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October 21, 2008

eMetrics - The View from the CMO's office

By Simon Heseltine

Emetrics_dc_2008_002Having just arrived at the eMetrics conference in DC, I've gone straight into this session presented by Liz Miller of the CMO Council, (well, ok, I did take advantage of the free pretzels and drinks on offer in the press room first, but it was on the way there).  This session is all about the evolution of the role of the CMO, and contains data from several CMO Council studies.

So the first thing to do is to introduce the CMO Council.  It currently has over 3500 members in 57 countries, with control over $100 billion of annual marketing spend.  They all work together to find out what's going on in the marketing world, helping to identify those areas upon which CMO's should focus their efforts.

One of the initial challenges of the role is born out in the statistic that 50% of CMOs are brought in to fix a broken marketing organization (which is not too surprising a figure given that the average tenure of a CMO is estimated to be ~18 months).

So what is the actual makeup of an ideal CMO?

  • Change agents - business builders
  • CEO and organizational mandate driven
  • Thoughtful, forceful and inspirational
  • Customer experience architects
  • Multi channel program Gurus
  • Fanatics of analytics
  • Measure & metrics mavens

So now that we know what makes a good CMO, what are the actual job functions that are typically associated with the role (bearing in mind that this too is evolving, and is as expanded from 2007 as it will probably be from this year when 2009 is said and done).

  • lead strategic planning process globally across all business units
  • source new talent
  • revitalize global resources
  • Merge functions out of silos
  • increase marketing yield, accountability and alignment
  • Extract greater value from customer data
  • Introduce global structure, process and best practices
  • Measure and report business impact and value

So what is the territory of the CMO?  Where is their domain?

  • Branding, communications & demand generationEmetrics_dc_2008_001
  • Customer engagement, service and support
  • Customer experience, loyalty and lifecycle management
  • Field marketing, sales, distribution and channel support
  • Pricing, business policies, strategic planning
  • Global marketing operation, budget structure and process
  • Performance metrics and ROI measurement

Top accomplishments of CMOs in 2007

  • Adding new competencies
  • Improving accountability of the marketing organization
  • Deploying content and web management solutions
  • Implementing marketing ROI

The interesting item in the above is that of content and web management solutions.  With that being listed by many CMOs as a big accomplishment for last year, this look like many companies are finally coming to realize that having a CMS system in place for their organization is vital.

The life of a CMO is challenging, but maybe more so that before, because not only do they have a growing mandate, but they also have to try to succeed in the current economic climate.  So here are some of the challenges that the CMO is going to face in 2009

  • Marketing has shrinking budgets  -do more with less
  • Increased demand for ROI, accountability and measurability
  • Increasingly savvy consumers
  • over-saturation of mass media messaging - (Web 2.0 is messing everyone up)
  • Web 2.0 generated content channels
  • Strict limitations on customer communications

Brands that excelled in customer experience had high levels of consistency in content delivery across all contact points.Brands that fell to the bottom of the customer experience ladder tended to fail the customer in live interactions, especially the call center.

Consumers have stated that a single negative experience can alter the decision to do business with a company. 

  • 80% would never go back
  • 74% would register a complaint
  • 47% swear
  • 29% have headaches, crying and/or a tightening sensation in the chest...

So you have the potential for a crying, swearing, complaining heart attack victim that'll never come back to your site again, what's a CMO to do?  The first thing is to actually know who their customers are, yet shockingly only 6.8% questioned in a CMO Council study said that they had a deep excellent knowledge of their customer, while a similar amount (6.3%) said that they have little or no knowledge of their customers (really?  How do you sell to them then?  How do you know how to engage them?  How do you know what's left on the table?)

When questioned, these were the top 3 roadblocks that marketers identified as impediments in enabling them to understand their customers

  • Inadequate or incompatible IT systems or databases 44.8% (of respondents)
  • Siloed in functional areas - 40.3%
  • Lack of formalized data sharing policies and practices - 37.3%

Are marketers realizing the full revenue potential of your current customers, amazingly 10% of respondents didn't know, because they have no insights into their customers.

Strategies to improve relationships with customers

  • become more personal and relevant with consumers
    • Introducing better segmentation, profiling and targeting strategies
    • adding or improving database marketing systems
    • acquiring new analytics capabilities
    • personalizing multi-channel communications
    • individualizing contact with customers

Only 66% of marketers are currently using web analytics and eMetrics, yet analytics are PART of the marketing operational model.  Analytics must take a seat at the table and be a direct point of entry to the process

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