Hooking Keepers Plagues CMOs

Even in today’s Big Data mania, marketers still understand that customer engagement is the most important element of a successful program, according to the inaugural Korn/Ferry Marketing Pulse Survey. Marketers are forced to learn and adapt to new standards and technologies.

Knowing what plagues the CMO in the wee hours of the night helps to better determine what matters most in the field today, says the report. The survey revealed that customer engagement keeps 52% of marketing executives awake at night. Within the broad category of customer engagement, 30% are concerned with creating sustainable and engaging customer relationships, and 22% are focused on the customer experience. Other concerns include dealing with budgetary, staying ahead and taking advantage of digital, and acquiring digitally savvy talent.

CMO Top Concerns (% of Respondents; July 2013)


% of Respondents

Creating sustainable and engaging customer relationships


Staying ahead and taking advantage of digital


Customer experience


Acquiring digitally savvy talent


Budgetary issues


Source: Korn/Ferry International, July 2013

35% of respondents believe that within their organization the marketing department is solely responsible for customer experience and engagement, while 31% believe it is a joint marketing and sales effort. 28% say it is a multi-functional task force, 3% say the job falls to no one and 2% believe sales alone are responsible.

Caren Fleit, Senior Client Partner and head of Korn/Ferry International’s Global Marketing Center of Expertise, says “… not surprising that customer engagement remains a top priority… the marketing team… is wholly tasked with engaging with the customer across multiple touch points to build brand value… best marketers… leverage all the moving parts to create… relationship with customers… monetized on behalf of the business…”

The relationship between the CMO and the CIO is shifting into focus, as information intelligence can be a competitive advantage for marketing teams. When asked how they work together to create an integrated customer experience, 46% of marketing executives say the focus is on improving customer engagement management, while only 40% say leveraging big data, and 13% say other methods.

Despite that response, 87% of respondents say they expect their company to increase the use of predictive analytics and big data tools this year. In the context of how analytics can best be used to underpin creative initiatives, 50% of respondents say analytics can be most effective when leveraging consumer data to support intuitive hypotheses.

Faced with an ever expanding list of content publishing channels, marketers must determine which ones will be most beneficial to achieving their goals.

Most popular marketing channels to engage with customers:

  • 1. Online advertising
  • 2. Facebook  
  • 3. Events   
  • 4. E-mail alerts
  • 5. Twitter

Least popular marketing channels to engage with customers:

  • 12. LinkedIn
  • 13. Loyalty programs
  • 14. Print mailers
  • 15. Television advertising
  • 16. Other employees

89% of marketing executives say that the rise in social media use has increased the importance of reputational management in their marketing strategies. Most brands operate multiple social channels at once, pushing out content frequently, and actively engaging in direct conversations with customers.

74% of CMOs say to give the marketing team stretch goals beyond their specialization in order to maximize customer engagement through more technically driven channels, while 26% say to keep growing them vertically in that same function.

85% of marketers currently allocate budget to digital advertising, understanding that online advertising is fundamental to a comprehensive marketing plan, says the report. Of those who spend on online ads, 67% choose to employ Google ads, followed by:

  • Facebook ads (24%)
  • YouTube ads (5%)
  • SMS ads (4%)

72% of the 15% who do not currently earmark budget plan to in the next year. Mobile-only programs are also gaining popularity, with 69% of respondents allocating a substantial portion of spend on those initiatives.

For more information from Korn/Ferry, please visit here.



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