A survey of 475 chief marketers from around the world conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit found that 80% will not be able to keep paces with the increased demands of consumers and technology without dramatic changes being made in their organizations.
Chief among the changes they’d like to see is a new visualization at headquarters of the marketing function as a revenue generator rather than a cost center. The world’s marketers, for good or ill, were confident that the keys to the kingdom will be handed to them within the next five years. Three quarters of them said that senior management would award them primary responsibility for experience by that time.
“That ownership puts marketing right at the center of revenue generation and setting the company strategy,” said Sanjay Dholakia, CMO of marketing automation provider Marketo, which sponsored the Economist survey. “The transformation taking place will be profound as marketers race to adopt technology and add skills that will allow them to manage the entire relationship with the customer.”
Other key findings of the survey:
- Two thirds of CMOs said senior management still viewed marketing as a cost center.
- Barely half of those surveyed said they use data to gain insights and engage with customers today. Eighty-one percent said they would do so within three to five years.
- More than 60% agreed that customer engagement manifests itself in renewals, retention, and repeat purchases.
- More than half were of the opinion that the Internet of Things and real-time, personalized mobile communications would revolutionize the practice of marketing by 2020.