Mobile, IoT Top List of CMOs’ Most Important Future Technologies

November 10, 2015

IBM-Most-Important-Future-Technologies-Nov2015CMOs around the world believe that mobile solutions (64%) and the Internet of Things (62%) will be the most important technologies in the next 3 to 5 years, per results from IBM’s latest Global C-suite study. That marks a slight difference from the rest of the C-suite, as the other titles surveyed each placed cloud computing within their top-2 future technologies.

The results bring to mind a recent study from Marketo and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in which CMOs and senior marketers tabbed the Internet of Things (IoT) as the future trend having the most impact on marketers by 2020, with real-time mobile personalized transactions closely following.

In a more recent survey from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), while the Internet of Things trailed mobile by a sizable margin on a list of forces disrupting marketing organizations, it was one of the few disruptive forces seeing a significant increase in importance this year.

The results from the IBM study indicate that CMOs are slightly more likely than the C-suite as a whole to see the future impact of the Internet of Things (IoT). Research suggests they are already seeing some early benefits from IoT. According to a 2nd Watch survey of 500 marketing and IT decision-makers in mid-size and large companies that was released earlier this year, 40% are using machine data to support digital marketing. While they are in the beginning stages of doing so, 70% reported success in meeting or exceeding their IoT-based digital marketing goals. Top uses in digital marketing included better understanding of customer preferences, powering campaigns and promotions, and to a lesser extent, driving customer-facing web and mobile apps.

Returning to the IBM study, the results show that C-suite executives the world over believe that technology factors (72%) and market factors (71%) are the biggest external forces transforming the competitive landscape. Unlike the C-suite overall, though, CMOs were more likely to see market (78%) than technology (74%) factors as buffeting their organizations.

The data concerning the “rules of engagement” do appear to be more akin to the current marketing environment: 81% of C-suite respondents expect more digital/virtual interaction with customers by 2020, as opposed to 8% expecting more face-to-face interaction. Likewise, 66% expect a greater focus on customers as individuals, as opposed to 21% projecting a greater focus on customers as segments.

About the Data: The IBM C-suite study is based on interviews with 5,247 C-suite executives from 21 industries in 70 countries. There were 723 CMO respondents.

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