The Digital World Challenge Faced By The Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) In 2013

June 9th, 2013

My first guest post for SEJ in September 2010 was about the shift from the traditional media of marketing to the internet media of marketing at that time this question of who should manage the digital media which demands a multiple partner proliferation had just started brewing . In 2013 it has reached a turbulent stage as is described by the 2012 CMO Insights survey by Accenture.

The 2012 CMO Insights survey is the third in a series of studies sponsored by Accenture and aimed at understanding the opinions, challenges and points of view of senior marketing executives from around the world.

Results are based on online surveys across 10 countries with 405 senior executives who are key marketing decision makers in their companies.

According to this survey,

Turbulence is the new normal for chief marketing officers (CMOs). The main reason being competing business demands, proliferating channels and partners, and a disconnect between the talent they have and the capabilities they need.

Every digital marketing company I am sure will be able to relate directly to this as we face a real challenge when an overall ROI has to be calculated. It becomes more challenging when there are multiple marketing services providers but the tasks of each of these service providers are mutually inter-dependant for overall success.

For example if SEO , Social Media , Content Creation are handled by different agencies with no clear strategic leader coordinating all these activities then a lot of confusion, chaos and the blame game begins which is not less than a catch22 situation.

According to the survey for business survival CMOs need to:

• Fundamentally change the marketing operating model.

• Build new skills internally.

• Get the right set of partners.

• Drive digital orientation throughout the enterprise.

The Partner Proliferation list according to the survey is as follows:

When all these activities are to be managed in-house it requires a very big budget and specialized skill sets or if outsourced it needs precise coordination. The challenge that the online business owners small or big brands face today is how to the get the maximum ROI from the selected set of the above activities they decide to focus on for a wider and a qualitative digital presence.

From the list above it is very clear that the digital orientation is the most important demand of the day but 19% of the CMOs say that digital orientation suffers from the lack of integration across the business and when it comes to other partners they are weak at execution and delivery.

Hence the need of the hour is to:

· Fundamentally change the marketing operating model

· Build new skills internally

· Get aligned with the right set of partners

· Drive digital orientation throughout the enterprise

The main focus being the digital orientation which is needed throughout the organization. The shift is not only on the media used for marketing but a shift is needed towards a whole new process of thinking from the digital perspective in order to gain a profitable overall ROI .

The whole survey is summarised as below and the full report can be downloaded on

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About The Author

Founder of WebPro Technologies a Web solutions company based in India which focuses on building quality web presence for businesses. Bharati Ahuja is a SEO Trainer and speaker, Web Entrepreneur, Blog Writer, Internet Marketing Consultant.


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