IBM’s latest Global C-Suite Study surveyed 4,183 top executives in 20 industries from around the world, and the resulting report has some interesting things to say about the CMO.
First, the CMO has the CEO’s ear more now than ever before, second only to the CFO. The report states that 63% of CMOs surveyed are involved in strategy development. In years past, the marketing department knew about audiences, creative campaigns, distribution and everything related to outbound lead generation efforts. But with the growth—and incredible success—of inbound marketing, marketers are now on the front lines of customer relations and sentiment for the first time. CEOs value that insight and are looping marketers into the inner circles of strategy and decision-making.
The second data point in IBM’s study threatens to reveal the truth behind the emperor’s CMO’s new clothing: CMOs aren’t measuring what they need. When asked about their efforts to implement advanced analytics to capture customer insight across all touch points, fully 88% of CMOs said they are measuring “somewhat” or “to a limited extent.” Only 20% are using social media to a “large extent,” and only 16% are combining insights from digital and physical channels to a “large extent.”
But CMO’s lack of measurement is not for lack of desire. The number of CMOs who plan to use advanced analytics more extensively jumped to 94% in 2014, up from just 66% in 2011. To their credit, CMOs are arguably inundated with more data from more sources than any other department in their organizations. Keeping up with the latest advances in marketing technologies while also distilling data into insights and using that information to drive campaigns is a major undertaking that is forcing CMOs to leave big projects that require major resources by the wayside.
CMOs have a firm grasp on the value of data. Understanding value is not the problem—extracting value is. Until marketers have a method to automate the vast majority of their reporting, they will continue to flounder in the data deluge.
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