Pic studyOC & C Strategic Consultants investigated the issues that are high on the agenda of marketing decision makers. Personalizing the customer experience has been mentioned most, but overall the analysis entitled ‘What's on the CMO agenda?’ identified five superordinate challenges:

1. Personalization of customer experience
More than three quarters of the surveyed CMOs review individualized marketing approaches as an important trend. However, the issue implies a deep understanding of consumer behavior in each channel, the clever interpretation and smooth operation of available data, as well as intensive coordination with other areas of the company, such as sales and IT. Due to the complexity of the task, CMOs define personalized customer approach currently their biggest challenge.

2. Measurement of profitability
Due to increasing profitability pressure, marketing departments are among the most transparent corporate divisions, and this trend will continue, according to CMOs. In addition to financial indicators on cost-effectiveness and profitability, the focus is on key figures for specific TV and print campaigns, customer segments, or marketing channels. The credo of the marketing bosses is measuring the success of the activities, while from the perspective of CMOs fast response times and high flexibility are now core competencies in marketing – especially since long-term marketing plans are becoming obsolete in today’s dynamic marketing industry.

3. Management of Big Data
The buzzword Big Data is both boon and bane for CMOs. The management of large data confronts nearly half of them with problems, as they collect more data than ever with multi-channel activities, which complicates the targeted analysis. Information about the buying behavior of customers is often only available in unstructured form and therefore difficult to interpret and of limited use as a basis for strategic marketing concepts. However, the interpretation of complex data sets is nevertheless in greater demand than ever, putting the issue of data protection in the focus: Today’s marketing departments need data experts that enable targeted advertising campaigns, while protecting the privacy of consumers.

4. Social media strategies
Of course, the marketing decision-makers see in social media an important channel however, activities on social networks do not always follow a sophisticated strategy with clearly defined objectives, states OC & C. In addition, in many cases, there is a lack of a recognizable integration into the expanded marketing program. Profitability issues are also an important issue in the field of social media, as community management can be very resource-intensive in some sectors.

5. Partner proliferation
Since the specialization in relevant areas of marketing is continuously increasing, CMOs are forced to work with many external partners. This makes for friction losses and results in frustration. Interestingly, the contribution of small suppliers is often rated higher than coming from larger partners. However, since the integration of numerous small partners devours many resources, companies still often go for full-service providers.

For the qualitative analysis, 43 Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) of international companies were available for questions & answers on trends and further, in the context of secondary research, technical papers, surveys and market studies, were analyzed.


By Daniela La Marca