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Three Things Digital-Savvy CMOs Are Doing Different

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
March 18, 2014
  |  3,063 views

Two-thirds of CMOs report that they’re not ready to cope with social media, and 82% say they feel unprepared to deal with Big Data, according to a recent report from IBM's Institute for Business Value.

The study, based on interviews with 524 chief marketing officers around the world, also found that most respondents have not implemented various complex digital strategies: For example, just 20% say they are collaborating with customers on social media to a large extent, and only 13% are heavily using advanced analytics to capture customer insight across all touchpoints.

However, not all marketers are having the same struggles with digital. In the course of its research, IBM found that the CMOs surveyed fall into three broad categories: 37% are "Traditionalists," who feel overwhelmed by the new technologies; 33% are "Social Strategists," who have mastered core digital strategies but not more complex ones; and 30% are "Digital Pacesetters," who are using (or are prepared to use) advanced strategies.

That last group of marketers is helping their enterprises significantly: 43% of Digital Pacesetter companies outperform their peers financially, compared with just 25% of Traditionalist companies.


So what are these digitally savvy CMOs doing different? IBM found they are excelling in three core areas: using data analytics to get a deeper understanding of customers; establishing strong relationships with consumers via digital channels; and integrating new technologies into their enterprises smartly and efficiently.

Below, data and findings from the report covering each of these three key areas.

Data Analytics

  • Digital Pacesetter CMOs are up to 26% more likely to have made significant investments in capturing and analyzing data compared with Traditionalist or Social Strategist CMOs.
  • Digital Pacesetter CMOs have also done a better job combining and integrating data from both internal and external sources: 66% say they have done so, compared with 37% of Social Strategists and 25% of Traditionalists.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Dave Rigotti Fri Mar 21, 2014 via web

    Glad to see the focus on building and creating relationships rather than selling right away. Consumers are becoming more savvy and those who form strong bonds with consumers will be the ones who will win in the long run.

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