Key trends in digital business are appearing on C-suite executives’ corporate agendas, finds McKinsey & Company in survey results released in May 2012. 52% of the almost 1,500 executives surveyed said that digital marketing and social tools are at least a top 10 corporate priority, including one-quarter overall indicating this trend to be at least among their top 3 strategic priorities, and 8% saying it is the top priority of their organization. C-suite executives display a similar attitude towards big data and analytics: roughly half place this trend within their top 10 priorities. One-quarter indicate it to be a top 3 priority, and 9% say it is their top priority.
This finding comes on the heels of recent research released by IBM, which revealed that a majority of global marketers believe they have the support of their senior management to execute digital marketing campaigns.
Executives Follow Priorities With Budgets
Data from McKinsey’s “Minding Your Digital Business” indicates that executives are allocating significant shares of their budgets to these digital priorities. 1 in 4 said they expect to dedicate at least 3% of their total cost base on these initiatives this year, while a further 28% said they would spend between 1 and 3% of their budgets.
Looking further into the data, the report notes that the sectors spending the most are professional services, high tech, and pharma, while CEOs are twice as likely as CFOs to predict a budget allocation of at least 3% to their digital business efforts (40% vs. 20%).
Customer Insights The Chief Aim
IBM’s survey of global marketers (see link above) found that 62% believed management to be enthusiastic about customer data integration, analytics, and personalization of market interactions. According to the McKinsey report, these global marketers know exactly what management wants.
Indeed, when asked the areas in which companies should focus on using big data and analytics to improve their performance, 60% of the C-suite respondents pointed to customer insights, segmentation, or targeting, easily besting other areas such as operations, service delivery, or supply chain management (41%) and customer service/support (40%).
The highest proportion of respondents (49%) also reported currently using big data for customer insights, although just 13% said they use the data to generate insights across the company. Once again, this mirrors the thoughts of the global marketers surveyed by IBM: 36% of those respondents said that their digital marketing adoption and integration was simply a collection of point solutions, rather than being integrated across the organization. An additional 44% said their strategies are still at an exploration level.
- 41% of the McKinsey survey respondents indicated flexible delivery platforms to be at least a top 10 corporate priority.
- Only about 1 in 3 respondents said they feel that their companies are spending enough to build out their digital capabilities. CEOs were more likely than CFOs to say they were spending the right amount (36% vs. 30%).
- Although 39% of the executives reported currently using big data for budgeting, forecasting, or planning, only 36% believed they should be focusing on this application.
About the Data: The McKinsey data is based on an online survey fielded from April 3 to April 13, 2012 that garnered responses from 1,469 C-level executives representing the full range of industries, regions, and company sizes.