing program.
- Traditionalists: those who still feel unprepared to tackle digital needs. Accounting for approximately 37% of the CMO mix, these leaders are less likely to activate customer-focused social media engagement, integrate the on- and off-line customer experience, or draw insights from advanced customer analytics.
How will enterprise CMOs achieve success?
For that information, you’ll need to read the full report. What I can tell you, however, is that digital pacesetters are the game-changers. They are invested in technology, social media and customer data. They are designing a positive customer experience that delivers on promises made by the organization. And ultimately, they are building a more intelligent and accessible brand that has its ear to the ground and responds through action.Be sure to check out the accompanying report infographic: Stepping up to the challenge.