State of the CMO 2018: Marketers own CX and digital

Latest State of the CMO industry insights research from CMO highlights the broadening remit of marketing leaders as well as tech priorities, purchasing and skills development

Nearly two-thirds of Australian marketers own their organisation’s customer experience function and one in three have sole purchasing power for customer technologies, our latest State of the CMO 2018 research has found.

According to the second annual State of the CMO report, produced by CMO and brought to you by Bold360, 62 per cent of marketing leaders participating in our annual survey have customer experience reporting into marketing, with 53 per cent taking control of these responsibilities over the last 12 months. In addition, 86 per cent now own digital commerce and strategy, and nearly 30 per cent have customer service/care as a functional reporting line.

When asked about technology purchasing influence and spending, 31 per cent of CMOs participating this year said they have sole purchasing power for customer technologies in their organisation, and 36 per cent control at least 90 per cent of the martech dollars being spent by their organisation today. Just over half of the remainder (53 per cent) are making joint purchase decisions around these sorts of technologies with their IT or digital colleagues, and only 4 per cent reported lacking any influence on customer technology purchasing, down 2 per cent year-on-year.

The top three technology investment priorities over the next year are marketing automation, customer management platforms, and digital/Web platforms.

One of the new questions asked in State of the CMO this year was investment plans in artificial intelligence (AI). Across respondents, 12 per cent said their organisation is actively using AI in customer-facing or back-end applications righty now, while 23 per cent are testing AI solutions. However, 41 per cent reported to have no plans for AI at this time, raising significant questions around the level of maturity and industry know-how around AI applications in the marketing sphere.

This year’s report also looked into areas of skills development and where skills gaps are being felt the most. Not surprisingly, data analytics and science was by far the area where marketers lack skilled knowledge the most – 82 per cent saw this as a major skills issue in 2018.

What was encouraging, however, was the level of optimism expressed by marketing leaders about their own abilities. Across almost all areas of ability, from innovation to commercial acumen, collaboration and adaptability, marketing chiefs ranked themselves an average of four out of five. One-third also said marketing is perceived as a business leader in their organisation today, up from 22 per cent in 2017.

Yet times are tough, and 52 per cent said they’ve felt increased board and CEO pressure over the past 12 months.

State of the CMO is an annual industry insights research initiative aimed at understanding how Australian marketing leadership is evolving. The report, which launched in 2017, looks into key aspects of the CMO position and marketing function, encompassing the professional standing of the modern marketing leaders, their technology procurement remit and investments, functional responsibilities, the extent of their role as digital and CX owners and functional priorities.

The full 2018 State of the CMO report is now available digitally to CMO readers. Click here to download your complimentary copy.

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

 

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