Global Chief Marketing Officer Insights

When I worked at IBM, I valued having access to global data and resources to better understand markets. I am still an avid reader of IBM’s research and thoroughly enjoyed their most recent Global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Study.

If you have visited my site before, you know that I often use an integrated marketing communication (IMC) lens when viewing organizations. This IBM study was of particular interest to me as it shared insights from 1,734 CMOs, across 19 industries and 64 countries. I was eager to read how these CMOs perceived market changes relative to IMC.

The study revealed four universal challenges: “the data explosion, social media, proliferation of channels and devices, and shifting consumer demographics.” In addition, the research noted that most CMOs are continuing to struggle with demonstrating a return on investment (ROI) for their marketing efforts.

As an IMC practitioner, I will admit that I hoped for a more positive report in several aspects. As I noted in a previous post, for IMC to be most effective it needs to be strategic in nature. The research found that, “More than half of all CMOs think social media is a key channel for engaging with customers.” The report continued to state, “However, engaging with customers is not just about communicating with them. It’s also about building customer loyalty. To do this, marketing needs to look beyond the transaction and focus on the full customer relationship.”

Additional insights revealed that CMOs have not necessarily been empowered to assume a strategic role in organizations. “If CMOs are to be held responsible for the marketing returns they deliver, they must also have significant influence over all four Ps of marketing: promotion, products, place and price. Surprisingly, this is often not the case. CMOs told us they exert a strong influence over promotional activities such as advertising, external communications and social media initiatives. But, in general, they play a smaller role in shaping the other three Ps.” In this era of hypercompetitive markets, I am surprised that organizations are not leveraging their CMOs, one of their greatest assets, to their full advantage.

I would encourage you to watch a brief video about the report and share your comments below.



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