We are proud to release the 2017 CMO Digital Benchmark Study, the fifth Benchmark Study to be released by the Leapfrog Marketing Institute.
In last year’s study, we continued the exploration from previous CMO Digital Benchmark Studies on how senior marketing and technology executives were navigating the evolving digital space. The larger presence of technology executives in last year’s Benchmark Study provided rich insights at a broader business level that have been carried forward.
This year, the 2017 CMO Digital Benchmark Study further explores the marketing and technology executive relationship, the advancement of the Customer Experience and Omnichannel Execution, and how the C-suite is driving organizational transformation as the need increases for businesses to become more digital and customer-centric. This CMO Digital Benchmark Study reflects the insights gathered from the survey fielded in Q3 2017, and provides key findings and implications for marketing and technology executives to drive business success in an increasingly complex digital world.
About The Researchers
The 2017 CMO Benchmark Survey is prepared, fielded and analyzed for the Leapfrog Marketing Institute with the help of the following Advisory Panel members:
Manish Rege: Global Director & Business Partner Marketing and Innovation for Kimberly-Clark
Professor Alva Taylor: Faculty Director of the Center for Digital Strategies and Associate Professor in the Strategy and Management Group at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
Wendy Hoekwater: Chief Marketing Officer for WoodSpring Hotels
The 2017 Benchmark Study explores the marketing/technology relationship, the customer experience priority and explores the impact of the C-suite on digital transformation, engagement and cross-functional alignment. A few key learnings:
- Over 60% of marketers report an increased marketing budget going into next year. Of those that increased budget, 50% more marketers are reporting at least a 10% lift in budget over last year.
- Most marketing and technology executives report continued lifts in their ability to track digital activities to sales.
- The big news is that technology executives have caught up, and at times passed, marketing executives with regard to customer experience (CE). Technology executives report completion of mapping the CE at a higher rate, strong progress delivering the desired CE, and now view improved business outcomes as the CE’s primary goal.
- Stressing the Customer Experience priority, 40% of respondents state their company now has a Customer Experience Officer, with a high correlation between C-suite commitment to digital transformation and the creation of this role.
- With regard to omnichannel experiences (OE), technology executives are again ahead of their marketing counterparts. This can be seen in the level of importance placed on delivering an OE (58% vs 24%) and the existence of an integrated path to purchase (76%vs 44%)—both big lifts compared to 2016.
- More organizations are now working in a Mobile First environment. Compared to 2016, 65% more marketing and technology executives state that their company is building in a Mobile First environment. And of those not in a Mobile First environment, 50% more of marketing and technology executives are in high level discussions to build one.
- The marketing/technology executive relationship has made great strides. More than 90% of both groups report much better alignment over 2016, that is a very collaborative and productive relationship, and a complete positive flip over the past 2 years in having shared incentives or metrics (65%+ for both in 2017 vs 37% in 2015).
- C-Suite level commitment to digital transformation and customer-centric strategies is up vs last year, but still needs improvement. Two insights for the C-suite to drive marketing technology alignment– a high correlation exists with an organic team-driven/bottom-up approach (vs top-down), and using shared incentives tied to business goals.
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