Research reveals three types of CMO - which are you?by
You have to feel sorry for marketing bosses. Not only are they expected to do more with less as budgets get squeezed year-on-year, but they are also operating in times when their job roles have become increasingly demanding, and an understanding of a multitude of complex technological processes is expected as standard.
No wonder IBM’s latest research into the CMO psyche is dishing up some fascinating insights into the challenges involved in being in the marketing hotseat.
Having interviewed over 500 CMOs across the world, the study - Stepping up to the challenge: How CMOs can start to close the aspirational gap - highlights the current issues and opportunities related to the marketing chief’s use of data, social, mobile, analytics and Cloud, and throws up some intriguing statistics.
Top of the pile is the admission that 82% of CMOs believe their organisations are unprepared to capitalise on the impending ‘data explosion’, while 66% still feel under-prepared for a growth in social media outlay and the processes involved. The study also found that CMOs today are less concerned with trying to monetise social media, accepting the pace of change and volatility of the market as being too great.
“It’s no surprise that over the last six years, Big Data, social, mobile, cloud and analytics have fundamentally changed how we all live, work and interact,” says John Kennedy, vice president, marketing, global business services, IBM.
“While these forces are significantly impacting businesses, they are still at the beginning of their maturity, so the disruption they will make in business is yet to be seen. At the same time, these technologies have changed customer expectations and how consumers expect to engage and interact with businesses, which directly correlates to how marketers need to change their approaches to campaigns. However, the rate of change with these new technologies seems faster than many CMOs can keep up with.”
Complicating matters further is the increasing role marketers are playing in delivering top-line organisational strategy, with 63% of CMOs stating they are now involved in formulating the organisation’s overall business strategy, second only to the CFO (72%). And CEOs now expect data and analytics from the marketing department to drive strategic business decisions, meaning CMOs need to align themselves even closer to the role of the CIO, despite recent studies highlighting a disconnect between the two departments in many organisations.
As a result, IBM identifies CMOs as falling into three typecasts – traditionalists, social strategists and digital pacesetters. While the highest percentage of those interviewed see themselves as traditionalists, the good news is 30% now see themselves as digital pacesetters; those characterised by their desire to become more prepared for the dramatic growth of data, social and mobile channels, integration of physical and digital service channels and regular use of advanced analytics to extract insights from customer data.
And digital pacesetters are also leading the way in understanding how best to marry both internal and external datasets, something John Kennedy believes all CMOs should be looking to tackle in the present climate:
“Today, internal data isn’t enough when creating a personalised customer experience – which customers expect – it’s the combination of analysing external with the internal data that is crucial to providing CMOs and companies with insight into consumers that can help them to create better engagement overall.
“To do this, CMO’s need to capitalise on Big Data (from internal information and external such as social media) and analytics to transform business models and customer experiences across different touchpoints with consumers – whether it be a storefront, mobile app, website, etc. It’s vital to how their business is likely to operate in the near future.”
Chris was an Editor at MyCustomer from 2014 to 2022. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News.