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CMOs are Stepping Up

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While economic conditions continue to confound most, if not all of us, as marketers, we are also confronted with a variety of market and technology factor that are resulting in an increasingly complex business environment.  The growth of digital media and devices, the emergence of social media, and the challenges as well as opportunities associated with the growing volume, velocity and variety of data has most of us scrambling trying to manage these issues and turn them into business advantage.

IBMs Global CMO Survey of 1743 Chief Marketing Officers across all industries and 64 different countries confirms that these are indeed the most pressing issues and challenges at the top of the minds of our marketing colleagues across the globe.  Marketing leaders cite market and technology factors as the most significant external factors that will impact their roles and organizations over the next five years.

 

Regardless of geography, industry, type and size of organization, CMOs attribute these factors and growing business complexity to four key challenges:

 

  1. The explosion of data
  2. The growing use of social media
  3. The proliferation of channels and devices
  4. Shifting customer demographics.

While most CMOs agree that they are largely unprepared to manage the impact of these developments, the good news is that the vast majority are in agreement about the strategic imperatives required to address these challenges.  And the most proactive among them, dubbed "out-performers" by IBM, are leading the way by focusing on three key initiatives:

  1. Delivering value to empowered customers by focusing on customers as individuals and identifying what individual customers want from traditional as well as new digital sources of information
  2. Fostering lasting connections and bonds with customers by focusing on relationships and not just transactions
  3. Improve decision-making and demonstrate accountability by measuring marketing’s contribution to the business in relevant, quantifiable terms with advanced analytics and relevant metrics.

I'd be interesting in hearing how other marketers are addressing and dealing with these challenges and opportunities.

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Bert Kollaard, M.S. is Vice President and Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for IntelliQ Research and Strategy. In addition to a very strong foundational skill set in marketing research and competitive intelligence, Mr. Kollaard brings a unique mix of more than 30 years of Fortune 1000 corporate, consulting/agency and entrepreneurial start-up global leadership experience in B2B and B2C product and services development, marketing, strategic planning and business development.

He also has deep industry specific knowledge in healthcare, and especially in diabetes management and medical information technology, information publishing, manufacturing, petrochemicals and financial services.

Prior to IntelliQ, Bert held senior leadership positions with NCR Corporation, Lexis Nexis, as well as several leading regional marketing services and advertising and strategy firms. Bert is a multilingual, naturalized, US citizen of Dutch descent and has a master’s degree in social and applied economics from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, where he has been teaching graduate and undergraduate marketing and management courses as an adjunct professor since 2006.

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