Two-thirds of marketers (mostly senior level) describe the importance of new technologies to their group’s overall effectiveness and performance as “essential” (29%) or “very important” (38%), according to a new report [download page] from the CMO Council and Tealium. In fact, only 5% say that their investments aren’t producing tangible business value, with many working on it (39%) or already seeing value (46%). But in what ways are they impacting marketing ROI?
Asked how their investments are impacting the economics of their businesses and the ROI of their marketing spend, the majority of respondents to the survey said they were able to achieve a more targeted, efficient and relevant customer (66%) and greater return and accountability of marketing/advertising spend (54%). These were by far the most common responses, with far fewer pointing to increased productivity (29%) and improved rates of conversion, closure and deal value (26%), among others.
The extent to which marketing technologies help in some areas and not others depends on how they are being deployed. Currently, the most common areas in which respondents are deploying digital marketing technologies are:
- Email marketing and mobile messaging (67% including among top-5 areas);
- Website optimization and personalization (63%);
- Search and social marketing (60%); and
- Data analytics, insight and intelligence (53%).
Overall, 63% of respondents report using or starting to implement at least 5 marketing-related technologies, cloud-based service and applications.
Not surprisingly, when it comes to the challenges faced with the use of new marketing technologies, respondents overall were most apt to cite the integration and centralization of increasingly fragmented data (54%) and figuring out what to select and how to integrate (48%). Problems with the integration of disparate marketing technologies have been well-documented of late (see here for further research on this topic). Indeed, fewer than one-third of respondents to the CMO Council survey say that they have extended their marketing technologies extremely (3%) or very (25%) well to embrace other departments and functional areas.
While integration may be a challenge, it has keen benefits. Indeed, the report notes that CMOs who are good at integrating technologies are seeing better “business upside” than their counterparts, and are also reporting more improvements in personalized customer interactions and overall customer experiences.
Aside from integration, the other key factor for success appears to be ownership of a well-defined strategy, as CMOs with a strategy are more likely to report contributions to overall revenue and ROI. Additionally, those who have ownership of the marketing technology strategy report greater business impact than those who delegate the strategy.
About the Data: The findings are based on a quantitative survey (fielded during the third quarter of 2014) of more than 150 marketers, as well as qualitative interviews with marketing leaders at Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, Disney ABC Television and more. Participants hail from B2B, B2C and hybrid companies, with more than half of respondents holding CMO, VP, SVP and Head of Marketing titles.