Report: CMOs typically leading organisational digital strategy

New report from The CMO Club looks at drivers for digital marketing agility and the state of wider digital ownership across organisations

Enhancing the customer experience, improving competitive positioning and increasing sales are the top three drivers of digital marketing agility, according to a new report.

The latest CMO Insights on the Journey to Digital Agility report from The CMO Club, produced by Accelent Consulting in partnership with Oracle Marketing Cloud, found 71 per cent of CMOs feel their teams now have at least a basic level of digital proficiency, and 17 per cent reported full digital fluency. Nearly half of respondents also agreed digital marketing has provided a much enhanced view of the customer (43 per cent).

Yet despite this, half felt their traditional and digital marketing is only somewhat aligned. The biggest barrier to digital agility listed by respondents was the lack of appropriate technology infrastructure (26 per cent), followed by organisational support (22 per cent) and expertise (21 per cent).

Challenges to view of the customer, meanwhile, included integrating data (32 per cent), analysing data (23 per cent) and capturing traditional and digital data (both 23 per cent).

The report also found marketing leaders today are most commonly the owners of overall organisational digital strategy, in addition to digital marketing strategy. In the most advanced organisations, responsibility for digital strategy is also being pushed down the organisation and functional leaders, as well as the CMO, own these strategies. In addition, the emerging role of marketing technologist is increasingly being introduced to help with digital marketing efforts.

Marketing isn’t doing it alone, though. Across those surveyed, marketing typically defines the need and identifies a solution before turning to the IT function to act as implementer (60 per cent). Only 6 per cent suggested full collaboration was occurring across marketing and IT.

In fact, the report stated the IT function was most commonly perceived as an approver or advisor when it comes to digital strategy, rather than a full participant. It was only when digital projects advanced past $100,000 that IT tended to become a full collaborator, the report found.

When it comes to why digital agility is important, the top drivers were enhancing the customer experience (33 per cent), enhanced competitive position (27 per cent), and increased sales (23 per cent). Across B2B marketers surveyed, enhancing the customer experience was almost twice as important as increasing sales, while for B2C, competitive advantage was the top driver.

“Through the turbulence of marketing transformations, the one steadfast hallmark of successful CMOs around the world is customer-centricity,” commented The CMO Club founder and CEO, Pete Krainik. “However, CMOs need digital agility to unlock the rich insights that enable true customer-centricity. This guide shares the tried and true ways that leading CMOs in The CMO Club have forged digitally-agile, customer-driven organisations that have a leg up on the competition.”

The CMO Club report was based on a survey of 82 CMOs largely across the US and Europe and equally split across B2B and B2C organisations.

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