IBM CMO Perspective: Customer-led marketing is the top priority

Big blue's latest survey of CMOs shows developing deeper, richer customer experiences is the main priority for marketing leaders globally

Developing deeper, richer customer experiences is the top marketing priority for CMOs this year, with leading marketers embracing digital techniques, co-creation and collaboration to achieve it.

The rise of customer-led marketing was the key finding in IBM’s new Redefining Markets: Insights from the Global C-suite Study – The CMO Perspective, released this week. The biennial study represents a survey across more than 700 marketing leaders worldwide.

Alongside customer experience engagement, three other key priorities were highlighted in the report. One of these was the rise of what IBM labelled ‘creative destruction’ through technology. Just over two-thirds of CMOs said they are assessing their strategic direction in light of technology disruption, with those from leading organisations more likely to embrace ‘creative destruction’ and embrace more open and collaborative business models for innovation.

Data was another major priority, and 60 per cent of CMOs said they were preparing to bring in more data-driven insights into marketing campaigns over the next 3-5 years.

Marketing leaders are also still playing digital skills catchup, with 79 per cent planning to hire more digitally equipped staff to improve their marketing function’s digital literacy. Three-quarters of respondents said they planned to either partner with other enterprises, or will work with consulting firms in order to improve their digital capabilities.

To further understand the level of maturity across marketing leadership today, the report broke down marketing leaders into two camps: ‘Torchbearers’, or those in enterprises with strong financial track records and reputations; and ‘market followers’, or those coming from less financially successful companies with lower market profiles.

According to the survey, torchbearers feel they have made greater progress when it comes to managing the data explosion (47 per cent versus 27 per cent), and are also more focused on mapping out the customer journey (82 per cent compared to 65 per cent). In addition, torchbearers are more experimental when it comes to open and collaborative business models to extend their reach and range, and two-thirds were found to be exploring new revenue models, compared with just half of the market follower CMOs.

They’re also more interested in co-creation with customers: 66 per cent of torchbearers said they’re focusing on customer collaboration and co-creation, compared with 50 per cent of market follower CMOs. Sixty-one per cent of torchbearers are using customer feedback to explore new trends, compared with 51 per cent of market follower CMOs.

In addition, CMOs pointed to the blurring of industry lines as the biggest single trend impacting businesses, with two-thirds expecting further industry convergence in the next few years. This was followed by the redistribution of consumer purchasing power, and the rise of the ‘anywhere’ workplace. A higher percentage of CMOs also expected more competition from new rivals in other industries than they did in IBM’s previous study two years ago.

The study was based on surveys of 723 CMOs globally including US and the Asia-Pacific, and across 18 industries. It was part of IBM’s wider C-suite Study which canvassed input from more than 5000 c-suite executives globally.


Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Innovations in retail will bring creative and technology closer than ever

While approaching a customer in a shop and asking what you can help them with is Retail 101, how many of us actually enjoy being approached? Generally, you have to give the forced, fake smile and say, “Just browsing, thanks,” while screaming on the inside, “just leave me alone!” Maybe it’s just me?

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

There’s a brand in my digital soup

Not a day passes by in the life of business executives where digital innovation or the prospect of disruption is not front of mind. This in turn, drives an unrelenting flow of questioning, discussion and strategy papers.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Can marketers trust agencies again?

Unless you’ve been marketing under a rock, you’ll probably have questioned whether your media agencies are offering you transparency.

Nic Halley

Founder and managing director, Mindbox

Minor correct Nadia, just wanted to clarify that the "Marketo consultants" that did this work, were actually Hoosh consultants

Fab Capodicasa

What it's taking for Edible Blooms to grow a stronger personalisation strategy

Read more

Im not surprise though, been in the industry for couple of years and I feel and see it with my tow eyes how eCommerce platforms innovated...

Jason Smith

Australia Post earmarks $20m for Australian ecommerce innovation investment

Read more

For marketers that are "going Agile" I recommend using Ravetree. It's a really powerful suite of tools for Agile project management, reso...

Janice Morgan

7 ways to run your marketing department like a software startup

Read more

Over the years very part of our lives has become technological. That’s why I am not surprised to see that Australian home loans are going...

GreatDayTo

Why Aussie Home Loans is embracing digital transformation

Read more

Please be alerted eHarmony is a 17+ years old obsolete site. eHarmony is only supported by a big marketing budget and not by serious scie...

FernandoArdenghi

CMO interview: eHarmony CMO reveals what it takes to foster great team relationships

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in