Most CMOs (94%) agree that advanced analytics will play a significant role in helping them reach their goals, but an increased number (82%) of CMOs say their organizations are not prepared to capitalize on the data explosion.

A new IBM study, “Stepping up to the challenge: How CMOs can start to close the aspirational gap,” is based on findings from face-to-face conversations with more than 500 CMOs from 56 countries and 19 industries worldwide.

“After speaking with CMOs around the world, it became evident that more companies across all industries are striving to integrate their physical and digital presence in order to provide a more integrated, seamless customer experience,” John Kennedy, Vice President, Marketing, Global Business Services, IBM said in the study. “In response, we launched the new IBM Interactive Experience to help CMOs and other C-suite leaders design and build rich, data-enabled experiences for their customers and stakeholders.” 

The study identifies three types of CMOs: Traditionalists (37%), Social Strategists (33%) and Digital Pacesetters (30%). Digital Pacesetters are more likely to be financial outperformers and are characterized by their preparedness for the dramatic growth of data, social and mobile channels; integration of physical and digital sales and service channels; and regular use of advanced analytics to extract insights from customer data. 

According to the study, 63% of CEOs involve the CMO in formulating the organization’s overall business strategy, second only to the CFO (72%). The study underscores the need for CMOs to collaborate more closely with the rest of the C-suite in making strategic decisions that are supported by data and analytics. 

What’s more, the study also found that when a CMO has a close working relationship with the CIO, the enterprise is more likely to perform better overall. High-performing CMOs were reported to have a stronger working relationship with CIOs than those identified as financial underperformers. 

A vast majority (94%) of marketing leaders believes mobile will be key for future success, the study shows. But, 66% of CMOs feel underprepared for the growth of social media, which is evolving at a pace faster than many can cope with. The study also found that CMOs today are less concerned with both monitoring their brand via social media and trying to monetize social media. 

In addition, 94% of marketing leaders believe that mobile applications will play a significant role in helping them reach their goals over the next three to five years, which is significantly higher than 80% three years before. The study found that Digital Pacesetters in particular are well along the path of executing a mobile strategy, with 58% able to conduct business regardless of location or device.

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