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10/13/2011 The State of Marketing

Digital. Social. The Age of the Consumer.

We keep reading about how marketing is fundamentally shifting. Every day there are articles and blog posts about the changing relationship between customers and brands. We experience how new technology has changed the game.

And then there’s the reality of marketing. Brought to you with stark contrast in IBM’s Institute for Business Value latest study.  

Here’s what the study says:

  • Most CMOs are not using social media to track current customer sentiment
  • Most use traditional marketing research
  • Most CMOs believe that by 2015 they will have to show ROI on their marketing investment
  • Most feel they aren’t currently prepared to provide hard numbers

Maybe it’s not so surprising that they don’t use digital sources to inform their decisions. But most are not prepared at all to respond to the shifting market and to change the way they run the marketing department.


Perhaps even more depressing is the fact that even if CMOs did all of the right things, they have little or no influence on key business decisions, such as new product development, pricing or channel focus. In short, they’re not included on the main things companies do.

One question that comes to mind is: What will it take to remove the CMOs that don’t get it with ones that do?

Or maybe that’s the wrong question, since the other C-levels don’t seem to let the CMO in the room where decisions get made.

It’s further proof why mediocre advertising is still the rage. And why agencies that cater to and empower laggards makes so much money.

I guess we’re going to have to wait for #occupymadisonavenue.


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