Business

Study: The CMO’s Influence Is Growing

Driving organizational revenue. Staying in front of customer issues. Responding in real time. The chief marketing officer is doing more of these things than ever, and they're feeling the pressure, a new Salesforce and Deloitte study finds.

The right marketing can do wonders for an organization. But the chief marketing officer’s influence on your bottom line might still surprise you.

And, yeah, the CMOs of the world totally know it.

That’s according to a new study from Salesforce’s ExactTarget and Deloitte. “Bridging the Digital Divide: How CMOs Can Rise to Meet 5 Expanding Expectations,” a study of 228 marketing executives around the globe, found that marketing execs are increasingly are responsible for areas that don’t strictly fall under the traditional marketing umbrella, including customer service, data analysis, and driving top-line growth.

“When a customer comes through a device or store, they want one consistent brand experience with you,” Salesforce CMO Lynn Vojvodich told AdAge. “As marketers, we need to be stewards of customer journey, and the new CMO is about owning the customer experience.”

Other highlights from the study:

Revenue pressure: Fifty-three percent of CMOs surveyed said they feel pressure to drive more revenue growth for the organization. But despite marketing’s front-line role, they may not have all the tools they need to make it happen. “While the expectation for the CMO to drive revenue is pronounced, many CMOs are faced with a conversion path they don’t entirely own,” the study states. It recommends that CMOs “who agree to a revenue target should verify a clear path to conversion with the rest of the C-suite.”

Service matters: “Helping is the new selling.” That’s how Jay Baer, the author of Youtility, puts the need for customer service in the marketing world. And a lot of that helping takes place in social media, where how-to YouTube videos and social media responses are more urgent than you might expect in a call center. Why’s that? If you screw it up, the negative effects can be huge: A Dimensional Research study found that 66 percent of B2B customers and 52 percent of B2C customers stop buying from a firm that gives them a poor customer experience.

Data in real time: Marketing folks rely on data in multiple ways: They dive deep into research internally and act on this data on the fly. The study notes that 52 percent of respondents are looking for employees with data expertise. But the real value of data could be its utility in guiding CMOs in creating customer experiences. Still, the study suggests that marketers keep it simple. “The customer journey possibilities are infinite, and it’s easy to feel daunted by the hundreds or thousands of touchpoints that could hypothetically be automated,” the study states. “But from this small scale of two or three experiences, CMOs and marketing teams can learn and grow their scaled automation efforts from there.”

The full study is available on the ExactTarget website.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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