In early March, we wrote a blog post about the recent CMO Survey, conducted by Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. When it came to CMOs’ views on marketing analytics, it was a case of good news-bad news. The good news was that marketing analytics is viewed as important since CMOs are planning to invest more in the area. The bad news was that most projects don’t use the analytics available to them.

A similar good news-bad news sentiment was expressed by CMOs in a new IBM study, entitled “Stepping up to the challenge: How CMOs can start to close the aspirational gap.” The good news is that CMOs plan to use advanced analytics more extensively in the future than other marketing technologies, as indicated in this chart…

CMO Digital Technology

The bad news is that CMOs don’t feel prepared to deal with social media and the data explosion occurring in marketing, and the situation seems to be worse than it was a few years ago…

In 2011, 71 percent of the CMOs we interviewed told us they felt underprepared to deal with the data explosion. Today, a full 82 percent feel that way. Two-thirds of all CMOs also report that they’re not ready to cope with social media, which is only marginally less than was the case three years ago.

To gain a more detailed understanding of the situation, IBM identified three distinctive kinds of CMOs in the course of their research…

  • The Traditionalists are just setting off. They’re challenged by the data explosion, the growth in social media and the plethora of new channels and devices; have yet to integrate their physical and digital sales and service channels; seldom engage with customers via social networks; and rarely use analytics to extract insights from the customer data they collect.
  • The Social Strategists have passed the first few milestones. They’ve recognized social media’s potential as a vehicle for engaging with customers, and they’re building the infrastructure they’ll need to operate in the social arena. But, like Traditionalists, they haven’t yet begun to exploit the opportunities arising from the data explosion and advanced analytics.
  • The Digital Pacesetters, by contrast, are much further down the road. They’re reasonably prepared for the data explosion and well placed to handle the increasingly heavy social and mobile traffic from a growing range of devices. They’re also actively putting the resources required to operate as a fully integrated physical-digital enterprise in place. And they regularly use advanced analytics to generate insights from customer data.

Not surprisingly, IBM found a close link between the degree of digital acumen CMOs display and the financial performance of the enterprises for which they work. Specifically, 43 percent of the outperformers in the study are Digital Pacesetters, compared with just 25 percent of Traditionalists.

So the question becomes, how do Social Strategists and Traditionalists become Digital Pacesetters? At Origami Logic, we believe solutions need to be developed that make things easier for marketers. For example, in terms of dealing with all of the data generated by the many digital marketing activities being executed by brands, marketers need an easy-to-implement marketing measurement solution. They need the ability to easily measure the performance of the various activities and analyze their effectiveness in addressing key company objectives. Currently, it is very difficult to do this, particularly since many key metrics require data from various sources. We feel this has to change.

How would you characterize your marketing organization? Are you a Digital Pacesetter, a Social Strategist, or a Traditionalist? If you are a Social Strategist or Traditionalist, what is stopping you from becoming a Digital Pacesetter? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below.

Want to spend your time driving marketing performance, rather than gathering data?

Let us show you what we are up to.

Get In Touch