IBM has released their 2011 IBM CMO Study They interviewed more than 1,700 of the world’s most prominent Chief Marketing Officers – face to face – to find out what they feel is important for their success. These executives control many billions in marketing expenditures. IBM found that these CMOs “painted a picture of a marketing landscape in the midst of major changes. At the same time that the average CMO is trying to figure out how the tsunami of social media – blogs, Twitter – is impacting the company brand, he or she is being asked by the boss – the CEO – to demonstrate the return on investment of marketing activities.”
IBM reported that while Investments in IT have long been the domain of the CIO, this is changing as CMOs increasingly impact IT investments in our changing social and digital world. For example IBM found that 82 percent of CMOs say they plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years. By 2017, the CMO will have greater control of the IT budget than the CIO, according to Gartner. Marketing budgets will grow 7-8 percent over the next 12 months, which is 2-3 times that of IT budgets. However, despite their growing reliance on technology and their soaring budgets, CMOs readily admit they lack the skills that IT requires. According to the IBM CMO Study, while 79 percent of CMOs expect high levels of complexity in their job over the next five years, only 48 percent feel prepared to deal with it.
They conclude that given the business realignment between marketing and technology, the CMO and CIO can no longer afford to operate on separate stages. To succeed, they’ll have to forge a shared agenda to deliver business results through innovation and efficiency. Both sides need each other as never before. This alignment between business and IT has always been essential but it is even more so now.
The study found fours key trends: data explosion, social platforms, channel and device choices, and shifting demographics. The world generates 2.5 quintrillon bytes of data daily. Over 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years. CMOs struggle to get meaningful insights from all this data. Social platforms have put customers in the driver’s seat and require that marketing efforts become two-way communication. The growing number of devices from smart phones to tablets is leading to the rise of mobile commerce. The revenue from this mobile commerce should rise to $31 billion by 2016. Finally, shifting demographics are occurring around the world, from the expanding middle class in India to the rising proportion of Hispanics in the US. All four of the trends have a significant impact on the CMOs job.
To meet these changing demands, IBM has announced two web experience software suites, the IBM Customer Experience Suite and the IBM Intranet Experience Suite. The two software suites help CMOs and CIOs, respectively, better reach and engage with their audiences. The new IBM Customer Experience Suite provides CMOs with the ability to manage and integrate all types of data on their web sites and then analyze it for deeper insight into customer buying patterns and sentiment. Web data has evolved today to include social media, videos, and web-based forms, as well as traditional enterprise data such as financial, customer and order data, and transactions. The software suite pulls together IBM’s enterprise portal, web content management, forms, and enterprise social networking software into a single view.
The new IBM Intranet Experience software brings the power of social and analytics capabilities to CIOs and lines of business employees to help organizations innovate and evolve their internal operations and communications. This solution pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere. This is essential as according to IDC, employees typically see up to a 30 percent increase in productivity using social tools internally to complete their work. With unlimited access to any type of information on the Web, consumers expect this same level of information availability in their professional lives.
I like the IBM approach to social business as it includes both internal employee aspects and external customer aspects, as well as the integration of the two. In the changing digital world this integration is critical for success.