Marketing, as its primary goal, must create a desire for objects and services not presently needed.
And in the digital age, marketers have multiple and inexpensive methods to test a range of activities from the far-fetched to the obvious. Since the outside marketer only sees the end result of these experiments, insider insight on return on investment and revenue are worth exploring.
With that in mind, we conducted a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) benchmark survey with Marketo, a marketing automation platform solution provider, to understand what marketing tactics, budgets and methodologies the highest and lowest performing companies were using and compared them to the success of their revenue goals.
When we looked at goals, most companies met their sales (32%), profits (42%) and customer retention (22%) goals, while on average 15% of those surveyed had exceeded each of those areas by 11 percent. Additionally, leaders from the study were determined based on an overall performance evaluation across a number of identified marketing practices. This is the group we focused on.
Of the marketing leadership group (across all industries, business types and business sizes) CMO’s believed brand building (55%), achieving positive marketing ROI (45%) and automating their marketing processes (39%) to be their top 3 most important marketing objectives for 2016.
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Which marketing tactics are CMOs using most?
Content marketing (50%) leads the list, followed closely by digital marketing/online campaigns (47.5%), organic search optimization/SEO (47.2%), public relations (45%) and social media engagement (42.5%). The leaders are turning their companies into mini-media companies for their industry while supplementing it with public relations opportunities from industry publications.
CMO leaders believe they have mastered digital marketing.
When we asked this question we allowed them to include their marketing agency as part of their team in self evaluating each tactic. With that in mind, the top 3 mastered areas are digital marketing/online campaigns (69%), content marketing (65%), and email marketing (58%). While the three areas where they feel the least knowledgeable are affiliate marketing (22% mastery), Growth Hacking (26%) and mobile marketing (30%).
CMOs know their Influencers, but are still trying to find the most effective ways to use them.
88% of marketers knew all or some of the individuals who influence the decisions of their customers. 55% of them describe their relationship with those influencers as very good or excellent. Most of the leaders expressed that while their influencer marketing program was highly effective, they struggle to implement influencer programs without a team or agency to help them.
Again, these results are across all industries, business types and sizes, if you’re looking for segmented results from the leader group, you can use the interactive tool to see specific results.
CMOs face a choice: maintain the status quo or reach higher by unleashing the full potential of their marketing efforts. Over the next few years, for the typical company, maintaining the present course will almost certainly lead to a reduction in marketing’s impact on company performance and diminished stature for the department. The second course suggests marketing becomes an even greater strategic business contributor with a strong internal brand and advanced revenue and lead generation capabilities.
CMO leaders have already chosen.
Mark Fidelman is a Managing Partner for Digital Agency Evolve! which specializes in providing lead generation, influencer marketing & PR services for organizations.
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