Forbes recently held a CMO Salon in San Francisco, and Anametrix was fascinated with this video glimpse into their conversation. Rich Karlgaard, Forbes Magazine Publisher and co-founder of the Churchill Club, led a discussion on how mobile technology has transformed how people work and what that means to marketers. These CMOs face no shortage of marketing challenges, and we’re listening carefully.
“The ultimate measure of marketing is whether you’ve changed peoples’ behavior,” said John McHugh, VP and CMO at Brocade. “The online world creates both the expectation or, maybe, the illusion in some cases that you’re creating changes in behavior or that you can measure that specific change in behavior.”
Measuring marketing ROI is definitely a growing expectation. But is it an illusion that CMOs can change buyer behavior and conclusively measure it? Or can we actually prove it? We’re not the only ones who think the answer lies in cross-channel data analytics. Taryn Moy, Regional Sales Manager of Forbes Media said in the video, “You know, I think with technology there’s been a big emphasis on data management and data analytics and really, capturing insight and how you market with that intelligence. I think there’s a huge trend for companies to invest in gathering intelligence behind their data, and then also in reaching people in an appropriate platform in an appropriate way.”
CMOs have been collecting and attempting to make sense out marketing data for years but have been constrained in scope because multi-channel analytics has been elusive. As a result, marketing data has been analyzed within each customer-engagement silo – web analytics, email marketing, advertising, search engine marketing, and most recently social media. Unfortunately, the intelligence gleaned from these narrow data slices paints an incomplete and even inaccurate picture of the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Marketers require a 360-degree, holistic view of all available data sources to discover new truths about customer acquisition, retention and lifetime value.
Just take a look at the 2011 IBM Global Chief Marketing Officer Study: 63 percent of CMOs believe ROI on marketing spend will be the most important measure of their success by 2015. However, only 44 percent feel fully prepared to be held accountable for marketing ROI.
Gartner echoes the IBM findings by including next-generation analytics as one of the top 10 strategic technologies that will be assimilated into management tools. As Milind Govekar, managing VP at Gartner stated in June, “We expect more next-generation analytics to come to the forefront to address an increasingly hybrid cloud environment.”
The CMOs we talk to are definitely trying to take advantage of the analytics they have. The real problem is that these legacy analytics tools handle only certain data sources, require complex querying expertise, and focus on history and lagging indicators, instead of real-time analytics and predictions. CMOs have been doing the best they can with what they’ve had. Now, the technology is finally mature enough to enable CMOs to make faster – and better – decisions that increase the revenue and profitability of their marketing efforts.
Let’s continue the conversation! Visit Anametrix in Santa Clara July 31 for the Churchill Club’s CMO Agenda 2013 event. What do you think is the biggest marketing challenge CMO’s face? Share your thoughts by adding a comment below, or view the Forbes.com video Marketers Explore ‘Engaging The Most Engaged’ In Latest Forbes CMO Salon and post a comment. And follow Forbes.com’s CMO Network Editor Jennifer Rooney (@jenny_rooney) like we do for more great insights on this topic.