Are CMOs Ready For The Digital Transformation?

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 30, 2014

digital innovation

Digital platforms and technologies are clearly changing the role of the chief marketing officers (CMOs) and most marketing leaders are accepting the change – unlike in the past. However, they are equally skeptical on driving this digital transformation, as they believe their company may not be ready for this big change.

A recent survey found that nearly 80 percent of marketing leaders believe corporate marketing will undergo a fundamental transformation over the next five years due to the use of analytics, digital and mobile technologies. However, nearly an equal number of respondents believe their company will not be a fully operationalize digital business in the coming years .

The survey notes that less than one third of the executives surveyed expect digital spending to account for more than 75 percent of their marketing budgets in the next five years, and 41 percent believe their spending on digital marketing will increase by more than five percent next year alone.

Betting big on customer experience

The research shows, nearly 77 percent CMOs believe it is essential to deliver an effective customer experience for their organization, but only 62 percent think they are actually drive this. Larger enterprises and more innovative ones are more focused on customer experience than those that are lagging behind.

The study recommends an increased collaboration with the C-suite, especially a coordination among CIOs, CDOs and CMOs can help in achieving this goal. “Marketing executives should do more to integrate marketing channels with real-time analytics, invest in agile technologies and cloud-based services, and reorient the marketing model so that new talent with all the necessary skills in analytics, mobile and digital put digital marketing to its most effective use in boosting the customer experience,” says the study.

Where is the gap?

However, there is a gap in the way the CMO is still looked at in the enterprise. While over half of C-suite executives expect digital to cause significant change transformation in their industries, 35 percent believe the CEO is responsible for digital innovation, followed by the CIO at 22 percent. The CMO, whom many do not consider can drive digital innovation, need to undergo an image makeover, according to the research.

The CMO is well positioned to assume this role because the opportunities and threats are all about the customer, the brand, the interface with the customer, and how the customer is empowered. No one should have the pulse of that better than CMOs, says the study.

While CMOs are aware of the plethora of digital technologies they should leverage, the study points out their challenge is to use the right ones for their business so as to gain the value. And this is what they need to master in order to drive innovation.