Tag Archives: Fuqua School of Business

CMO – uh oh…

I find research interesting. Maybe it’s my basic, curious nature or maybe I’m just nosy, but I enjoy reading studies of how businesses and consumers behave. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. More often than not, I’m a little shocked. Today is one of those times. The folks at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business have been conducting a survey of top U.S. marketers since 2008. You can read the latest CMO Study here. They released this year’s data and I found one section – the one on marketing analytics – particularly interesting. Let’s see what you think.

There are the headlines, as summed up in this analysis:

Just 31% of projects use available or requested marketing analytics, well within the 29-37% range seen over the past 3-and-a-half years, according to US CMOs responding to the latest edition of The CMO Survey. B2C product companies appear to be leading the pack in usage of marketing analytics, however, at twice the rate of their B2B product counterparts (45.6% vs. 22.8%). B2B product companies also give the highest rating to marketing analytics’ contributions to their firms’ performance. Overall, marketing analytics are most apt to be used for customer acquisition, customer retention, social media and segmentation, per the report.

Frankly, I’m not surprised but I am a little disappointed.  Two-thirds of the marketing work is still seat of the pants, basically, and it’s even worse when you’re marketing to other businesses.  I can sort of understand this last point – it’s hard to tell when a website or social visitor is a business target or just a random consumer that’s wandered on to your digital presence.  You B2C marketers, however, have no excuse.

What it really means is that companies lack quantitative metrics to demonstrate the impact of marketing spending.  That is a recipe for budget suicide.  It’s not just that they’re generally not using analytics.  The survey also asked about what data is being used.  Only 15% of firms able to prove the impact of social media quantitatively and four metrics dominate how companies show social media impact:  likes, general traffic, click-through rates, and hits/visits/page views.  In other words, the really broad, pretty useless measures.  I spend quite a bit of time with clients trying to get beyond those measures into data than can translate into actionable business decisions.  These generally can’t.

Any of us engaged in marketing need to become comfortable with analytics of all sorts.  They’re what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Fail to eat them and you’ll starve.  Are you coming to the table?

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Filed under Consulting, Huh?

Flying Blind

The latest edition of the CMO Survey from the Fuqua School at Duke is out and it’s baffling, at least to me.  You can read the data here if you care to but here are a few points that caught my eye.  Maybe which raised an eyebrow as well.  

The good news is that there seems to be an awareness that we live in a data-driven age.  The report shows that CMOs expect to nearly double the share of their budgets spent on marketing analytics over the next few years. That said, current levels of spending are actually down. Unlike computer chips, it hasn’t been my experience that you can buy more for less in the analytics field so that’s kind of baffling.  In addition, there may be more data around but it seems as if it’s getting used less.  Overall, CMOs reported that just 29% of projects used available or requested marketing analytics, down from 32.5% a year earlier and representing the lowest figure since August 2013.  Huh?

The strange news doesn’t stop there.  Despite the fact that we’ve been using social media in marketing for at least 5 years, social media remains poorly integrated with marketing strategy.  When asked “How well is social media integrated with marketing strategy?”  23%  reported a 1 or 2 on a 7 point scale.  That lack of integration isn’t restricted to social media either.  When asked “How effectively does your company integrate customer information across purchasing, communication, and social media channels” the average score was  3.7, down from 3.9.  In other words, flying blind.

That has an effect on how well CMO’s can track results.  They were asked about the impact of their social media spending, the same social media that isn’t properly integrated into their marketing strategy.  14% reported that they have proven the impact quantitatively.  41% said that they have a good qualitative sense of the impact, but not a quantitative impact.  Nearly half – 45% – said that they haven’t been able to show the impact yet.  Anyone wondering why?

One final rant.  Most marketers have low levels of concern about the use of online customer data.   When asked “How worried are you that the use of online customer data could raise questions about privacy?”40%  answered either a 1 or 2 on the 7 point scale.  Not very concerned, in other words.  Really?

I find much of the above indicative that many marketers are still flying blind.  What’s your take?

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Filed under digital media, Huh?