CMOs are pressured to gain new customers and increase sales, but at the same time, they face important budget challenges. They also have to keep up with the channel proliferation and they need to find out what are the capabilities they need and maybe outsource services. These are some of the conclusions of a really interesting survey conducted among senior executives who are are key marketing decision makers in their companies in 10 countries by Accenture.
“According to survey respondents, consumers’ expectations for relevant experiences are having the longest-term impact on marketing strategy (65%).”
In such a context, ROI seems to be rather puzzling for CMOs. They know what it is important, but they don’t often perceive as being experts in those areas.
A key finding is linked to the barriers CMOs have. From this point of view, inefficient business practices and lack of funding are the main elements keeping hem from getting the desired outcomes.
As more and more channels appear, it is getting harder and harder to choose the perfect ones for the business.
“As channels multiply, CMOs say they are unsure how to maximize ROI across channels. With a multitude of channels in play – from face-to-face customer contact to paid search – CMOs find it increasingly complex to get the channel mix right. For example, two-thirds of marketers realize that social media is an important channel, but less than half think they are using it effectively.”
“(The most fundamental change over the next five years will be) channel proliferation and the move away from traditional direct marketing to more effective ways of leveraging customer stories and referrals via interactive media.” CMO, Financial Services, USA
As the number of channels grew, so did the number of partners (e.g. agencies and alliance partners) used by CMOs in order to better manage their companies presence on these new channels and that lead to a really fragmented environment, the survey also revealed.
Perhaps surprisingly, CMOs seem to be rather satisfied by work provided by such partners, than by that from internal departments. But agencies shouldn’t jump for joy just yet, as 64% of the interviewed marketers feel there is still room for improvement especially in areas such as execution and delivery.
According to the results of the study, the overall marketing budgets are expected to rise over the next years, and the digital marketing budget is expected to see a significant growth.
You can download and read the full 2012 CMO Insights survey here.