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CMOs, please take note

|Nov 17|magazine7 min read

Technology and finance are areas chief marketing officers in Australia and New Zealand can improve by better understanding and using, according to IBM’s global CMO study. Brands like Qantas, Ricoh, Samsung Cheil, and 57 CMOs in Australia and New Zealand were among those involved in the study across 64 countries.

The survey discovered that 79 per cent expected a high level of complexity during the next five years in business with 48 per cent saying they felt prepared. The main reason for concern is the data explosion:

  • 71 per cent of respondents feel unprepared to manage its impact
  • 68 per cent feel unprepared to manage social media’s impact
  • 65 per cent feel unprepared to manage the impact of the growth of channel and device choices

CMOs and marketers need to learn the language of finance and technology to handle the future’s demands, and have better interactions among a business’ departments, said Debra Hall, chairwoman of the Marketing Association.


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CMOs can build credibility by working across an entire business and the four P’s of marketing:  product, place, price and promotion, said Michael Friedberg, IBM New Zealand marketing manager. This can be helped if CMOs step out of their comfort zones into unfamiliar work areas.

Survey results also showed CMOs should pay attention to individuals, not only markets. This will allow them to get necessary insights into customers’ behaviour, values, needs and preferences. Moving from seeing consumers as a market to seeing them as individuals is a global feeling, said Eric Morse, Warner Brothers Music Group New York director of direct to consumer marketing.

On a positive note, 82 per cent of respondents said they use market research to influence strategy decisions using these methods that are key sources to understanding individuals:

  • 26 per cent use blogs
  • 48 per cent use consumer reviews
  • 42 per cent use third-party reviews and rankings