Paving The Digital Roadmap For CMOs In 2015

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 01, 2014

digital marketing

In the modern technology landscape, it’s not only about the (chief information officer) CIO who has complete control over IT. It’s also about other C-level executives, especially the (chief marketing officer) CMO who is constantly under pressure to drive the company’s ROI.

While in 2014, CMOs were witnessing a huge digital shift owing to the emergence of new digital technologies, many of them are ready to act in the next one year.

CMO and IT budget

According to a recent Gartner’s CMO Spend Report, digital marketing budgets will increase by 8 percent in 2015. The research firm states that customer experience will be the top priority for 2015, continuing its role as the top priority for marketing investment in 2014. The survey also found that

The research clearly shows that in eight out of 10 companies, marketing budget is mostly allocated for infrastructure and software. Marketers are generating revenue from digital advertising, digital commerce and sale of data.

Moreover, about 68 percent of organizations have a separate digital marketing budget — it averages a quarter of the total marketing budget, while two-thirds of companies are funding digital marketing through reinvestment of existing marketing budgets.

Read: How Firms Are Investing In Digital Marketing

CMO as an influencer

The role of CMOs is also becoming a vital one in the organization, as another CSC LEF study found the CMO now comes second only to the CFO in terms of the influence he or she exerts on the CEO.

While the survey sees CMOs are occupying a more influential position in their organizations, very few CMOs have a steady progress in building a robust digital marketing capability. For example, only 20 percent marketing executives have set up social networks for the purpose of engaging with customers, or engaged them through diverse channels, citing most of them are underprepared to deal with the explosion of data.

Read: Is CIO-CMO Still Corporate Boardroom’s Odd Couple?

“Global business leaders see the game-changing potential of emerging technologies, but many are unsure their firms possess the digital leadership necessary for these increasingly disruptive times,” notes David C Moschella, research director, CSC LEF in his report.

CMOs in 2015

In such a scenario, Scott Brinker, a marketing technology specialist at Forrester predicts what digital marketing and the CMO will look like in the next one year.

Firstly, he said CMOs and their marketing teams will become the primary driver behind customer-centric company growth. “Apart from advising the CEOs on how to win, and retain customers, the CMO will lead organizational changes and new collaboration initiatives aimed customer engagement activities across the enterprise,” he says.

Secondly, CMOs will invest in new digital marketing areas, such as digital marketing clouds, such as marketing-as-a-service rather than licensed software. Cloud-based solutions will continue to expand their ecosystems, with many small software developers adding apps to existing cloud-based digital marketing platforms.

Thirdly, Brinker sees content marketing and predictive analytics as key areas of interest and investment for CMOs, but they will show interest in post-sale customer marketing, marketing talent management, and new tools based on the Internet of Things, allowing for the integration of offline and online experiences.

Finally, CMOs will also be the face of a company’s brand, and will oversee the entire spectrum of brand engagement in 2015. “This will help them in improving the perceived value of digital interactions with customers and other stakeholders,” sums up Brinker.

While there will be certain challenges in the CMO’s pathway in the coming year, there is no doubt that his role will become more critical with the emergence of new technologies and business insights.

Expects believe it is time, CMOs should try and explore areas such as social, mobile, data and 3D printing and also create shared experiences with specialists in those spaces to remain a few notches above competition. As digital tech evangelist Rob Norman aptly puts it: “What we don’t know yet is what the impact overall on industry and marketing is going to be in the short term – and we think it’s relatively small – but it’s our sense that it’s going to be very large over time.”