Operational efficiencies, investment in analytics, and a new strategic layer on the marketing team are among the bright highlights in the CMO Council’s fifth annual State of Marketing Report, released today.
“We’ve had so many consecutive years of doom and gloom, especially when the words ‘marketing’ and ‘budget’ were in same sentence, so it’s a refreshing change to see increased spending in all of the right areas,” said Liz Miller, the CMO Council’s vice president of marketing programs and operations, in an interview with CMO.com.
According to the survey of more than 600 CMO Council members—more than two-thirds of whom hold the CMO, head of marketing, or vice president title—57 percent indicated an increase in their 2011 spending, particularly in the areas of digital media and online marketing effectiveness.
“We are seeing more investment in new channels--mobile is on the rise, and we will also see a rise in video, new ways to use social media, and new ways to convert passive likes and views in social media into a more ongoing loyalty conversation,” Miller said. “There’s also a renewed interest in SEO.”
Also high on marketers’ priority lists: improving their customer segmentation and targeting efforts (cited by 64 percent of respondents), bolstering digital demand-generation programs (43 percent), further qualifying and tracking the conversion of leads (42 percent), and exploring alternative media and new routes to market (41 percent).
“It comes down to how we make marketing as efficient as possible--making sure we’re hitting the right targets, and that campaigns aren’t just spattering audiences,” Miller said. “MPM [marketing performance measurement] is also making a comeback.”
In addition, the CMO Council study, sponsored by Deloitte and OpenText, reveals an elevation in marketing’s role across a number of top-level business functions, such as strategic planning and forecasting (74 percent), business development and collaboration (46 percent), pricing (36 percent), distribution/channel management (36 percent), and product design and specification (27 percent). This rise in authority has given way to the need for a new marketing position—one situated between the CMO and his or her operational team, according to Miller.
“We have been seeing since our ‘Renovate To Innovate’ report that CMOs need a middle layer of strategy,” she says. “The CMO is laying down the business goals and objectives, but now needs to bring in verticalized, senior-level strategists. [For example], who’s developing strategies in analytics or for the Web sites?”
And while the need for CMOs to demonstrate real business results has never been greater, “2011 is the year where marketing can take a breath,” Miller said. “We’re not waiting for more budget to be taken away or bracing for the next big hit we have to weather.”
That means CMOs can truly focus on multichannel marketing integration. “They’re looking around and saying, ‘I can transform the organization—let’s look at new ways to engage,” Miller said. “A positive remnant of the recession is we’re not doing random things. We want things to connect. We don’t want Facebook unrelated to our brand or Web site or products. It has to be integrated. Random acts of marketing are being pulled into a cohesive, aligned strategy.”
Download a free executive summary of the CMO Council’s report (registration required).