CMOs Look to Improve Customer Engagement, Turn to Online Channels

July 8, 2013

KornFerry-CMOs-Top-Concerns-July2013CMOs are making customer engagement their top priority, details Korn/Ferry International in recent survey results. 30% of respondents said they’re concerned with creating sustainable and engaging customer relationships, with another 22% stressing customer experience, a focus that requires greater channel integration and use of customer-focused metrics, according to results from a recent IBM study. Interestingly, CMOs aren’t too concerned about acquiring digitally savvy talent or dealing with budgetary issues, per the Korn/Ferry study, with only about 1 in 10 naming those as concerns. A reported expansion of marketing budgets in the Americas may be contributing to CMOs’ lesser concern with that issue, though it’s somewhat surprising to see a relatively lack of concern about digitally-savvy talent, given the emphasis on analytics and some concerns about a relative dearth of talent in that area.

Returning to the issue of customer engagement, the Korn/Ferry survey finds that a plurality 35% of respondents believe this is solely the domain of the marketing department, while 31% believe it’s a joint effort between the sales and marketing teams and 28% believe it to be a multi-functional task force.

Asked their most popular marketing channels for engaging with customers, respondents ranked the top 5 (in descending order) as:

  • Online advertising;
  • Facebook;
  • Events;
  • Email alerts; and
  • Twitter.

The least popular channels for doing so are (also in descending order):

  • LinkedIn;
  • Loyalty programs;
  • Print mailers;
  • TV advertising; and
  • Other employees.

Other Findings:

  • 89% of senior marketers believe that increased social media usage has concurrently raised the importance of reputational management.
  • Respondents are more likely to say they challenge their employees by giving them stretch goals beyond their specialization (74%) than by growing them vertically in their function (26%).
  • 85% of respondents are spending on digital advertising, with some key types being Google ads (67%) and Facebook ads (24%), with fewer using YouTube (5%) or SMS (4%) ads.
  • Among the 15% not currently spending on digital advertising, 72% plan to in the next year.
  • About 7 in 10 are allocating budgets to mobile-only programs.

About the Data: The data is based on a survey of 124 CMOs and marketing leaders from the Korn/Ferry database of top US companies.

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