CMO Influence Rises But Most Are Still Not Social Media Ready

by Jennifer Beever

IBM CMO StudyAccording to IBM’s new Global C-Suite Study, CMOs are now second to CFOs in terms of influence, but most are still not ready to fully take advantage of the benefits of social media adoption and digital marketing.

According to the study, two-thirds of CMOs are still not ready to fully implement social media and digital marketing, a number only slightly reduced since 2011. The difference now is that more CMOs recognize this deficit in digital marketing activity (82% acknowledged they are under-prepared, compared to 71% in 2011). The study also shows a correlation between CMOs who have adopted digital marketing and higher financial performance of their organizations.

CMOs that fully adopt digital marketing have integrated social media into their marketing programs, used data analytics to understand and respond to customer behavior and needs, and built digital or social response mechanisms all through their supply chain to provide customers with what they need.

It seems that awareness of the importance of social media and digital marketing has increased, but taking action to implement digital marketing programs with analytics and social media has not. Here are some of the IBM study recommendations for what CMOs must change in order to act on the digital marketing opportunity.

CMOs need to focus on relationships, not just sales.

The first thing that has to shift is CMO’s belief that the sale is their objective. It’s really the relationship with the customers that matters today. Customers want to feel valued when they are in their buying process as well as when they use a product or service. They want to feel that they have a partnership with product and service providers – that they matter.

The CMO reach must go through the entire supply chain.

Marketing isn’t about getting the sale and moving on to the next buyer. It’s about building relationships that extend through the entire organization, from marketing to sales to customers service and product development. Analytics help show customer behavior, and combining data from multiple sources can help the CMO unearth information and insights that the customer may not even recognize – they don’t know what they don’t know.

CMOs can work more closely with CIOs to find and implement digital marketing solutions.

With a requirement to extend social media and data analytics throughout the supply chain and customer experience, CMOs need to work with CIOs and other executives to drive digital marketing change. Marketing must be more than the creative silo of years past – it has to integrate throughout the organization, requiring new skills in collaboration, persuasion and negotiation from CMOs.

Success in marketing today requires a full paradigm shift as well as organizational and behavioral changes. It’s not just that social media technology is a new “tactic” that must be learned and adopted. Is the magnitude of the change what’s keeping so many CMOs from taking action? Or, is it still a lack of understanding of what must change?

If you need help in implementing digital marketing including social media and content marketing, contact New Incite today. We’ve specialized in getting results for our clients using online marketing for 17 years.


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