Tuesday, May 18, 2010

CMO Survey: Measurement Isn't Our Top Priority

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at surveys to understand marketers’ priorities. Another one crossed my desk today, taken by Aprimo at Argyle Executive Forum’s 2010 CMO Spotlight Forum: Retail and Consumer Goods & Services on April 29, 2010 in New York.

The results are the most puzzling yet. The survey seems nice and simple: three questions with five answers each, and the answers contain similar categories. But the most common answer to each question suggests a different priority:

Q: What is driving the highest degree of change to your marketing strategies?
A: Creating more compelling customer/prospect experiences (37%)

Q: What is the CMO’s biggest challenge today?
A: Integrating and tracking multiple channels (37%)

Q: What is most broken in marketing?
A: Correlating marketing activities to revenues (39%)

So which is it, folks? Customer experience, channel integration or marketing measurement? It's nice to know that I could cite whichever I like if I have a particular point to support. But mostly this suggests that CMOs are just plain confused.

I suppose a more subtle interpretation would be that marketers know that correlation of activities with revenues is their "most broken" process, but consider fixing it less important than integrating multiple channels. You could argue this supports the case I made in my last two posts that marketers haven't invested in measurement because they have other priorities.

The table below gives a more complete view of the results, with color-coding of related answers across categories. You might see a bit of a pattern if you look hard enough: integration and measurement show up in four of top six cells. And I suppose the #3 rank of measurement in the "biggest challenge" category reinforces my argument about its low priority.

Goals Driving Most ChangeBiggest CMO Challenge TodayMost Broken in Marketing
create compelling experiences 37%integrate & track multiple channels 37%correlate activity w/revenue 39%
ROI / accountability 27%do more with less 28%lack of channel integration 27%
digital marketing 18%accountability / measurement 18%too many silos 15%
integrate channels 17%control messages in social media 11%perceived lack of marketing value 10%
streamline operations 1%keep up with social media 6%channel-consistent messaging 10%

You can download the survey results and take a more detailed CMO survey if you're so inclined. Aprimo seems to be setting up some sort of community as well, although I couldn't find any actual discussion to date.


Jeff Ogden said...

I think the message is clear. Marketing is broken. They simply don't know where to turn for answers. They're under enormous pressure for results, but are so short-staffed, they can get nothing done.

Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor
President, Find New Customers

Joel_Reuter said...

Great coverage, David. I think you bring up some important points about the many differences in priorities for marketers. Let’s face it, today’s CMO is challenged to deliver more with less than ever before.
Depending on where you or your CMO are in your organization’s pressure for accountability, you will get many different points of view. However, we believe it is critical for the marketing community to have dialogue, share best practices, gain understanding of how to leverage resources and control spends.
We’ll also be pleased to keep you updated as we grow and build discussion in our community. So please stay tuned. Our revolution is just getting started.

David Raab said...

Joel, you raise an interesting point about conflicting priorities. Perhaps you could segment your survey results to see whether answers were more consistent at the individual level -- that is, were people who ranked integration as their biggest challenge were also more likely to rate it as most broken, etc.? If so, I hope you'll share the results.