The CMO Council released their 2012, State of Marketing report with some interesting findings. It was riddled with some relief, some frustration , some “duh” and some noggin’ scratchers.The report comes from a survey of the top marketer within organizations worldwide.
2012 Marketing Review
Here’s a summary of their results along with may analysis for 2012 and looking ahead to 2013.
Relief: For the most part it seems that the belief that marketing’s primary role is to dish out logos and update the website every 12 months has passed and that business is finally embracing the marketer as strategist, customer analyst and business leader.
Analysis: This is the biggest area that marketers can make a business impact. A key element of marketing training is in analysis with information feeding marketing’s positioning, branding, advertising and all the other tactical things we do. It’s only natural that the role would expand to strategy, customer analyst and business leader.
Frustration: The report showed progress in sales and marketing alignment. However it also showed that what was gained in alignment between sales and marketing was replaced by lack of alignment between between marketing and IT creating a chasm.
Analysis: This is dangerous for a lot of reasons. Every year I deliver a guest lecture to MIS graduate students at the University of St. Thomas. Without exception, a vast majority of the questions I receive are in an effort for the students to grasp a handle on where marketing needs are headed, so they can anticipate them in their daily jobs. The students clearly see the chasm between IT and Marketing in their daily roles. With digital marketing and data driven marketing emerging, the two functions must align. Forbes recently outlined the shift in technology needs, claiming that the CMO will spend more on technology than the CTO in five years.
Duh: The report also noted that digital marketing may finally transition from a social-focused strategy to one rooted in a mobile experience.
Analysis: As my classification of “duh” suggests, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s been watching consumer usage and adoption trends. Social after all is really nothing more than a digital manifestation of the core human communication model, a two way feedback loop. Mobile technology however, is the real game changer. To have the world in your pocket, accessible at any time is truly the biggest communications shift of the last 100 years. Don’t be fooled by all the social hype. It’s important, but not the most important.
Noggin’ Scratcher: We’ve been talking about the demise of most of the traditional marketing channels for awhile (right or wrong, you be the judge). But what’s surprising is that one traditional channel still stands strong as an effective brand builder and lead generator, the almighty trade show.
Analysis: My formal education was firmly rooted in a lot of communication theory so my analysis for this one comes from my college years. The lingering impact of trade shows does not surprise me at all. Unlike any other marketing channel available to us, the trade show is the only channel that satisfies a quintessential human need in communication, the actual connection with another human being. In a world of email and tweets and direct mail and landing pages you can conduct business without ever actually talking to or seeing another human being. The trade show changes that.
All of the analysis done by the CMO Council led them to declare that 2013 will be the year of the marketer. What do you think? How do you think 2012 was?