How 'Digital' Is Posing New Challenge For CMOs

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 03, 2015


Digital platforms are transforming the marketer’s role and even though many of them are coping with the changes, there are ample challenges to be addressed.A recent global survey by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reveals that several major technological shifts currently underway will effectively redefine the nature of marketing and also change the role of marketers to some degree.

Some 87% of those polled agreed they would need to change the structure and design of their marketing organization within three to five years to align more closely with business needs. Perhaps predictably, most of the marketing executives already see the marketing function transforming the future shape of their businesses.

At the moment, the effects of marketing were most evident in advertising and branding, customer experience and engagement, and digital and social media, according to them. But they expected significant differences within three to five years. Only 45% of respondents said they thought they would be responsible in the same way for advertising and branding, for example—compared with 75% who counted that as part of their current work. Instead, more than half the marketers sampled said their marketing activity would likely be driving ecommerce (55%), customer retention (54%) and customer cross-selling and upselling (52%).

Some of the biggest challenges marketers are facing include not having sufficient budget to carry out digital functions. Secondly, a lack of skills in their teams are preventing over one-third respondent to deploy innovative digital campaign. Nearly half the respondents also believe that the need to shift marketing and engagement into a digital dimension was a significant challenge for them.

Of the potential challenges - of the trends they believe would have the biggest impact on marketing by 2020 include the manifestations of growing interactivity and connectedness, in all its forms. These include the Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable technologies.

Another Harbor Research study, commissioned by Progress, finds many still feel they are lacking the necessary technology, skills or tools in driving IoT in their organizations with 50% developers don’t have or are unsure if they have the necessary technology today to deliver on IoT expectations. Others are unsure or definitely don’t have the necessary skills and resources today to deliver on IoT expectations.

Marketers were most united in their expectations of mobile transactions; around 40% said they thought real-time, personalized mobile purchasing would have a major impact on how marketing was conducted.

In fact, it can be argued that mobile technology will be central to all the future trends listed by the EIU, including the IoT, virtual or augmented reality, wearables and heightened concerns about privacy. Mobile is already the main focus of innovation and increased ad spending for countless major brands. This is no surprise, bearing in mind how rapidly smartphone penetration is rising, the study says.