CMOs: Expect Major Change in Next 5 Years

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Three quarters of global marketing chiefs see digital creating a new game in the years directly ahead. The same number, however, doubt they'll be ready for it.

With big change, will big failure also come?
With big change, will big failure also come?

Think the marketing game hasn't changed enough in the last five years? Well, hold on to your dashboards, because you ain't seen nothing yet. A survey of 581 senior marketing executives across the globe conducted by Accenture Interactive learned that 78% of them believe corporate marketing will undergo a fundamental transformation over the next five years as data analytics, digital methods, and mobile technologies ramp up to scale.

More than a third of the CMOs expect that, within that time period, at least 75% of their budgets will be allocated to digital methods. The reason: Effectiveness of their email, display ad, and search campaigns increased by 14, 10, and nine percentage points in just the past two years, they reported, while telemarketing's value dropped by 10%.

Yet one wonders whether these CMOs would have made such a bold prediction had they been privy to their colleagues' readiness postures ahead of time, for 79% of the sample also believe that their companies would not be fully functioning digital businesses within five years. Many of them will suffer the effects of a mobile generation gap. Marketers under 35 attach high significance to the use of mobile marketing methods (38%) than do their older counterparts (18%). And finding capable tech talent becomes ever harder: The survey reveals a 10% decline in customer and digital analytics capabilities.

Accenture consultants place the burden to overcome future hurdles squarely on the shoulders of the marketing chiefs themselves. “As marketing executives are increasingly embracing digital, they can be catalysts to help their companies take advantage of the wider digital opportunity and protect against broader digital threats,” says Brian Whipple, senior managing director of Accenture Interactive.

Accenture's recommendations to CMOs in working toward that goal:

  • Reverse-engineer marketing initiatives around desired outcomes instead of sales transactions.
  • Design campaigns to influence, engage, and stimulate customers rather than target, capture, and convert them.
  • See customer experience as an ongoing dialog covering sales, service, retention, and loyalty.

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