The death of mass media? Marketers bet on one-to-one relationship with consumers


Nearly 90 percent of marketers believe their departments will exercise significant influence over business strategy by 2020, according to the results of a new survey.


A study of nearly 500 chief marketing officers (CMOs) and senior marketing executives from around the world conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of Marketo, reveals that 90% of European marketers say they will own the end-to-end customer experience by 2020.

To accomplish this, the report found that marketing leaders must have a single view of the customer that allows them to engage in two-way, personalised conversations across technologies, locations, and physical objects.

Kristin Lemkau of JPMorgan Chase, one of five senior marketing executives interviewed in the report, surmises “many of our products measure loyalty in points accumulated by the customer the more he or she uses the product… but we see sharing economy platforms like AirBnB that build loyalty through a repeat positive experience. The experience is the marketing and the experience is what drives performance.”

Other key insights from the report include:

The strength of mass media is declining: By 2020, more marketers expect they will interact directly with their customers through technology and personalisation than interact indirectly through media and advertising.

Marketers’ influence is growing: Nearly 90 percent of marketers believe their departments will exercise significant influence over business strategy by 2020, with 80 percent expecting to have the same influence over company technology decisions.

This is the second year that Marketo, the leading provider of engagement marketing software and solutions, has commissioned this survey, which builds upon the 2015 finding that marketers feel their organisations need to undergo a dramatic shift to keep up with increasing technological and consumer demands. The 2016 report titled, “The Path to 2020: Marketers Seize the Customer Experience,” takes an in-depth look at how buyers engage with brands today and the impact that will have on how marketers reach them through 2020.

The survey data reveals that both small & medium sized and large European firms are focused on personalised customer experience and dialogue as a driving force in lieu of repeated exposure to mass advertising. However, different sized European marketing organisations diverge with regard to the tactics or time scales required for completing this transformation.

Specifically, the executive summary highlights the following survey findings:

• Europe’s marketers are pivoting to customer experience: 90% of European respondents expect to own the customer experience in their organisations by 2020, up from 79% who believe that today.

Marketing must drive revenue: The combined survey data reveal that 85% of European marketers today believe marketing is a revenue driver, a figure that grows to 91% by 2020. Small & medium sized organisations are taking an aggressive approach, with 94% of respondents expecting the marketing department to grow revenue by 2020, up from 87% today.

E-mail evolves as a customer channel: By 2020, social media swaps places with the World Wide Web as the number-one channel to the customer for both small & medium sized and large European firms (62% versus 54%, respectively). However, e-mail as the third channel to the customer drops off precipitously. In the case of small & medium sized firms, e-mail declines from 48% today who think it is a top three channel to 31% by 2020. Large firms recorded a similar drop from 46% in favour of e-mail today to 29% by 2020.

Talent and data are top-of-mind: By 2020, the top two objectives for European firms include having the right mix of creative and technical talent (49%), and having a single source of customer data across channels (44%).

More broadly, the survey data suggest that Europe’s marketers are focusing on data-driven conversational relationships with their customers more than reach and frequency-driven publishing relationships.

"Technology’s rapid evolution allows customers to engage with brands across myriad new channels in real time, translating to billions of marketing-driven touch points,” said Sanjay Dholakia, chief marketing officer, Marketo. "With 90% of CMOs and other marketing leaders of the mind that they will own the customer experience by 2020, it is essential that organisations maintain a singular, comprehensive view of their customers. This is the key to building enduring customer relationships and ultimately successful brands.”

Survey Methodology

The survey included responses from 499 CMOs and senior marketing executives worldwide. It was conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and was sponsored by Marketo. More than 50 percent of respondents hold the CMO title or top marketing position. Respondents are located in North America (27%), Europe (30%), Asia-Pacific (36%), and Rest of World (7%). More than 50% of survey respondents (52%) hail from companies with more than US$500m in revenue.

For more findings and to download the full report, click here (registration required)


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