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A Marketing Survey By IBM Says: CMOs and CIOs Must Partner

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, June 28, 2012
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Bangalore: IBM conducted "State of Marketing 2012" study which surveyed more than 350 marketing professionals across a wide range of industries and geographies. Yuchun Lee, Vice President, Enterprise Marketing Management of IBM Industry Solutions, shared the outcomes with Forbes. The survey says that CMOs & CIOs must join forces to connect with today's consumer across new channels including mobile devices and social networks. Additionally the crucial marketing/IT alliance is the continued growth of mobile, where respondents are showing that mobile ads signify the next step in the development of mobile marketing. On the other hand, as marketers have a clear vision when it comes to mobile, the same cannot be said for social media where marketers lack the same clear consensus on how to best utilize this new medium.

Brandon Gutman asked about the evolution of the CMO/CIO relationship to Yuchun Lee.

Yuchun Lee: Earlier, CMOs & CIO have operated on separate sides of the barrier but with big data rising as major asset and the multichannel model gaining force, marketing as we know, is changing. Especially CMOs are asked to take control over IT budget. This concept validated earlier this year by Gartner, when it was reported that by 2017 CMOs will have high control over IT budget than the CIO. If truth be told marketing budgets will raise 7-8percent over the next year, which is 2-3 times of IT budgets. In spite of this increasing reliance on technology and soaring budgets, most CMOs lack the skills needed to handle these new IT functions. What we found interesting is that despite these changes, a significant number of marketers have yet to reach out to their IT cohorts and tap into their expertise. This fact was supported by our survey where we found 60 percent of marketers point to their lack of alignment with the company's IT department as the biggest obstacle to reaching today's consumers.

Can the IT & Marketing relationship really impact a business?

Before, he mentioned how businesses now days are stressed when it comes to aligning their marketing and IT groups. Possibly one explanation for their lack of movement is a question of whether or not this marketing/IT cycle can really impact business. And he ends that debate with a positive yes. IBM's State of Marketing study found 51 percent of respondents who said their companies as high-performing indicated they have good relationships between marketing and IT. That's 10 percent higher than all other companies surveyed.

Is it safe to say that marketers are looking to mobilize their businesses?

Undoubtedly we have entered the mobile age of marketing. After 2011 holiday and the first half of this year IBMs retail online economic indicator confirmed the continued coming of age of mobile, with mobile commerce reaching record highs. In fact over Q1 of this year, mobile traffic accounted for 17 percent of all online traffic, that's up from the 6 percent we saw in 2011. Based on the survey, mobile web sites and mobile applications are currently the two most popular mobile tactics, which is no surprise when you consider that both are key components of any successful commerce effort.

Is this same evolution taking place on the social media side?

Marketers remain confused when it comes to the best way using this channel as a marketing mix. This comes as a stark contrast to what we are seeing on the mobile side. Currently the most popular social media marketing tactic is the use of pages on 3rd party social networking sites, a fairly conservative tactic that may not be compelling enough to have much influence in the social media playing field.

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