Friday, October 14, 2011

CMOs Feel Overwhelmed by Change – IBM Study

Top Marketers around the world see huge changes taking place in how marketing will be  conducted into the future and feel ill prepared to handle the changes.

A recent IBM Research Study spoke to over 1700 Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) in 64 countries.  The study concluded that CMOs see four clear challenges today:  the growth in the amount of data available at their fingertips, the growth of social media, the number of channel CMO's Digital Challengeand devices and the shifting demographics of the consumer base.  Combined, these changes will cause a great deal of disruption over the next 3 – 5 years, forcing an evolution in the role of marketing.

Another important conclusion was that chief marketers believe that return on spending - ROI – will become even more relied upon as the benchmark measure of investment success but struggle with how to effectively measure marketing results given the overwhelming amount of data that is now available. 
Are Marketers Still In Touch With Consumers?

Good marketers have always understood intuitively how media is consumed because they themselves had a heightened awareness and naturally critical eye to the marketing around them.  Marketers are always ready with an insightful comment on the latest Super bowl ads, fashion trend, sports, celebrity and news sources.  That has essentially changed. Now, the report states that while 82% of CMOs see major shifts in marketing budgets moving to social and digital, only 26% of CMOs track blogs themselves.  While keenly aware of this new media, they have little time to “surf the web” and essentially be the new consumer. 

The Future of Marketing

The future of marketing will involve analysis of granular data which will likely require more software, and analytic skills.  We are approaching a point where each consumer’s click on a mouse is tracked and reported in real time.  One outcome will be an explosion in the need for programming, software and data analysis.  This is certainly a key reason IBM conducted this study.  The insights that this data can bring if properly measured will feed unique brand propositions and communications.  Marketing analytics may need a separate stream and structure within marketing.  This new analytics group must somehow capture and synthesize the billions of bits of data and provide meaningful insights.  CMOs will need to establish the right organizational approach in this unfamiliar new world so that powerful brands can continue to be built.

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