CMOs: Analytics, social media key to business strategy, but we're too swamped

While CEOs are leaning hard on their marketing lieutenants to help drive business strategy, most CMOs admit their organizations are still unable to capitalize on the mountains of data they're already collecting.
Written by Larry Barrett, Contributor

A new IBM study finds that while 94 percent of enterprise chief marketing officers believe big data analytics will either make or break their organizations in the near future, 82 percent admit their companies are still unprepared to take advantage of all the information they're already collected from customers.

That's particularly disturbing news to CEOs who, according to the survey, are relying more and more on their top marketing lieutenants to help guide their overall business strategy and operations.

"It became evident that more companies across all industries are striving to integrate their physical and digital presence in order to provide a more integrated, seamless customer experience," John Kennedy, vice president of marketing for IBM Global Business Services, said in the report.

Sixty-three percent of CEOs now involve their CMOs in the business strategy planning process – CFOs are in the mix about 72 percent of the time – and those companies tend to perform better overall.

That value is derived from the avalanche of data collected from customer-facing apps and websites as well as social media snippets. The rub is that with so much information pouring in from so many different sources, most CMOs and their organizations are constantly playing catch-up and unable to convert that information into sales.

In-person conversations with more than 500 CMOs from 56 countries and 19 industries worldwide revealed that 66 percent of CMOs also feel underprepared for the growth at social media because it's "evolving at a pace faster than many can cope."

Ninety-four percent of top marketing executive also acknowledged that mobile applications will play an integral role in helping them reach their goals over the next three to five years.

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