CMO’s seek a clearer customer picture

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More than half (52%) of 321 interviewed CMO’s in the US and UK at companies with more than $250 million in annual revenue, see customer retention as their top current priority, followed by customer acquisition (38%), and customer profitability (29%).Less emphasis is being placed on branding—the traditional realm of the CMO—and more on customer acquisition, conversion, and retention. In a report (16 pages) done by Forbes “Bringing 20/20 Foresight to Marketing” (download for free after registration) we are able to get clear picture of what is on the marketer’s minds these days, in an ever evolving landscape of new marketing possibilities. The executives represent companies in industries that traditionally are heavy users of Internet marketing—retail, travel/hospitality, financial services/banking, and technology/media/telecom.

IBM Coremetrics Chief Strategy Officer John Squire states about the findings in the report the following:

“One thing that resonated throughout the report was that marketing has recognized the rapid move towards customer centricity—away from just product- or brand-oriented marketing. Th ere certainly is a desire to better understand customer behavior, customer sentiment, and how customer activity drives to the bottom line. Th e second thing is that it’s a matter of aligning the organization to take advantage of the customer information you have. Organizations that had been broken into classic silos are coming together and rethinking all the ways they can reach the customer with a consistent message. The third point was that it’s a speed and data game. Consumers are moving faster and engaging with a brand in more ways than ever, and there’s a recognition that speed is critical—how fast can I get information about what my customers are doing and how quickly can I deliver a personalized message through every touchpoint.”

In the report, the authors give the following key findings in their management summary:

  • Marketers’ priorities are customer-centric. More than half (52%) cited customer retention as their top current priority, followed by customer acquisition (38%), and customer profitability (29%). These will remain top priorities a year from now.
  • Marketing budgets mirror these priorities. About four in ten executives (39%) are dedicating the largest chunk of their funds to customer retention; customer acquisition runs a close second (36%).
  • Online tactics will see significant lifts in budgets. Over the next year, 56% will increase their online marketing spend, 54% will increase their social media spend, and 50% will increase their mobile marketing spend.
  • Greater emphasis is being placed on data-based decisions. Nearly half of respondents are increasing their spending on business intelligence, and 78% say there is greater scrutiny placed on what works and what doesn’t than there was a year ago.
  • Marketers are challenged to understand the influence of their campaigns beyond the basic metrics of acquisition and conversion. Top performers are using technology to get at these results and optimize their channels.
  • Marketers are not always clear on what tools they need to meet their top challenges. Respondents admit being concerned about their ability to get a deeper understanding of customer interactions or obtain an integrated view of customer behavior. But there appears to be a disconnect in how they solve that issue, as the tools that could help—reconciling multiple online marketing applications and lack on an integrated marketing suite—are at the bottom of their list of concerns.
  • Marketing is moving at light speed, but most marketers are not watching or adjusting their campaigns accordingly. Just 9% review their online marketing performance in real time, and only 9% adjust their campaigns in real time.
    Top performers are more proactive in tracking and adjusting their campaigns.
  • Among companies that said their investment in marketing technology was “world class,†27% track their performance in real time, and 39% adjust their campaign performance in real time.
  • While nearly two thirds of respondents said they segment and target customers based on an integrated view of customer behavior, that view is not necessarily complete. Just 30% have a view of mobile behavior, and just 34% look at social media behavior.