Several pieces of research of late have demonstrated that marketers are having trouble proving their value – and are being increasingly pressured to validate their impact on their organizations. Putting aside the struggles withÂ quantitatively measuring ROI – how areÂ marketers planning to increase their impact and value in the next year? Survey results from the CMO Council’s State of Marketing report [download page] provide some insights.
Asked to choose their top 3 from 10 options, marketers responding from around the world converged on one clear response: improving customer segmentation and targeting. This was a top-3 response for 63% of respondents, almost double the proportion for the next-most cited step, and is in line with recent research showing the industry moving towards greater adoption of audience targeting.
The focus on segmentation and targeting signals that marketers will be paying a great deal of attention to marketing analytics. For the time being, though, few projects are using marketing analytics, according to US CMOs responding to a survey earlier this year, who estimated that just 32.5% of their projects use analytics, relatively flat from the past couple of years. (See here for more about what marketers and agencies want out of analytics.)
Returning to the CMO Council report, other steps marketers plan to take indicate a customer-centric focus built on relationships and relevance:
- Localizing strategies and content to increase relevance and response (38%); and
- Investing in digital demand generation and online relationship building (33%).
Interestingly, respondents appear to be mostly satisfied with their online metrics and performance indicators, as few indicated that they’ll be gathering and utilizing better metrics in order to maximize their impact.
As for what marketers will be doing to improve their operational effectiveness and efficiencies in the next year? Setting clear goals and tracking deliverables (58%) and increasing operational visibility, controls and accountability of spend (45%) were the most commonly-cited responses.
About the Data: The CMO Council describes its methodology in part as follows:
“A large sample of 525 CMO Council members from all regions of the world participated, representing a cross-section of industries and companies of all sizes. Most participants (56 percent) report directly to a CEO, president or chief operating officer. A further 18 percent of respondents said they report in to business division chiefs or heads of regional operations. A large number (more than 70 percent) had a vice president title or higher. The remaining senior marketers who contributed to the study were director-level decision makers with budget and operational responsibility. In terms of department size, 42 percent of respondents manage global teams of more than 50 professionals, with 12 percent managing more than 300.
With regard to company size, 45 percent of respondents represent companies of more than $1 billion in annual sales, 27 percent are with companies with revenues between $101 million and $1 billion, and 28 percent work for companies with revenues of less than $100 million. Relative to addressable markets, 41 percent are focused on B2B markets, 23 percent on B2C, and 35 percent crossed both sectors. The locations of companies were also quite diverse, with 50 percent based in North America, 19 percent in Europe, 18 percent in APAC, and 5 percent in both Africa and the Middle East. Three (3) percent of those surveyed represent companies headquartered in Latin America.”