Asked to choose from 4 issues that keep them up at night, 34% of CMOs cite the creation of sustainable and engaging customer relationships and improving the customer experience as their top concern, according to data provided to MarketingCharts from a recent Korn Ferry survey.
CMOs also are concerned about staying ahead and taking advantage of digital technology trends such as social and mobile (27%), as well as by their (in)ability to demonstrate marketing’s ROI (26.5%).
The question of marketing’s value and ROI has been well-documented in research of late. For example, studies have found that:
- Only 1 in 4 marketers were able to measure and report the contribution of their programs to the business last year;
- 35.7% of CMOs feel that they can prove the short-term impact of marketing spend quantitatively, and 28.6% can prove the long-term impact on a quantitative basis; and
- Only 51% of B2B marketing leads agree that marketing’s financial value is clear to the business
2 in 3 marketers responding to an Adobe survey last year agreed that there is now more pressure to show return on investment on marketing spend, with 8 in 10 feeling that it will be much (29%) or somewhat (50%) more important for their marketing function to prove business impact and/or ROI in the next 12 months.
Presented with 4 options and asked to indicate which they feel is the biggest contributing factor to low CMO tenure when compared to other C-suite functions, a majority 57% of respondents indicated the primary reason to be an inability to directly connect marketing efforts to tangible business outcomes.
Other top concerns: two-thirds of CMOs surveyed by IBM for a study released last year said they feel underprepared for social media, and more than 8 in 10 feel unprepared for the explosion of data. And in a study released by PwC, US CEOs named tech advances the most externally disruptive business force. Notably, only 36% believed that the marketing/brand management function is “well prepared” to make the changes necessary to capitalize on the transformative global trends.
While the CMOs responding to the Korn Ferry surveys are most concerned about customer relationships and experience, research also shows that customer experience is marketers’ most exciting opportunity this year.
About the Data: The Korn Ferry survey was fielded among 215 marketing executives.