Roughly 8 in 10 CMOs around the world believe that marketing will undergo fundamental change over the next 5 years, according to results from Accenture Interactive’s “CMO Insights 2014” study, with marketers appearing most confident in the increasing role of analytics and greater budget allocations to digital and mobile. Some 42% believe that analytics skills will be a core competence of marketing over the next 5 years, echoing recent survey results from Spencer Stuart in which senior marketers envisioned analytical orientation as becoming a more important skill for CMOs to possess in the future.
Meanwhile, although there have been signs that the budget shift from traditional to digital media might be slowing, a sizable portion of the Accenture survey respondents see a bright future for digital spend. Some 37% agreed that digital budgets will account for more than three-quarters of the marketing budget over the next 5 years, and 35% agreed that mobile will account for more than half of the budget.
Interestingly, while 69% of CMOs from emerging markets and 49% from mature markets believe that it is important to transform into a digital business, only about 1 in 5 believe that they will be known as a digital company within the next 5 years.
Also of note, only slightly more than one-quarter feel that earned media will be more important and receive more support than paid and owned media.
That may be due to perceptions of rising effectiveness of various channels, including:
- Email (58% rating as at least fairly effective this year, versus 44% in 2012);
- Online display advertising (59% vs. 49%);
- TV advertising (59% vs. 51%);
- Radio advertising (49% vs. 38%);
- Mobile (58% vs. 50%);
- Social media (56% vs. 48%);
- Branded content (60% vs. 53%); and
- Print advertising (59% vs. 55%).
For the time being, though, the most effective channels, per the respondents, are: in-person contact with the front-line employees (69% rating at least fairly effective) and existing customer recommendations / word-of-mouth (68% rating at least fairly effective).
The only channel to take a step back in perceived effectiveness was telemarketing, rated as effective by 48% of respondents this year, down from 58% in 2012.
The study also notes that 77% of respondents believe it essential or very important to deliver an effective customer experience for their company, with this being an area of growing focus this year. High-growth companies (those with sales growth of more than 5%) appear to be more enthusiastic about the importance of customer experience, and are more likely to report being successful in their delivery of effective customer experiences. Not surprisingly, they’re also more apt to be investing in this area.
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 581 senior-level marketers. Respondents were fairly evenly split between B2C (38%), B2B (30%) and B2B2C (32%). Some 36% are from North America, 31% from APAC and 33% from Europe, Africa and Latin America. Overall, respondents were from 11 countries and 10 industries. The survey was fielded from November 2013 to January 2014.