Chief Marketing Officers surveyed by Aprimo and Argyle Executive Forum at an Argyle event in New York City in April 2010 admitted to their current concerns and confusion, particularly related to calculating return on investment and integrating marketing efforts.
According to the survey, Chief Marketing Officers cited the following as elements that are “most broken in marketing”:
- “Correlating marketing activities to revenues” = 39%
- “Lack of marketing channel integration” = 27%
- “Perceived lack of value from marketing” = 10%
Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) were also asked to define “the CMO’s biggest challenges today” to which the top responses were as follows:
- “Integrating and tracking multiple channels” = 37%
- “Doing more with less” = 28%
- “Accountability/measurement” = 18%
- “Being able to control messages in light of social media” = 11%
- “Keeping up with social media” = 6%
Furthermore, Chief Marketing Officer’s were asked “what is driving the highest degree of change to your marketing strategies” and provided the following responses:
- “Increased requirement for ROI/accountability” = 27%
- “Creating more compelling customer/prospect experiences” = 37%
- “Drive to digital marketing” = 18%
Clearly the biggest problem for Chief Marketing Officers is accountability — without being able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that marketing initiatives directly drive profits, it’s nearly impossible to secure a future marketing budget, let alone keep your job. However, so much of marketing these days cannot be accurately measured with hard metrics. It’s not surprising that Chief Marketing Officers are typically the “fall guys” when companies aren’t making the numbers shareholders demand.
Additionally, the biggest area of confusion for Chief Marketing Officers is social media and digital marketing. How else can one explain the low rankings in this survey for all things related to social media and digital marketing? The reason those elements are ranked low is because Chief Marketing Officers don’t understand them enough to place value on them. And since it’s very difficult to track social media marketing return on investment with hard metrics, it’s not surprising that social media is not considered a priority among this audience whose annual bonuses are directly tied to quantifiable results.
It seems marketers are living in a time where they’re set up for failure. The marketing opportunities are there to leverage, but since they’re not easily quantifiable (similar to how brand value is not easily quantified but is inherently powerful), they’re ignored for easily trackable initiatives. What’s a marketer to do?
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