Marketers Struggle To Unify Content And Commerce, Not Realizing Full Value Of Customer Interactions

CMO Council Study Audits Variance in Digital Experience Among Global Brands; Only 21 Percent of Marketers Say They Are Very Good at Captivating and Engaging Audiences

Aug 18, 2015, 08:00 ET from CMO Council

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Global marketers see the value of making their digital interactions with customers and stakeholders richer, more personal and predictive. But most are still struggling to make their mobile, social and web channels work together to provide a more enriching and engaging experience.

A new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council—entitled "Brand Attraction from Enriched Interaction"—reveals marketers still lag in creating multi-channel, digital marketing campaigns that reach and resonate with diverse, micro-audiences worldwide. Only 19 percent said they are extremely good or very good in this area. In contrast, 45 percent gave lackluster grades on their ability to captivate and engage customers, partners and employees through fully integrated mobile, web and social channels. This compares to just 21 percent who said they were very proficient.

The latest study, sponsored by IBM Digital Experience, was designed to assess the degree to which marketers are embracing new digital channels and content management technologies to realize the full value of rich media engagement, crowd-sourced content, and mass-customized commerce through higher levels of personalization and tailored interaction. Most notably, the study reveals that only 5 percent of respondents have highly or tightly integrated content and commerce compared to 64 percent who say they have plans or existing programs to improve this. 

"Digital marketers are challenged to create an end-to-end, multi-channel experience that engages and enlivens customer, partner and employee audiences with more compelling and relevant content-driven commerce and conversation," noted Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council, which has nearly 10,000 members in 110 countries. The council's research was based on input from 287 marketing leaders across all regions of the world. A free strategic brief summarizing research findings and highlights is available for download from the CMO Council website.

A critical area of insight from survey respondents centered on what technology transformations are most likely to impact how companies market, operate and engage with customers. Topping the list was the advent of the smarter digital enterprise, with its automation of marketing execution and customized interactions at scale. Next was the new API-driven economy, where partners and ecosystems share mobile/web links, information and insights to add value and further monetize transactions and interactions. Not far behind this is the disruptive potential of the "Internet of things" and the ability to gather real-time data and intelligence through pervasive, sensor-based tracking of behavior, intention and satisfaction.  

"Driven by the forces of cloud, mobile and social engagement, businesses and brands are experiencing a digital disruption that is revolutionizing every interaction with their diverse audiences," said Gary Dolsen, Vice President of Digital Experience software for IBM Systems. "When marketers create a personalized and tailored interaction for a specific audience on the right platform, businesses and brands will create emotional engagements, which will grow relationships and encourage loyalty while influencing behavior or purchase decisions."  

The CMO Council believes content has become pivotal to the way companies and brands attract attention, entice engagement, acquire and grow relationships, encourage purchase and further word-of-mouth. In addition to its thought leadership studies, the council operates the Content ROI Center, which shares best practice innovations in content marketing.

Areas of exploration covered by the study included:

  • How brands rate their ability to captivate and engage customers, partners and employees through evolving mobile, web and social channels of interaction and digital experience
  • How effective brands have become at creating, executing and tailoring new multi-channel digital marketing campaigns to better reach and resonate with diverse micro-audiences worldwide
  • Which mobile apps, analytics, tools, solutions or cloud platforms have been embraced (or are being considered) to create richer, more meaningful, relevant and persuasive interaction with key stakeholders
  • How companies believe they are achieving competitive advantage and business impact with more enriched, personalized content and digital interaction
  • Where and how digital experiences are shaping and influencing the attraction, acquisition, conversion, monetization and retention of customers
  • To what degree brands are becoming more proficient at integrating content and commerce to increase the value of customer touchpoints, experiences and relationships

About the CMO Council
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is the only global network of executives specifically dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. The CMO Council's 9,000-plus members control more than $450 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 35,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa. The council's strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), Mobile Relationship Marketing (MRM) Strategies Forum, LoyaltyLeaders.org, CMOCIOAlign.org, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Institute, GeoBranding Center and the Brand Inspiration Center. Learn more at www.cmocouncil.org.

About IBM Digital Experience
IBM has a portfolio of software and services for delivering, monitoring, analyzing and personalizing people's digital engagement with businesses and brands. Based on IBM's portal solutions, businesses can deliver engaging, differentiated and personalized digital experiences across multiple channels of interaction via the cloud and based on analyzing data of current customer needs, past interactions and future interest—on any device.

Join the conversation on Twitter by following @CMO_Council and @IBMDigitalExp and using #customerexperience.

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SOURCE CMO Council



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