According to recent research, 40 percent of CMOs do not feel prepared to meet their marketing objectives, and 70 percent believe they have only five years to fundamentally overhaul their company's corporate marketing model in order to achieve competitive success. This coming quarter, as CMOs begin to outline their financial planning strategies for the upcoming fiscal year, it is imperative that they consider the evolution of digital marketing and make the necessary adjustments so they can continue to meet their marketing objectives.
Barriers to performance improvements
CMOs report that inefficient business practices and the lack of funding and resources are among the barriers they face that ultimately hinder them from improving their performance and meeting their business goals. The five major marketing capability areas that are impacted by these hindrances are digital orientation, customer analytics, offering innovation, customer engagement and marketing operations. It is crucial that all business units work together across the organization to infuse digital efficiencies in the business model.
Too many channels
We find that effective use of the channel mix has declined while the proliferation of channels is adding to the marketing complexity, leaving many CMOs unsure of how to best maximize ROI. With so many channels available -- from corporate Web sites to branded content, and social media to mobile -- CMOs are finding it increasingly challenging to target the right consumer with the most compelling experience, via the proper channel. The research shows that consumer expectation for relevant offers and experiences is having the biggest impact on marketing strategy. In order to achieve marketing goals and experience positive ROI, marketers must work to identify the channels that are most relevant for their customers.
Digital marketing budgets will increase significantly
While marketing budgets as a whole are expected to show growth next year, the allocation toward digital marketing is expected to increase significantly. Accordingly, 28 percent of marketers believe there will be significant growth in marketing budgets next year. Consequently, CMOs are aggressively working to increase their budget allocation toward digital marketing -- 66 percent of the CMOs surveyed plan to allot over one-quarter of their marketing budget to digital within the next year. Of this allotment, the heaviest is estimated to be in customer experience and data/analytics. Furthermore, 49 percent of marketing executives are planning to invest more resources in customer experience. To effectively target customers and increase sales, CMOs must be willing to allocate more of the budget to digital marketing teams.
Focus on analytics
Ultimately, analytics and the proper insights will determine marketing success. To prepare for the coming years, CMOs agree that they plan to train and hire more employees to focus on analytics and digital marketing. CMOs recognize the importance of analytics, and as more budget dollars are shifted toward digital, it is imperative that CMOs recruit the appropriate talent and increase the number of employees who will focus on driving insights. Conversely, as more employees are looked to for their digital expertise, more traditional areas of marketing may experience a decrease in employees.
The study found that compared to 2011, profitable growth and operational efficiency are now as important -- or in some cases, even more important -- to CMOs than in the past. Given these priorities, and with careful consideration of the changing marketing landscape, executives should begin to develop and implement strategic new marketing tactics. By working to improve insufficient digital orientation, and by shifting budgets toward digital, CMOs will not only be able to keep pace with the evolving market and trends, but will also be able to take advantage of it, help the business thrive, and surpass the competition.