Just as technology continues to advance, so must the role of CMOs and marketers across industries. Each must adapt with the changing landscape, using the tools available to enhance customer relationships and construct the reliable reputation necessary for success. However, while technology moves forward, many marketers still struggle with the numerous facets that come along with this far-reaching role.
In its recent "The State of Marketing 2013" global survey of marketers, IBM explores the current activities of more than 500 marketing professionals worldwide, spanning more than 15 industries. Broken into two types of marketers, this study offers a glimpse into how the most successful marketers are juggling the demands brought on by emerging technologies. While leading marketers proactively influence the customer experience across channels using marketing technologies, all others trail in their adoption of technology and influence on the customer experience. The survey establishes that, to succeed, companies must: understand and engage customers; evaluate and prioritize channels; create a consistent customer experience; coordinate and deliver across the enterprise; and optimize marketing performance.
The following statistics examine how marketers currently operate and how the latest technologies are changing the way they interact with consumers:
- While 39 percent of leading marketers are adjusting real-time offers based on customer wants, needs, and preferences, only 15 percent of other marketers currently do so.
- Seventy-one percent of leading marketers are delivering personalized messages in real time through social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and review sites, while 62 percent of leading marketers are delivering personalized messages through mobile channels.
- Of those leading marketers polled, 76 percent contact their customers to gauge satisfaction, and 75 percent monitor and track delivery commitments to ensure customers are receiving their orders accurately and on time.
- Seventy-one percent of leading marketers are training sales and customer-facing staff on product and service lines to improve customer engagement and identify cross- and up sell opportunities.
- As leading marketers continue to assume greater brand stewardship and take responsibility for the customer experience across the organization, 83 percent are now collaborating with various business functions to ensure a consistent delivery of their brand's message. Of these marketers, 82 percent are creating and delivering brand messages at every point of the customer interaction to ensure a consistent, coordinated brand experience.
- Nearly 66 percent leading marketers are using location-based targeting to market to customers, with 61 percent using mobile messaging campaigns to deliver relevant offers, such as reminding customers of a sale or sending outs coupons as they pass a specific store location.
- More marketers are also looking to user-generated content to market more efficiently, with 63 percent of leading marketers relying on customer input, reviews, blogs, and posts.
Key takeaway: Regardless of industry, companies must integrate their marketing efforts across all channels to truly succeed. However, only 35 percent of leading marketers currently integrate their campaigns across all available channels, with 8 percent indicating they're not currently integrated at all. Of those other marketers surveyed, only 12 percent currently integrate their campaigns across all channels, with 39 percent indicating they are not currently integrated at all. Not only does this lack of integration impact marketing campaign coordination and the average marketer's ability to deliver relevant, personalized messages, but it also frustrates the customer and wastes company resources and money. Failing to meet this omnichannel mandate often leads to as much as $83 billion in lost sales each year in the U.S. alone. By leveraging Big Data to provide consumers with personalized messaging in real time, companies not only prove that they listen and care for the individual, but they are also able to establish the foundation for long-lasting trust and loyalty necessary for sustained success.