Where “Marketing 2013″ Is Going and Why (The Digital Nirvana)

In 2012, the CMO Council set up the Digital Marketing Performance Institute (DMPI) to study the effectiveness, relevance, value, and cost of online marketing programs. In May, with the help of Acceleration (the report’s sponsor), the new Institutte released Integrate to Accelerate, which the CMO Council described as its “first salvo into this ongoing dialog.”

Here are key takeaways from the 76-page Executive Summary.

Big Data Will Put Marketing With the IT Crowd
“By the year 2017, Gartner predicts that the chief marketing officer (CMO) will outspend the chief information officer (CIO) on IT … The analysts also believe that the real proof is that marketing—from operations through campaign execution—has become increasingly technology dependent, and that the rise of big data will continue the push toward a dominant digital marketing future … Marketing must also take a step outside of the cocoon of point solutions and communications centered applications to focus on those data-driven engagement platforms that work to deliver a more personalized, relevant, and intelligent experience for each customer. It will only be through this bond between technology and data that real advancements for the business and marketing can be achieved.”

What Skills Will Top Marketers Need?
As CEOs and board executives were asked to rank the requirements of tomorrow’s CMO, the top four requirements were: 1. Have strong business acumen. 2. Possess exceptional measurement and analytical abilities. 3. Be the connective tissue of the organization—bringing together far-flung disparate tools, solutions, and resources. 4. Have superior technology and Internet expertise to specify, deploy, and quantify the business impact of new and emerging digital solutions.

What Excites Today’s Digital Marketer?
When asked which digital marketing processes and functions had the most appeal, both management and line-of-business (LOB) leaders pointed to data-rich technologies:

• Customer data integration, analytics, and personalization of market interactions (62 percent)
• Website performance improvements and richer online engagements (61 percent)
• Lead acquisition, conversion, and upselling/cross-selling of customers (60 percent)
• Behavior-based insight gathering for more effective segmentation and messaging (41 percent)
• Search marketing and online advertising optimization (39 percent)

Social Media, Yes. Amateurs, No.
Acceleration noted that, “The most common mistake we have encountered in the social media management era is famous brands hiring interns to handle their social initiatives. This has been disastrous, and we often find that instead of working to optimize social engagements, we must help our clients recover … There are critical strategic areas in social media that you must take into consideration for effective campaign development through ROI measurement. In all cases, social media campaigns require the coordination of multiple resources, both internal and external to the organization.”

What Social Media Tools Are Effective?
Acceleration answers, “Effective social media campaign operationalization is a multidisciplinary, multi-departmental effort inclusive of these components:

• Promotion and social advertising platforms, such as Buddy Media, Unified, SocialFlow, Adobe Social, and SocialTwist
• Community management platforms, such as Lithium, Sprinklr, ExactTarget SocialEngage, and Salesforce.com/Radian6
• Measurement and analytics, such as Adobe Social/SiteCatalyst, other web analytics platforms, various web services/APIs, data sources, and custom dashboards creation
• Monitoring and engagement of communities, such as social/PR communications agencies like Fanscape, Likeable Media, Cake, Emanate PR, and WhisprGroup
• Strategic listening via platforms and advanced analysis services
• Creative, editorial, and branding
• Voice of the customer (VoC) integrations with customer service operations • Data management platforms with social CRM tie-back to enterprise customer data warehouse

What Should Marketers Do Now?
In the next 18 months, Acceleration recommends three marketing initiatives:

1. Make investments in digital capabilities. You must have strength in technology tools, data accessibility and protection, business processes, and people (staff and extended experts).

2. Cultivate your cross-channel customer relationships. In summary, we recommend that you are equipped with state-of-the-art customer digital data management, privacy management, and cross-channel optimization.

3. Establish your enterprise environment for the business of social, and make it fast moving and cross-functional [no more interns ever!].

If You’re Lagging Behind, You’ve Got Plenty of Company.
When asked, “How would you describe the current state of digital marketing adoption and integration with traditional practices and functions in your company?” responses disclosed extreme variation in technology adaptation and capability.
36% Random embrace of point solutions, but not well integrated.
35% Digital marketing strategy in place, now testing and rolling out programs.
13% Gaining momentum with cloud-based platforms and services.
9% Highly evolved with proven value and a clear path of evolution.
5% Digital uptake meeting resistance from functions and business groups
3% Lack of requisite knowledge to prioritize and drive this process

Download the full executive summary or purchase the report here.

Nancy Rathbun Scott is a writer, editor, marketing strategist, film producer, and entreprenuer whose prolific career has encompassed work for a variety of organizations, both commercial and nonprofit. Nancy has authored five books, written weekly columns for USA Today, produced numerous print and online publications, and regularly pens articles for executive clients. Nancy’s company, Liberty Communications Group (www.libertycommunicationsgroup.com), provides editorial, public relations and marketing consultation. Contact: nancy@nancyscott.com

Read more from The Digital Nirvana: http://thedigitalnirvana.com/2012/08/where-marketing-2013-is-going-and-why/

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